Santana Moss

Jay Gruden comments on Santana Moss

Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden addressed reporters in Phoenix on Wednesday morning as part of the NFL Owners' Meetings.

His remarks were broadcast live on the team website. Below are some excerpts:

Santana Moss: Gruden said no contract has been signed with the receiver, and it likely wouldn't happen - if it does - until after the draft.

"I could always play with Santana," Gruden said. "Santana's a great person, was great in the locker room for us. I know he's going to be in great shape. I would not hesitate one bit to call him.

"We'll wait until after the draft, and see what we have as far as numbers at each position. ... We know where Santana is, and he knows where we are, and hopefully something may work out down the road."

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proCane Free Agent Signing Roundup

A lot has happened in the last 48 hours in the NFL as far as Free Agent signings and our proCanes have been at the center of it all with several proCane stars joining new teams. See a recap of all the action below:

Former 49ers RB Frank Gore signed a 3-year $12 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

Former Texans WR Andre Johnson signed a 3-year $21 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

TE Jimmy Graham was traded from the New Orleans Saints to Seattle Seahawks.

Former Giants S Antrel Rolle signed a 3-year $11.25 million contract with the Chicago Bears.

Former Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson signed a 1-year $1 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

OT Eric Winston re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Former Broncos OL Orlando Franklin signed a 5-year $36 million contract with the San Diego Chargers.

OT Jason Fox re-signed with the Miami Dolphins.

MLB Jon Beason re-signed with the NY Giants.

Notable proCane Free Agents still available: Chris Myers, Brandon Meriweather, Santana Moss, Colin McCarthy, Reggie Wayne, Vince Wilfork, DJ Williams, Darryl Sharpton.

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This Day In History: Redskins Acquire Santana Moss

No offense is complete without a go-to wide receiver. Once you have it, special things are in store.

The Washington Redskins rounded out their offense for years to come on March 10, 2005, when they acquired wide receiver Santana Moss from the New York Jets.
Just two games into his Redskins tenure, Moss interjected himself into Redskins-Cowboys rivalry by scoring two touchdowns late in a come from behind 14-13 victory.

He would go on to record a career-high 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns that year.

In 10 seasons with the Redskins, the Miami product recorded 581 receptions for 7,867 yards and 47 touchdowns.

Moss ranks third all-time in franchise history in receptions (581), fourth in yards (7867) and seventh in touchdowns (47).

While the pending free agent’s status with the team heading into the 2015 season remains unknown, his career with the Redskins is, and always will be, memorable. 

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Santana Moss Is Attending Classes At The U

Just leaving class, waiting on the cane shuttle like...bhiiiiii it's cold!!!

A photo posted by Santana Moss (@eighttodanine) on

Santana Moss has returned to the school where he made a name for himself on the field.

The 14-year NFL veteran attended Miami during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, smashing the school’s all-time receiving yards record (2,546) while also earning All-Big East Conference honors his senior season.

While at Miami, Moss was also hard at work in the classroom, majoring in Liberal Arts.

Now, 14 years after receiving his Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts, Moss is back in the classroom, this time as part of the school’s new Executive MBA program designed for professional athletes.

As explains, “it is an 18-month program that consists of six two-week residency modules at the School’s main campus in Coral Gables. The program, which will be taught by the same world-class faculty who teach in the School’s other programs, has the same curriculum as the School’s existing Global Executive MBA program, which meets on a similar schedule.”

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Has the clock expired on Santana Moss?

Santana Moss was relegated to an afterthought on Washington’s roster after last spring’s high-profile free-agent acquisitions of standout wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts.

Ruled inactive for the season-opener despite being healthy — a first in Moss’s distinguished NFL career — the longest-tenured Redskin didn’t sulk. Instead, he kept working in practice as if he’d be called upon any moment.

“I know what time it is right now in my career,” Moss said an interview at the time, alluding to the challenge of staying relevant at a skill position at age 35. “If I couldn’t do what I’m doing, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s just different times. I have to deal with something I’ve seen a lot of guys go through.”

As the 2015 season approaches, time may have expired on Moss’s career — at least in Washington.

If so, he’ll bow out as one of the team’s more distinguished alumni.

An all-American at Miami, where he was a Big East triple-jump champion as well, Moss was chosen in the first round (16th overall) of the 2001 draft by the New York Jets. Acquired by Washington in a 2005 trade for Laveraneus Coles, Moss established his value at once, setting the Redskins’ season receiving record of 1,483 yards his first year with the team — a mark that stands today.

In 10 seasons in Washington, Moss has played for four head coaches (Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn, Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden) and caught passes from 10 starting quarterbacks, beginning with Mark Brunell in 2011. He stands third on the team’s list of total receptions, with 581, trailing only Art Monk’s 888 and Charley Taylor’s 649.

It was somewhat of a surprise that Gruden kept Moss on the 53-man roster coming out of training camp, but the 5-foot-10, 193-pound veteran brought a welcome professionalism to the practice field. And he was a relative bargain, having signed a one-year deal for $1.02 million.

While Gruden voiced respect for Moss throughout the season, the first-year coach conceded he was often “odd man out” on a gifted receiving corps, given that he didn’t have a role on special teams. Jackson provided the explosive speed the coach coveted. Roberts doubled as a return specialist. Pierre Garcon delivered sorely needed blocking, in addition to the requirements for bruising catches in traffic. And the coach also was intent on developing a cadre of younger wide receivers, such as third-year speedster Aldrick Robinson (who was released in early December) and polished, precise rookie Ryan Grant.

Moss finally got in a game Week 6 and was active for nine more, finishing his 14th NFL season with 10 catches for 116 yards and no touchdowns. It was the fewest games and catches he’d had since his rookie year with the New York Jets.

The day players cleaned out their lockers following yet another last-place finish in the NFC East, Moss said that a 4-12 season wasn’t the way he wanted to end his career. While Moss said he’s not counting on another season in the NFL (he’ll turn 36 on June 1), he also vowed to continue training so he’d be ready.

“All the accolades, it’s in the past, it’s been done,” Moss said. “I’m just trying to win, and trying to be a part of something that wants to win. “And I never wanted to leave this place, so hopefully, I can continue to be a part of this place, because I know upstairs and the guys that are trying to put this team together year in and year out, that’s their focus, too. But I can’t predict it.”

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Santana Moss 'No Question' Still Wants To Play

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Mossicon-article-link lives each day and each season the same, with an eye on getting better and not on the possibility that his playing career may be ending soon. 

“Honestly, I’m treating this like another year,” he said. “I know I’ll put the stuff in my bag and put the bag in my locker and say I’ll be back later in the week for it, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

But for Moss, a 14-year veteran who recorded his lowest numbers in 2014 in terms of receptions and yards since his second season in 2002, the reality is this season may be different.

Throughout the season he was listed fifth on the team’s unofficial depth chart and was inactive for the first five games of the season, marking the first time he was a healthy scratch on gameday since being acquired by the Redskins before the 2005 season.

Regardless, Moss said he’s approached each day the same because it helps him “keep an easy head.”

“A lot of people go through a lot of stuff and we all go through different things and if you let it wear on your shoulders and think it every day, it’ll tear you apart,” he said. “So I just enjoy it and like I say, I never put any goals up. I never look ahead and I just hope for the best and that’s what I’m going to always do.”

If Moss did indeed play his last game with the Redskins, he’s left quite the legacy in Washington.

