Aug/06/12 08:10 AM Filed in: Santana Moss
ASHBURN, Va. -- Santana Moss was expecting a call from the Washington Redskins coaching staff this offseason. When his agent called him and told him the team wanted him to lose weight, he chuckled. Way ahead of you guys, he thought to himself.
"Honestly, before they even called me, me and our strength coach already had our plan when it came to what I wanted to do in the offseason," Moss said after Monday's practice. "So I was like, 'You know what? If that's what they want, I'm going to give it to them.' Because I already had my mind made up on that anyway. I feel like, the last few years, I played heavy."
Moss says he was over 200 pounds during each of the past three seasons. He lost 16 pounds this offseason and reported to camp a little bit under 190. At 5-foot-10, he says, that's where he should have been in the first place.
"The one thing I wanted to do was give myself a chance to be dominant," Moss said. "I was productive, so I let it slide away and didn't work hard enough to really get that weight off of me. I felt like I was still dominant. But when I looked at film and watched myself, I was like, 'I'm missing a step here and there from doing the things I can do.' So I just ate right and came with my mind made up."
He has dazzled the coaches and the younger receivers during offseason workouts and training camps. The Redskins are planning to use him as their slot receiver, but he's shown enough that, if guys like Leonard Hankerson or Josh Morgan struggle with their health or their development, Moss could be used on the outside opposite Pierre Garcon in two-receiver sets. He's a smart veteran who's had success in the NFL and feels rejuvenated, and those guys can sneak up on you.
"Santana's been doing a lot of great things," Garcon said. "He's been around the league for about 12 years, so he's got a lot of experience, he knows the playbook and he's been helping me out a lot with all of that. But he's still a great player, and you can see that."
Moss was watching when the Redskins signed Garcon and Morgan and tried to sign Eddie Royal during the first hour of free agency back in March. But he says he'd already heard from the coaching staff about what they wanted him to do, so he didn't take those signings as a threat to his spot on the roster.
"As a wide receiver, if you're telling me I'm gone, that's something different. Then I'm going to be motivated to go out and show you up," Moss said. "But if you're telling me, 'These guys are coming in to work with you,' I'm cool with that. I never look at other guys and worry about other guys. I had one of my best years in '05 and then the next year we got Antwaan Randle-El and Brandon Lloyd. So I never take it wrong. I look at it as a chance to get better and I go about my business."
And going about all of his business has been easier for Moss minus those 16 pounds.
"It's been the best I think I could have ever done," Moss said. "In the offseason, being so heavy, I didn't condition like I was supposed to. I did enough, and that's it. Now that I got back down to my size, I realize I can run without having to run. I can just go out there and float."
That's a good field on the football field too. Moss could be dangerous this year. Or even "dominant."