Santana Moss has more to achieve in 14th season

ASHBURN — This offseason would have marked a natural time for Santana Moss to retire.

During his 13 seasons in the NFL, he’s accumulated more than 10,000 receiving yards, been to a Pro Bowl and been a part of one of the most memorable games in Washington Redskins history.

When the Redskins changed coaches, and added receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, it seemed Moss might not have had a job, even if he wanted one.

But Moss, a first-round draft pick in 2001, reported for duty.

“I told myself I’m not going to count myself out,” he said. “I’m going to go as long as I can go. I didn’t have this dream as a kid to be in the NFL just to say one day I’m going to pack it up. I’m going to go until I can’t go no more.”

Moss wasn’t guaranteed a job by new coach Jay Gruden, but has won Gruden over with his work ethic and attention to detail.

“He’s fun to be around, he’s fun to watch, he knows every position and he’s making big plays out there,” Gruden said. “He looks like a young kid. He’s got energy, and he’s a great leader. If he drops a pass, he holds himself accountable. If the quarterback misses him, he’s like, ‘Let’s get on to the next one.’

“I like having guys like that — veteran guys who are great examples for rookies and also can help you win in big games. You know the game’s not too big for them, because they’ve been there and done that.”

Moss’ career started with the Jets, but he’s been with Washington since 2005. In his first season, he caught two touchdown passes in the final two minutes of a game to beat the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

Since then he’s been a Redskins fixture, and one of the players most associated with the team.

He’s also a wealth of knowledge for younger players, and isn’t afraid to share — he tells rookie receivers he’s always available to chat.

“These guys that come in every year keep me young,” he said. “I see them and the things they do, and it’s getting me hungrier to go out there and work harder.”

Finding a way onto the field will be a challenge for Moss, given the other talent the Redskins have at the position.

“How much he is going to be used? I don’t know,” Gruden said. “Right now, I like what he’s doing. I don’t think he’s lost a step. I think he’s still quick. I think he still knows how to run all the routes, which is good because he’s run them all.

“[For all the receivers,] I don’t exactly know how we are going to use them, how much we are going to use them, when we are going to use them, but I like the fact that [Moss] is a Washington Redskin.”

Moss is enjoying it too. He said when he eventually does retire, he’d like to try his hand at coaching.

He’s getting practice at that. He’s worked with practice squad receiver Nick Williams over the past two years, and has worked with Jackson and Roberts on their route-running.

That coaching career is on hold, though, while Moss works to find himself on an NFL roster for the 14th time.

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