Drafted by the New York Jets 16th overall in the 2001 NFL Draft, Moss was traded to the Redskins on March 10, 2005, in a straight-up wide receiver swap for Laveranues Coles.

In only his second game wearing burgundy and gold, Moss had an all-time performance, recording two touchdowns late against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football to give the Redskins a legendary come-from-behind victory.

It was the start of an All-Pro season in which he would haul in 84 balls for a career-high 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns.

He currently ranks near the top in all receiving categories for the Redskins, as he’s third in career receptions (581), fourth in receiving yards (7,867) and seventh in touchdowns (47).

Throughout all the highs and all the lows, Moss said he’s appreciated everything he’s endured over the years.

“When it’s over, you appreciate everything that you put into it and the journey that you took with these guys,” he said. “It’s always fun going out there and preparing with one goal in mind and that’s to go out there win.”

Part of the fun for Moss, as well, is the fact every game and every season is different.

“We never know what the outcome is going to be, so you always anticipate something different than what happens and at the end, whether you win or lose, you still appreciate going out there and going through that battle with your friends and everything,” he said. “I just appreciate everything about this job. …But when it’s over and going through the stuff we’ve been going through, it’s kind of one of those feelings that’s okay, now we can really exhale and try to put that behind us.”

Before putting the final touches on cleaning out his locker, Moss was asked point blank if he still wants to play.

Moss was straight-forward in his response.

“No question," he said. "I barely played this year. You think I want to just go out like that?”

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Santana Moss fined $22,050 for tirade

ASHBURN, Va. -- The play cost the Washington Redskins seven points and a lot of momentum. It cost a lot more for receiver Santana Moss.

The NFL fined Moss $22,050 for his tirade at halftime of the Redskins' 24-13 loss to the New York Giants. Moss was upset, as were teammates and coaches, after officials overturned an apparent touchdown at the halftime gun by quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Griffin had dived for a touchdown, but after watching it on replay, officials ruled that he had lost the ball before crossing the goal line. Therefore, he had to regain possession through the play. But when he fumbled as he hit the ground in the end zone, they ruled it a touchback for New York. Moss shouted at officials as they left the field amid a cluster of Redskins and was ejected.

"I regret it but I don't take nothing back," Moss said about the tirade after the game.

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Santana Moss laments lack of chemistry with QB

ASHBURN, Va. - Santana Moss has caught just seven passes this year for the Washington Redskins. At age 35, he knows he might not be much in demand once the season is over.

That makes it a fair time to reflect on a good career that might have been even better, if only he could have played with a steady quarterback. And also to defend the first-year coach who made him a bench-warmer.

"I feel like I've been cursed," Moss said with a laugh. "Everywhere I've been, I've had a million quarterbacks, man."

Moss has averaged one quarterback per year, catching passes from 14 QBs since entering the league in 2001. An uninspiring list ranging from Jason Campbell (214) to Brooks Bollinger (2) has contributed to his 729 career receptions for 10,258 yards with the New York Jets and Redskins.

Not bad, but he says he could have had "numbers like the other guys" he feels are on his level if he could've developed some long-term QB chemistry.

"Never had a solid guy that I can really grow with," Moss said.

This year, the Redskins have used three starters: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. It hasn't mattered which has played as far as Moss' production is concerned: He was pushed low on the depth chart this year when Washington signed DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts to join Pierre Garcon on the receiving corps.

Despite first-year coach Jay Gruden's assurances that the chances would come, Moss didn't catch a pass until Nov. 30. All seven of his catches have come in the last three games.

"It [stinks] when you still can play at this age and you don't get a chance to do that all the time," Moss said. "I've been fortunate these later weeks to be able to go out there and have fun in this sport again."

But Moss isn't venting his frustration specifically toward Gruden or the Redskins in general. He said he wants to be back with the team next season, and he had a message for those who think Gruden is too forthcoming when discussing players' flaws in public.

"First year, man, you've got give him a chance," Moss said. "I've seen worse done in people's first year. But Jay's just a different type of coach. He's one of those guys that he might be misunderstood at times the way he says the things he says in the media, but to me it's just being blunt, it's being real."

Moss said Gruden doesn't say anything to reporters that he hasn't already said to a player.

"He'll actually say that stuff to you in your face," Moss said. "So if you want a coach to lie to you, then go find somewhere else to play because he's not going to lie. I'd rather you be straight up with me . . . If you're a player and you feel his criticism hurts you and affects you as a player, then you're not built for this game."
Gruden repaid the compliment.

"We only have so many balls to go around," Gruden said, "and unfortunately some of the receivers haven't got as many touches as they would like to have seen or that we projected early in the season . . . But Santana, I have been impressed with him all season. He has been a total pro, been a great leader in that receiver room and we are happy he is here."

Moss said he keeps coming back because he wants to win a Super Bowl, but that doesn't appear imminent for a team that went 3-13 last year and is 3-11 this season headed into tomorrow's game against the Eagles. The nonstop losing got the best of Moss when he was ejected from Sunday's loss to the New York Giants for arguing a ruling that overturned a touchdown, which, if nothing else, shows he still has some passion for the game.

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Santana Moss, Unaware of Ejection, Tried to Take Field Against Giants in Second Half

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Santana Moss expounded upon the events preceding his first-half ejection from Sunday’s loss to the Giants, in a radio interviewicon1 on Tuesday.

Moss was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, and tossed from the gameicon1, after arguing with referees for ruling Robert Griffin III had momentarily lost possession of the ball as he dove across the end zone, causing the Redskins to miss out on a touchdown as time expired in the first half.

Washington would head into halftime with a 10-7 leadicon1, as opposed to a 17-7 lead (presuming the PAT attempt would have been a success).

In the moment, Moss was furious; he would lose control of his emotions, and scream in the face of referee Jeff Triplette. He would also slap away the hand of another official trying to restrain him. The latter action would necessitate Moss to be ejected from the game.

Immediately after the fact, Moss was unaware he had even been disqualified from competing in the remainder of the game, he told 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes.
“Now, remember we’re on the radio, so try to keep it like PG-13. Can you take us through what you said to the refs?” Dukes asked.

“I can’t do that, because we’re on the radio,” Moss joked.

“Maybe like a brief summary?” Dukes pressed. “What was the essence of what you said: You guys are doing a great job, I just need some clarity?“

“That was a freaking good job,” Moss jokingly recalled. “Nah, man, it was all kind of f-bombs. I was in the moment. I really was. And like I said, I just felt like we had a chance to do some big things. You go up big in someone’s home, you can’t worry about records when it comes to our division games. Giants are a good team, regardless of what their record is. And any other team that we play in our division is gonna be like that. So when you’re up big in their home, and they gave you all they had this first half, and we were able to stand still and knock back with them, it was a dagger.”

“I went into the locker room not even knowing I was kicked out,” Moss added. “And I’m walking back out, and [Leonard] Hankerson said, ‘Hey, you know you’ve been tossed out?’ I was like, ‘Did they tell you that?’ I was hoping he was lying. But in the back of my head I was like, ‘What I did can’t get me tossed.'”

There’s reason to believe Moss in this instance, in that he could have been oblivious to having been thrown out. After the non-touchdown ruling, time had already expired, and the entire Redskins team was en route to the visiting locker room.

Still, the fact remains, the rule which negated Griffin’s touchdown halted a potentially pivotal momentum swing for the Redskins, a team which had lost its five previous games. The thirst for victory undoubtedly played a role in Moss’s outburst.

Some, like Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, have argued the rule is more disruptive than it is beneficial, and needs to be changed before it affects “a game of significance.”

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Santana Moss ejected for arguing

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Redskins receiver Santana Moss was ejected from Sunday's game against the Giants after arguing over a controversial call at the end of the first half.

Moss shouted at official Jeff Triplette as the Redskins walked to their locker room after a ruling cost them a touchdown.

A number of Redskins players and coaches were around the officials; receiver Pierre Garcon had to be pulled away as well.

The play that started the issue was an apparent touchdown run by Robert Griffin III to end the half. But after the replay, officials ruled that Griffin had lost possession of the ball right before crossing the goal line. Griffin regained it, but lost the ball as he hit the ground, resulting in a touchback.

That led to angry protests from the Redskins, including Moss, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and ultimately an ejection. Moss had caught one pass for 18 yards in the first half.

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Santana Moss: Redskins ‘Got These Cats Dry Snitching’ to Media

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Santana Moss says the Redskins locker room has a “dry snitching” problem. And it needs to stop.

Moss, making his weekly radio appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s “Chad Dukes vs. The World” on Tuesday, said he wasn’t as surprised as many that DeSean Jackson was the one to stand up in a team meeting and address the Redskins’ “divide and conquer” mentality. Although, Moss also thinks the purpose for Jackson’s speech was misconstrued.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize what DeSean was trying to say,” Moss said. “Basically, what he was saying is that regardless of whatever whose opinion, if you express your opinion, then you’re expressing your opinion and that’s where it should stop. He was kind of ticked off because whatever was said got out to the media, and people were saying things that maybe you and someone was talking about, or someone else was talking.”

“That’s got to stop, man,” he added. “You got these cats dry snitching and telling media in-house business.”

“Dry snitching,” according to Urban Dictionary, is to indirectly tell secrets or offenses to a person of authority or any person meant to be kept away from a secret or offense, sometimes inadvertently. If the telling of secrets or offenses is purposeful, minute details are usually left out as not to appear to be directly telling.

“They gonna find out a lot of stuff,” Moss went on to say of media. “They gonna ask a lot of questions, so if you’re one of the guys they talk to, you can tell ‘em a lot. But stuff that’s kept in-house, kept in that meeting room, in that locker room, you can’t go out and leak that out to sources or whoever.”

Asked to clarify what he meant, Moss drew a comparison of sharing personal information with a significant other, only to hear about it form someone else in the street the next day.

“When we express ourself [sic] in that locker room, that’s where it stops,” he said. “When you have some reporter come to you telling you something that they heard about what went on in the locker room, then you’re looking at them crazy, and you’re kind of spaced out wondering who’s around you that’s just taking your information and going elsewhere.”

Later in the interview, Moss would maintain the Redskins have no problems with media, a chord that’s been recited by multiple playersicon1 in the last week or so. “We have no problem with the media coming in and doing their job,” he said. “I know myself, personally, if they ask anything of me, I give ‘em what they want and I get out of dodge.

“But when it comes down to how we do things, I feel like they should let us do what we do. That’s our locker room.”

But then Moss was asked if he’s irritated at all with media’s apparent fixation with one player.

“I’ve been irritated with it, I mean to be honest with,” he answered. “It has to be tough on Robert. And that’s why I say, at the end of the day, you have to look at his standpoint, when it comes down to it’s always about him, regardless if it ain’t about him. It’s always about him. But at the same time, being the player that he is and how he came in, it comes with the territory. So my hat’s off to him.”

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Redskins sort out WR roles with Leonard Hankerson's return

ASHBURN, Va. -- Leonard Hankerson isn’t sure what to expect, and that’s not surprising. The Redskins aren’t sure exactly what’s going to happen either now that they have another receiver in the rotation.

Hankerson will play his first game this season on Sunday, after missing the first nine thanks to ACL surgery last December. Now that he’s back, the Redskins have seven receivers (unless they opt to release one of them to make room for nose tackle Barry Cofield’s return this week).

And that means someone will get less playing time. Clearly it won’t be any of the top three wideouts -- DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts. It's hard to imagine much changing with how they've been used and how many targets they receive. If Hankerson is comfortable in the offense, he provides the Redskins a receiver who can run routes from various positions and, at 6-foot-2, he's also their tallest. His blocking isn’t bad, either.

It could be -- and should be, if he’s right -- that Hankerson plays ahead of Santana Moss and even Ryan Grant. It’s hard to see how Aldrick Robinson would be active with Hankerson around if he couldn’t be without him on the roster.

“It’s a tough deal,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “The receiving room is very full, and they’re all very good. Santana can be productive in a lot of offenses. Same with Aldrick, and now you throw Leonard into the mix, and he’s another one [who] is a big receiver that has great hands and runs good routes. So, how we are going to use him, I don’t know yet.”

Hankerson isn’t worried about that just yet.

“I’ll do what I can to help the team, whatever it is -- whether it’s just standing on the sidelines or dressed,” he said.

Of course, a player in his spot wants to play as much as possible. Hankerson is in the final year of his contract. He needs to show the rest of the NFL that he’s healthy and can still play. But considering he’s played in 30 NFL games and missed 27, Hankerson won’t be in line for a big deal anyway. He has 81 career receptions and six touchdowns.

“That’s all individual stuff,” he said. “I’m not really caring about something individual. It’s all about wins and losses.”

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Santana Moss’ History Against The Dallas Cowboys

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss has made a career out of picking apart opposing defenses, whether it be fighting for every inch on short-yardage situations or speeding past defensive backs on long touchdown plays.

But, while he’s done it to just about every team in the NFL since joining the Redskins shortly before the 2005 season, his performances against the Dallas Cowboys over the years have left him with a nickname Redskins fans just love –The Cowboy Killer.

And, of course, during that 2005 season, he stole a victory right out of the Cowboys’ possession with less than five minutes remaining during a Monday Night Football matchup in Dallas.

In 16 games against the Cowboys as a member of the Redskins, Moss has recorded 83 receptions for 1,179 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Santana Moss remains firmly behind Kirk Cousins

ASHBURN, Va. -- He’s played with many quarterbacks, some of whom weren’t very good. That’s partly why Santana Moss also played on some bad teams. However, he’s also played with a number of quarterbacks who fared well.

And Moss thinks Kirk Cousins will end up in that category, which is why he wishes no change had been made at quarterback.

Cousins was benched at halftime of the Washington Redskins' 19-17 win over Tennessee after two more turnovers. That’s an issue he hasn’t been able to solve: He’s committed 23 turnovers in his 14 NFL games.

“I feel we’re in a tough situation as a team,” Moss said. “People are tired of what we’re going through so changes had to be made. … I understand turnovers are big and I don’t feel giving Colt [McCoy] a chance is wrong. But when you have a guy you’ve been trusting the last few years with this role and he’s coming up big for us, you just can’t turn on him because of a couple miscues.

“I feel he made a lot of great plays in the time he’s been in there to show us why he’s been the go-to guy when [Robert Griffin III] is not around. You don’t want to hurt his progress from saying, ‘OK, he’s been relied on the last few weeks and now we’re turning stray on him. I understand this game, it’s all about what have you done for me now, it’s all about winning, all about not turning it over. So when all that comes together, you lean the other way because you don’t want to see it anymore.”

Moss, echoing comments he made to 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes earlier in the week, remains a big fan of Cousins. He makes throws that Moss views as excellent -- the touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson against Arizona, where he stuck the ball just inside corner Patrick Peterson; the lofted pass to tight end Niles Paul for a 50-yard gain last week. Those throws could no longer trump the turnovers for the coaches, but Moss sees it as a preview on his career. Moss, 35, is basing it on Cousins' game, plus what he's seen in a career that includes 722 receptions. But more than a shot at the coaches' decision, his words were as much about a belief in Cousins.

“I see he knows how to run the offense well,” Moss said. “He knows where to throw the ball. When you give him time, he can pick defenses apart. Those are some of the things I rave about because I’ve been in offenses like that, been around guys who know where to throw the ball and when. Mark Brunell was like that. Vinny Testaverde. Chad Pennington. I’ve been around great quarterbacks who show me that.

“When you have that in a young guy like Kirk, who really hasn’t had a year that he can say has been his -- it’s always been a backup role. This year is almost like his first fresh year, even though he came in as a backup. He’s still young. He’s like a rookie. If I was in those shoes I wouldn’t want to break his mental of what he’s been working to be. I would try to work with him and get him out of that.”

Even late last week, before the Titans game, coaches remained confident in Cousins’ ability, so I doubt a whole lot has changed. Cousins needed to respond better to his mistakes. They appear to weigh too heavily on him. But he proved to one player that he’s worthy of another chance.

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Santana Moss Talks About His New Cherokee Indian-Inspired Tattoos

Recently, Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss decided that he wanted to get a new tattoo for the first time in about ten years. So he reached out to his Miami-based tattoo artist TattzbyD and arranged to get a mural—a huge mural—done on his legs. And that mural includes the faces of a handful of Cherokee Indians.

Moss' decision to get Cherokee Indians tattooed on his legs has raised a few eyebrows, because the Redskins are currently embedded in a controversy concerning their team name and logo. There are a handful of Native American groups who have petitioned the team to change both in recent years. But as he told 106.7 The Fan this week, Moss decided to get the tattoos to honor his mother's Cherokee heritage and not for any other reason.

"I've been wanting to do another tattoo for like the last 10 years," he said. "And one day it just clicked. You know, I've heard so much about my mom's side—she [has] a lot of Cherokee Indians in the family, starting back with my grandmother and her mom and their mom—so I just wanted to do something honoring them. And it came about, and I told [TattzbyD] what I wanted—look up some chiefs, look up this and that. And he just put a little mural together for me and he went to work on my leg."

Moss also delivered a message for anyone who doesn't like the mural: "Don't bother me," he said, "I won't bother you."


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Santana Moss: Sherman Has Something ‘Deep Down Inside’ He Knows He’s Unsure About

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Richard Sherman was quick to trash-talk after the Seahawks dispensed of the Redskins 27-17 on Monday Night Football, declaring that Washington receiver Pierre Garcon, who pulled Sherman’s hair in the game, “doesn’t matter in this league.”

Offered the opportunity to clarify his words, Sherman said, “I mean exactly what I said.”

Garcon took, I guess between the two, what would be considered the high road in his response to Sherman.

But Garcon’s teammate, Santana Moss, who’s found comfort relaying messages to fellow players through the media — like when he called Sherman “mouthy” — in the weeks in which he’s been inactive (the entire season, to this point), took things one step further Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking in his weekly radio appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s “Chad Dukes vs. The World,” Moss opened, “What more can you say to this guy? I mean you never win with him. So at the end of the day, Pierre did the right thing. Just leave it alone.”

But Moss, after being pressed again and again, wouldn’t leave it alone.

“He’s one of those guys that when things are going well, he wants to speak,” he said. “Things ain’t going so well, do you hear anything from him?”

“No,” Dukes replied.

“So there you go. I mean he shows that,” Moss said. “If he knows a lot about himself, he would shut his mouth and just play the game. He’s pretty good. You give him that credit. But at the end of the day, if you don’t have nothing to say when it’s not going so well, then don’t say nothing when it’s going well. That’s how I look at it.”

Moss would go on to describe the form of trash-talk that Sherman prefers as distinctly different from the kind Moss and his Miami teammates utilized in college, with Sherman’s style not being one rooted in self-confidence. “We wasn’t pointing guys out and saying that ‘he suck.’ We was just confident about ourselves and went out there and said we’re gonna kick whoever, and we went out and did it.”

“[Sherman] don’t really trash talk,” Moss clarified. “He hides who he is by trying to be a coward and get you out your game. That’s the difference between trash-talking. He knows he can get beat. He knows that he’s not as good as he portrays himself to be. He knows he’s on one of the best defenses. That’s why he’s hidden over there and he’s doing the things he’s doing. At the end of the day, has he shown up? Yes, he did. But he’s not a guy that’s just gonna sit up there and line up and play the game and shut his mouth; he wants to get you out your game so he can have an edge. And that’s the difference between trash-talking and being confident and just knowing that you’re a bad mother, than just somebody who knows that he fears that guy that he lines up against.”

Asked to clarify what he meant, specifically, when he said Sherman’s hiding who he is, Moss returned, “The guy can play the game, we know that. But when you hear a guy come out his mouth like that all the time, you know it’s something deep down inside that he knows that he’s not sure about.”

“If you’re sure, you’re gonna shut your mouth,” he said. “If you sure, you’re gonna shut your mouth. You’re not gonna go out there with nothing to say. Cause I’m [gonna] line up every time just knowing that at the end of the day, I’m gonna have x amount of times to beat you. Hopefully I come out on top. If I don’t, you had the better day. But you have guys like him — and it’s not just him, there’s a lotta guys [who do it] — but he’s just one of those guys that you always hear him blabbing off about this particular individual that he faced that day, just because that guy may not have the numbers that night, so he feel like he did a good job.”

To Moss’s last point, Garcon caught 2 passes for 23 yards in Monday’s Redskins-Seahawks game. Sherman had one pass defensed.

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Jay Gruden: Santana Moss is the odd man out

Wide receiver Santana Moss has been a healthy scratch in all four games this season, a development that he has admitted “hurts” after so many years as a key part of the Redskins offense.

It doesn’t sound like the pain will be subsiding anytime soon. Coach Jay Gruden said that the team feels Moss still has the talent to contribute to the offense, but that they feel the other five receivers on the roster can help them more and that’s left Moss on the outside looking in during the 2014 season.

“He’s just right now the odd man out,” Gruden said, via “[It's] nothing that he’s done wrong. It’s just we feel like we’ve got five receivers that are a little bit more useful, but we have a great deal of respect for Santana, what he brings to this team on and off the field. I would imagine that by season’s end, he’s going to get his reps and he’s going to get his looks. I don’t know when that will be though.”

There are certainly worse insurance policies to have at receiver than a player with Moss’s experience, although one wonders what the Redskins might do if Leonard Hankerson is cleared to come off the PUP list later in the season and they want to see what he can do.

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Santana Moss ‘Hurt’ He’s Not Playing: ‘I’m Not Here to be Collecting a Free Check’

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Santana Moss, who restructured his contract in 2013 to save the Redskins money and remain with the team, and re-signed this past offseason to play his tenth season in Washington (saying at the time, “This is what I live for&ldquoWinking, says “it hurts” to have not dressed for any games this season.

Moss, 35, wasn’t told in advance by team personnel prior to arriving at his locker in Week 1, to find no jersey waiting for him. It kind of ticked him off, he said then, wishing he had just been warned personally, all the while understanding it’s the reality for players every week in the NFL.

Now, four games into the 2014 regular season, Moss still has yet to dress for, much less play in an actual football game for the 1-3 Redskins. Four straight weeks he’s been a healthy scratch.

Moss, making his weekly radio appearance Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan’s “Chad Duke vs. The World,” was asked if not having dressed or played on a game day yet this season has left him bitter at all.

“Honestly, man, it hurts. It does,” Moss answered. “I’m not sure if it hurts more because I know these years count so much to me, or it’s just me knowing that I put so much in to be ready. And to be able to accept coming in knowing that it was going to be harder to just say, ‘Yea, I’m on this team.’ And all the other stuff, man, to finally be here and then sitting here and not being able to be a part of wins and losses. It’s just tough.”

“But with all that said, they know they got out of me,” he said. “They know how I come to work every day. I’m gonna keep working. I’m going to keep being positive. I feel like it’s always something good that comes out of situations like this. Knock on wood when I say this, but my career — regardless of how good it has been in a lot of people’s eyes — I’ve dealt with adversity like this before.

“And it seems like it comes to me in some kind of form, whether it’s missing a quarterback or being in some offense where I’m not getting the ball; some kind of form or shape or way I have to deal with something. For me to push through it, that’s all I’ve been doing. I’ve gotta continue to push through, and this is another obstacle I’ve gotta overcome.”

Asked how difficult it can be to see his teammates on the field knowing he could be out there helping them, Moss responded, “Well honestly, me — trust me — I don’t sit there and talk about ‘what-ifs.’ I’m not big on ‘what-ifs.’

“When I look back at situations, I believe in the guys they have out there,” he said. “No question. I go to war with those guys, any day. I’ll line up on the field with those guys, any day. I feel like all us on the field together would be such of a threat, and I was looking forward to that because I’ve never had that luxury. Yea, when P [Pierre Garcon] got here, we did some great things that first year. And then last year was ‘The P Show.’ It was ‘P and Our Tight Ends Show.’ So it sucks being a part of situations like that because that’s what I’m talking about, when it comes to, when you have so many weapons, use ‘em. I watched so many teams be successful using their guys, and that’s what we’re doing now. They have the guys out there.”

Moss understands why he’s not playing, although that doesn’t ease the pain of having to watch his team fight each week without him.

“I was just sitting talking to a fan, I’m like, ‘Honestly man, thinking about it: If I’m not gonna be playing, why dress me?'” Moss had a public moment of clarity. “That’s how I look at it.”

“So you have P as an X, you have Roberts, you have Andre in the slot, and you have D-Jacc [DeSean Jackson] at the Z,” he continued. “So where do I fit? I know where I fit, because when in doubt, if you ever need me — if something goes wrong — I’m there. But at this moment now, if those guys healthy and those guys out there making the plays they make, why dress me just to sit around and watch that go on. We don’t have the rotation that we had years before here, when it comes to those guys get a couple plays and a new batch come in. We’re not doing that. So that’s what runs through my head a lot because I see why I’m not dressing when it comes to that.”

“But the fact of me not playing, I would never be satisfied with it because I’m not here to be collecting a free check like that,” Moss said.

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Santana Moss: I Hate ‘Mouthy’ Guys Like Richard Sherman

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – During his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s “Chad Dukes vs. The World,” Santana Moss of the Washington Redskins was asked to name an NFL player he doesn’t like.

“You know what? I don’t have a problem with guys until I see these guys like the Richard Shermans,” Moss answered.

“Hmm. I don’t like him either,” Dukes said.

“It’s not even about, you know, you respect a guy when they go out and play the ball he plays,” Moss said. “I will respect anything when you go out there and you play the kind of ball, but I hate a mouthy guy. I hate a guy that talks so much to where, at the end of the day, that even when he had nothing to talk about, he still finds a way to talk. So them the guys I hate. So if there’s any guy like him, then I dislike him.”

“One of the things about it, too, is, after you beat — you beat an opponent — I’ve never gotten, then you go and you want to run your mouth,” said Dukes. “It’s like, you kinda win and act like you’ve been there. And then this past week when they went after him, when San Diego went after him, he didn’t address the media. He wouldn’t talk to anybody after that. And I was like, ‘Ah, well that kinda makes sense.'”

The Seattle Seahawks defense gave up 284 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air to Philip Rivers in their 30-21 Week 2 loss to the Chargers.
Sherman, who’s liberally referred to himself as “the best cornerback in the NFL,” was targeted early and often by Rivers.

Here’s Gregg Rosenthal for, after the game:

It’s rare to see the Seahawks’ pass defense so thoroughly dominated. They missed a lot of tackles and struggled with short crossing patterns. Rivers wasn’t afraid of throwing at Richard Sherman. They completed their first four passes toward Sherman for 56 yards.

Sherman, rarely one to avoid a microphone, declined to speak to media following the loss. He did have time to tweet, though (I guess, technically, most phones today double as microphones).

“And that makes you not respect a guy like that, because honestly, if you’re gonna have something to say when you’re up, you gotta have something to say when you’re down,” said Moss. “And I don’t look at the performance he put up as a down moment for him. Every cornerback in this league can get beaten. You’re gonna get a pass caught on you.

“So at the end of the day, regardless if it’s a touchdown or not, that happens. That’s why you play the position, because you have the best memory less. Every corner has to have that gift of having amnesia, and that’s something special about those guys who play that position. It comes with the territory, man. You wanna talk it, you gotta be able to talk about your highs and your lows. I’m pretty sure he’ll think about it, and next time around he’ll have something to say.”

The only shame here is Moss not having tweeted since Dec. 2011. Sherman loves engaging Redskins on Twitter.

The Redskins host the defending Super Bowl-champion Seahawks in Week 5 at FedEx Field.

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Santana Moss among Redskins inactives for second straight week

For the second consecutive week, Washington Redskins 14th-year wide receiver Santana Moss was made inactive by Redskins Coach Jay Gruden despite being healthy.

Moss, 35, has been one of quarterback Robert Griffin III’s more reliable targets the past two seasons, but because he has no role on special teams, he’s having trouble getting in the lineup. As he did for the season opener against Houston, Gruden chose to dress five wide receivers for Sunday’s home opener against Jacksonville (0-1): DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts, Aldrick Robinson and rookie Ryan Grant.

In addition to Moss, the inactives are: Quarterback Colt McCoy, Cornerback Tracy Porter, linebacker Akeem Jordan, guard Spencer Long, defensive lineman Kedric Golston and tight end Jordan Reed.

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Santana Moss was inactive in Week 1 but doesn’t sulk about it

In the rich tradition of high-maintenance NFL wide receivers, Keyshawn Johnson was arguably the prototype, writing his autobiography “Just Give Me the Damn Ball!” when just a rookie. Over the years, other pass-catching divas have taken their case for more throws directly to TV cameras.

Wednesday at Redskins Park, 14th-year wide receiver Santana Moss didn’t quibble or sulk after being scratched from the roster for Sunday’s season opener in Houston. If anything, he shied away from the media megaphone, ceding the locker-room interview sessions to his teammates while sitting alone on a couch in the hallway outside, waiting to get back to work on the practice field.

The 5-foot-10, 193-pound Moss has not taken his playing time for granted, even as a first-round NFL draft pick in 2001. Today, at 35, the senior statesman on Washington’s roster, his attitude is unchanged.

“It’s all about when I get an opportunity now,” said Moss, who until Sunday had not been made inactive for a Redskins game while healthy since joining the team in 2005. “Regardless of whether I’m out there Sunday or not, my work is put in every week. I can live with that. At the end of the day, I’m still working to try to be out there and have a chance to be able to be a part of what we’re trying to do.”

A standout sprinter, long jumper, triple-jumper and wide receiver in his college days at Miami, Moss has learned to adapt to different roles throughout his NFL career. He appeared in all 32 games the past two seasons as Washington’s third wide receiver, behind Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. Last season he caught 42 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns.

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Medley enters agreement with Santana Moss Foundation

Most everyone knows of Washington Redskins star wide receiver Santana Moss for his football talents, having grown up locally in South Florida and played football at the University of Miami.

But what very few know is that 13 years ago he established the Santana Moss Foundation, a group that helps give back to local communities in South Florida.
So what did that have to do with the Town of Medley when a Special Meeting was called this past Monday night?

The main purpose of the meeting was to pass resolutions surrounding the 87th Avenue Right-of-Way project, but also present at the meeting was Lily Stefano, the executive director of the Moss Foundation.

She was there to answer any questions the council had surrounding a new agreement the town council would ultimately unanimously pass between the Foundation and the town in which Medley will now be able to work with the Santana Moss Foundation and have that foundation serve almost in a capacity as an agent for the town in making applications for social services benefits.

Moss is a true local product having grown up and gone to high school in Carol City where he helped lead the Chiefs to the 1996 state championship before walking on at the University of Miami. He was awarded a scholarship after just his third game and went on to break the Hurricanes’ record (previously held by Michael Irvin) for most career receiving yards (2,546).

He was a first-round draft pick of the New York Jets in the 2001 draft before landing in 2005 with the Redskins, for whom he still plays.

“What this is is a direct agreement in which the Moss Foundation agrees to work, cooperate and file applications with the town for funding sources as well as not only funding but in some instances actually acquiring consumable goods,” said Medley Town Attorney Stephen Helfman. “The agreement is terminable by either party, meaning that neither is absolutely bound to each other. If for whatever reason the Moss Foundation finds that this is not in their best interest or if for some reason they feel in any way this is jeopardizing their mission or their rules and regulations, they can terminate or the town can terminate as well, provided there is 30 days notice.

“This new deal will now allow the Moss Foundation to serve as a conduit or vehicle through which the town can make applications for certain grants in particular and subsidies that would not normally be available to the municipality if we were to apply in our own name.

“If you work through a qualified not-for-profit foundation such as the Moss Foundation, which will be totally disclosed, then we are hopeful that that money can be channeled back through programs that benefit the residents of Medley,” said Helfman.

Moss doesn’t just put his name on it and turn it over to other people, either. He is actively involved in all of the projects during the offseason and indeed will make an appearance in the Town of Medley next February when the Moss Foundation holds a specific community fair event, possibly at Medley Town Hall.

“We were approached by the town, which asked if we could kind of serve as  the bridge to apply for grants and of course we said yes because that’s what we do,” said Stefano, who said the foundation has worked with numerous communities locally, including Miami Gardens, the City of Miami, Opa-locka and Liberty City. “Our foundation serves the purpose of giving back to the different communities in South Florida and we’ve been doing it for 13 years and are very proud of what’s been accomplished.”

Stefano said the foundation takes a lot of pride in reaching out to different people who can provide resources for the community.

“Sometimes members of the community don’t know where they can go to get certain information or whatever the case may be that they may need, so we bring everybody together,” said Stefano. “We introduce everybody and provide all the resources that allows them to get what they need. There are so many different grants that everybody can go after. You just have to know how to go after them and get them and that’s what we know how to do. We’re really excited and looking forward to working with the Town of Medley on something so worthwhile.”

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Santana Moss ‘Wasn’t Told, Period’ He’d Be Healthy Scratch for Redskins Season-Opener

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – When Santana Moss arrived at NRG Stadium ahead of the Redskins season-opener last Sunday, he discovered his jersey was missing from his locker.

For the first time in his 14-year NFL career, Moss had been designated a healthy scratch.

Finding out the way he did was “like no process I have ever experienced in my life,” he told 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes on Tuesday.

“Honestly, man, it’s something that, you know, I’ve seen many guys that have dealt with this week in and week out, and I never knew what it felt like until I was a part of it,” he said.

The Redskins made some key additions at the receiver position – DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts and 2014 fifth-round draft pick Ryan Grant are all new to the team – and after factoring in mainstays Pierre Garcon and Aldrick Robinson, Moss is competing against a loaded roster for the right to appear in uniform on Sundays.

“I really don’t have much to say about it,” Moss said. “It’s just that we’re all on this team, and there’s gonna be times that you’re not needed that day, and if they don’t need you, you won’t have a jersey in your locker.”

For Moss, the lone issue wasn’t finding out he’d been scratched, but rather how he found out.

“I really wasn’t told why, but I kind of knew,” he said. “I really wasn’t told, period, you know? But, just being me and keeping calm, and not trying to let the situation be about me – because it wasn’t about me. My thing is, I’m a part of this team, and it’s many guys that have to do that, come in on Sundays sometimes and they’re not up, because you might need another guy for this reason or that reason.”

And Moss, the consummate professional, even after his storied history with the franchise, doesn’t feel he deserves any special treatment.

“Just because I played so long and have been doing what I’ve been doing, it don’t make me an exception to have to get more or be told differently,” he said. “I was kind of curious, but I just let Sunday be Sunday, and let those guys go out there who had to work, who have the chance to go out there and get us a win. That’s what I was worried about. And then I kind of sort through and found out why I wasn’t up. It’s something that we all go through, and I’m just hoping not to have to go through it too many more times.”

If anything, not being needed Week 1 has motivated Moss. “I’m gonna look at the positives of it, and still go to work every day and show them that me not putting on that uniform last Sunday just kind of stirred up another little flame inside me, and I’m just gonna keep working hard.”

However, he does maintain he wishes he’d been warned ahead of time.

“It would have made me feel a little better about it, because if someone sat me down and said, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on,’ because, honestly, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it if anyone would have came and just told me straight out,” he said. “But I wasn’t told that way, so that’s why I said I didn’t want to make the situation more about me; I just wanted to let Sunday be Sunday, let us go out there and have the best chance we have to win, and then I ask questions later.”

“Yea, and then, being as you hadn’t been through anything like that, you didn’t know what to expect,” Dukes said.

“Yea,” Moss said. “And that’s the only thing that kind of ticked me off, because I hadn’t experienced it, and you hate to experience it the way I experienced it.”

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Santana Moss: ‘I know what time it is in my career’

Santana Moss didn’t quibble or sulk after being scratched from the lineup for Sunday’s season-opener at Houston. Instead, he got back to work Wednesday with the same attitude he has had since joining the Redskins in 2005, taking nothing for granted.

“It’s all about when I get an opportunity now,” said Moss, 35, who’d never been made inactive for a Redskins game while healthy. “Regardless of whether I’m out there Sunday or not, my work is put in every week. I can live with that. At the end of the day, I’m still working to try to be out there and have a chance to be able to be a part of what we’re trying to do.”

A first-round draft pick in 2001, Moss has learned to adapt to different roles throughout his 14-year NFL career. He appeared in all 32 games the past two seasons as Washington’s third wide receiver, behind Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. Last season he caught 42 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 10.8 yards per catch.

But this season, Moss has been shuffled back further on the depth chart following the high-profile additions of receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, combined with the evolution of Aldrick Robinson and promising debut of rookie Ryan Grant.

Working primarily with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins during training camp, Moss was precise with his routes and sure-handed with catches. It was enough to solidify his place among the six wide receivers that Coach Jay Gruden retained on his 53-man roster.

ooking to Sunday’s home opener against Jacksonville, Moss should represent a proven option in the slot receiver role, particularly given the hamstring injury that has sidelined tight end Jordan Reed.

But Moss isn’t grandstanding for a role, shying away from the media megaphone this week while going about his work on the field.

“I look at stuff different than people who might look at stuff and put their head all high and feel like they’re supposed to be this or supposed to be that. I don’t look at it like that,” Moss said in an interview. “I feel like every year is a challenge to even be here, especially at my age and playing as long as I’ve played.

“I know what time it is right now in my career, when it comes to how things are going. If I couldn’t do what I’m doing, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s just different times. I have to deal with something I’ve seen a lot of guys go through.”

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Santana Moss sits

HOUSTON -- Redskins receiver Santana Moss was named a healthy inactive for the first time in Washington.

It's only a mild surprise, but I wasn't sure if they would opt for Moss and his experience or rookie Ryan Grant. But considering how much they gushed over Grant this preseason -- publicly and privately -- it's not a huge shock that Moss would be inactive. Moss was last inactive in Week 11 of 2011, but that was for an injury.

The one reason that this decision gave me pause: Moss' ability to return punts if something happened to Andre Roberts (yes, DeSean Jackson could pinch hit quite well if that was the case). Both players can run routes from any of the three receiver spots -- you would expect that from Moss given his experience. But it also reveals how far along Grant is as well.

The other inactives weren't surprising at all: quarterback Colt McCoy, corner Tracy Porter, linebacker Akeem Jordan, guard Spencer Long, tackle Morgan Moses and defensive end Frank Kearse. Both Porter and Jordan have injury issues that sidelined them for Sunday. Porter has been dealing with a hamstring injury while Jordan has a sprained MCL. Long and Moses are rookies and, this preseason, showed that they have a lot to learn.

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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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Santana Moss' Continued Adaption Results In Touchdown

Fourteen-year veteran Santana Moss approaches each game with the same mentality, regardless of what is role is going to be on that particular day.

“I’m one of those guys, that when opportunity knocks, I just try to be there,” Moss told Larry Michael, Voice of the Washington Redskins, after the Redskins’ Week 3 preseason game vs. the Baltimore Ravens. “My role is changing year after year, and (I) just try to make sure that I’m in it and know that, when I’m out there, I have to be accounted on.

“I always tell myself, regardless of my role, I think like a No. 1 (wide receiver.)”

Moss gave the Redskins their first touchdown of the night midway through the third quarter, nabbing a Kirk Cousins pass for an 11-yard touchdown.
Lining up in the slot, Moss took a sharp cut on an in route, creating separation from his man, and scampered past three Raven defensive backs into the end zone for the score.

In total, the two-time Pro Bowler logged three receptions for 27 yards.

While all three catches came in the second half, Moss doesn’t concern himself with the amount of playing time he’s getting -- or when he’s getting it.
“I think like a guy that’s been out there the whole game,” he explained. “Because it’s easy to get cold and not be ready, so I always try to be ready.”

His experience rubs off on some of his younger teammates, as Cousins remarked that having Moss play with the second-team “gives him a lot of confidence.”
“It’s fun when you go in with the twos and you have a guy who’s played 14 years in there with you,” Cousins said after the game. “It gives you a lot of confidence as a quarterback, and he showed again tonight why he’s on our team and why he’s Santana Moss.”

Moss, along with five-year veteran Andre Roberts, is listed as a second-team wide receiver behind Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson on the unofficial depth chart.

But his value goes far beyond where he’s placed on that list.

“He is a very valuable asset to this football team not only from an experience standpoint (but) from a leadership standpoint in that receiver room when you have young guys looking up to some veteran leadership-type guys,” first-year head coach Jay Gruden said during training camp. “Santana is a perfect guy to look at. ... 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.

"I like the fact that he’s a Washington Redskin.”

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Santana Moss scores impressive touchdown from Kirk Cousins pass

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss is 35 years old and has played in the NFL for 14 years. But the guy can still play and he proved that once again with a nice catch-and-run score in Washington’s third preseason game versus the Baltimore Ravens.

Watch the video of Moss’ touchdown (coming via a Kirk Cousins pass) with 3:23 left in the third quarter below:

The catch was one of three for Moss on the evening. He has 27 yards total, 11 of which came from his touchdown. The score cut the deficit to 13-10, though Baltimore would add another touchdown soon after to push it back to 20-10 in favor of the Ravens.

Moss caught 42 passes for 452 yards and touchdowns last season during Washington’s 3-13 campaign.

Cousins has also put forth a nice effort for the Redskins versus the Ravens. He has 76 yards and the touchdown on 8-11 passing, good for a 121.8 passer rating. Unfortunately for Washington, their starting quarterback didn’t fare as well. Robert Griffin III threw for just 20 yards on 5-8 passing.

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No longer a top receiver, Santana Moss has become a teacher, adviser and locker room leader

RICHMOND — An adorable little girl wearing a pink Washington Redskins jersey and pigtails thought she missed her chance to meet wide receiver Santana Moss, who signed every football, jersey and miniature helmet put in front of him after practice here the other day. Headed to the locker room, Moss noticed the frowning child and doubled back, giving her his autograph and a hug. His thoughtfulness wasn’t surprising.

Entering his 14th NFL season and 10th with Washington, Moss, the Redskins’ longest-tenured player, continues to set a positive example. Although his statistics have declined along with his role in the offense, Moss still occupies an important position on the team. He’s a tell-it-like-it-is leader who believes that with success comes responsibility. When he finishes his work each day, Moss proves it.

While many players often ignore fans’ pleas to sign items and pose for pictures, Moss spends significant time working the rope line. It’s not uncommon for Moss to accommodate late-arriving spectators. Fans, Moss said, have helped him provide a great life for his family. He owes them — and never forgets it.
“They’re out here, watching us, supporting us,” Moss said. “They’re doing that, so I can take a little bit of time out. You know what I’m saying?”

Absolutely. Moss sees the big picture. It became clear to him early during a productive career that eventually will end with Moss ranking high on the franchise’s all-time receiving lists. Long ago, Moss developed a simple approach to playing in the NFL, “and it’s really about just staying true to myself.”

“I know ‘Father Time’ is going to catch up to all of us,” he said. “Depending on how it catches up to you, you have to determine what you still can do. As long as I can be an example — show the guys how to work, show the guys how to make plays and how to be [professional] — then I feel like I’m doing my job.”

Even late in the game, Moss continues to get the job done. Formerly Washington’s longtime No. 1 wideout, Moss, 35, no longer possesses the speed that helped him set a franchise record with 1,483 receiving yards in 2005. Younger players have passed him on the depth chart. And after three consecutive seasons in which his yardage totals have decreased, Moss figures to only have a bit part under new coach Jay Gruden.

Coaches want Moss on the roster, though, because they have learned to rely on him. In countless situations over the years, Moss has proven his dependability.

“He’s a consummate pro and a great leader” in the locker room, offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. “With all the experience he has, a whole lot of guys look up to him. I mean, what a great job he has done over the course of his career. It’s a credit to him, being a No. 1-type player, to be able to transition to [a reduced role].

“But he has been able to do it, and do a great job with whatever we’ve asked him to do, because he’s so smart. What a smart player he is . . . being able to play all three receiver spots for us. He understands exactly what we’re trying to get done. He understands situational football. He’s an asset.”

He’s also a great teacher. Inexperienced wideouts regularly seek Moss’s counsel. Some ask him to critique their route running. Others pepper Moss with questions about how to attack the defense. No matter how much time they need, Moss carves out enough.

President and General Manager Bruce Allen enjoys watching Moss work with up-and-comers. “He’s handled himself, his entire career, the same way,” Allen said. “He has become just a great role model for the younger receivers.”

Not only receivers. You don’t have to be in Moss’s position group to benefit from his wisdom. When Moss talks — which is often — about how to prosper in the NFL, most in the locker room listen.

“He’s my favorite player,” fullback Darrel Young said. “For a guy who’s in Year 14, to still be out here outrunning guys, taking care of his body, not missing any days of camp and not wanting a day off . . . he’s special.

“That’s why he has been playing for as long as he has. He understands the game and what you have to do to stay in this game. I love him as a person. He’s a good dude. But he also takes people under his wing. He helps people make it. It’s not about being selfish. He shows that.”

When the Redskins talk about Moss, you get the sense he’s well suited to coach someday. Moss does, too. “When the time comes when I can’t do my job,” he said, “then I’ll be on the side with those guys [receivers] probably helping them as a coach.”

But that’s down the road. Moss can still play. Just ask his teammates, coaches or the fans along the rope line.

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Santana Moss going extra mile to survive in NFL in their mid-30s

RICHMOND — Most NFL rookies couldn’t survive three weeks of training camp without their PlayStation or Xbox.

Ryan Clark’s one essential is the blue cooler he brings to practice each morning and sets on the sideline, never far from view, so he can trot over at scheduled intervals for a sip from one of four bottles inside.

He drinks Amino matrix, rich in essential acids that boost energy and hasten recovery, throughout the two-hour workouts. Another bottle contains Red 54, packed with antioxidants from beets, carrots, cabbage, blueberries, pomegranate and other super-foods. There’s potassium-rich coconut water for the halftime break, and an extra bottle for any teammate who wants one. And he drinks a protein potion afterward.

The cooler, which Clark packs himself, is just one of the extra measures the Pro Bowl safety takes, at age 34, to keep his starting spot in the NFL.

“It’s just about training and being focused on the job,” said Clark, whom the Redskins re-signed this offseason after eight seasons with Pittsburgh. “At my age, I can’t do exactly what 21- and 22-year olds do for training because I have to last the whole season. So it’s an ever-evolving process, whether it be diet, weightlifting, running —whatever keeps me explosive, keeps me ready, keeps me able to play the game.”

For the most part, the Redskins’ roster has gotten younger under general manager Bruce Allen. But this season, the team will lean heavily on 30-somethings at key skill positions — Clark at free safety; strong safety Brandon Meriweather, 30; cornerback DeAngelo Hall, 30; and its fourth wide receiver, 35-year-old Santana Moss, the longest tenured Redskin.

Counting nose tackle Barry Cofield, 30, and recently acquired defensive end Jason Hatcher, 32, who’s on the mend from knee surgery, the defense has five projected starters who are 30 or older.

For all the focus on the third-year quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Redskins’ fortunes may well hinge on whether these NFL veterans can stay healthy and hold back the clock for one more season.

Clark and Moss, in particular, are leaving nothing to chance.

Clark spends most of his offseason working out in Scottsdale, Ariz., with trainer Ian Danney, who counts NFL linebackers Terrell Suggs and James Harrison among his clients.

Moss, entering his 14th year in the league, employs a staff to help keep him in game-shape virtually year-round. With help of a nutritionist and personal chef, he overhauled his diet three years ago, shedding nearly 20 pounds to get back to his optimum playing weight of 193. And he has kept the weight off by rigorously adhering to the principles he learned: abandoning his beloved junk food for lean meats, a heavy diet of vegetables and banning carbohydrates after 4 p.m.

Moss also has an Ashburn-based chiropractor, a masseuse and an Atlanta-based trainer on call to ensure his muscles and soft-tissue stay intact.

“You have to pay to play,” Moss said in an interview this week. “You have to spend the money on your body so you can always be tip-top.”

No one is kept on an NFL roster for sentimental reasons. The moment a player can’t perform, he’s replaced. Even when a player is having a Pro Bowl season, his team devotes the college draft and free-agent signing period to bringing in challengers for his job.

These days, that jockeying starts Day 1 of training camp.

That’s a change from a decade or so ago, when many NFL players stopped working out once the season ended, letting their weight balloon and fitness slide as a reward for months of hard hits.

Today, the Redskins’ strength and conditioning staff sends each player home at season’s end with a detailed workout plan. It’s voluntary, but ignored at their peril.

“When they come back, we’re expecting them to be ready to go,” said Ray Wright, the team’s strength and conditioning coach. “We don’t have time in April for them to lose a bunch of weight and un-do what they’ve done in three months.”

In Wright’s experience, players who report out of shape don’t last long.

“They won’t be your Ryan Clarks or your Santanas or your London Fletchers,” Wright said. “Ryan and Santana definitely are paying that price to continue to play as long as they can.”

A two-sport athlete much of his life, running track and playing football, the 5-foot-10 Moss was always diligent in the weight room. But after breaking his hand midway through the 2011 season and missing four games, his production lagged, dropping from 93 catches the previous year to 46. Though he looked fit outwardly, still hitting the weights hard, he felt winded on the field for the first time in his career.

“Ridiculous!” he says now.

So he phoned Wright and asked for help.

That led to Richard Ingraham, a Miami-based chef who cooked for the Heat’s Dwyane Wade. Moss hired him, as well, that offseason. He started cycling. And he shed 20 pounds by spring workouts.

“If it weren’t for the people who are taking care of me today, I wouldn’t be here, still doing what I’m doing,” Moss said. “I don’t take for granted anything that I do in life because I know that nothing is promised to us. That’s why I take my job very seriously.”

The Redskins’ front office has also gotten serious about players’ nutrition. In the early years of Daniel Snyder’s ownership, players were fed fast-food and boxed lunches provided by Bojangles’ and Chicken Out.

Under Allen, the team has hired a registered dietician and chef and built an elaborate kitchen and dining hall at Redskins Park that prepares three meals daily for players and coaches.

It’s a boon for Moss, a fan of the pizza with whole-wheat crust.

“The only reason I didn’t eat as healthy as I should was because I was working out and training and on the go,” Moss said. “What makes you go eat nasty is when you have to go eat something that’s not prepared.”

Coach Jay Gruden is also doing what he can to extend his veterans’ careers, giving occasional days off to the 13 Redskins on the roster who are 29 and older.

Because they’ve played in more NFL games than younger players and tend to watch more film, Moss and Clark see plays develop even before the ball is snapped. That anticipation helps compensate for anything age has taken away, Wright says.

And even though the Redskins are awash in speedy, talented wide receivers with DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts joining Pierre Garcon, Gruden has singled out Moss as a player who “can do everything.“He is a veteran guy who has been through a lot of big games, played a lot of big games, caught a ton of balls, touchdowns, been there, done that,” Gruden said this week. “So he is a very valuable asset to this football team not only from an experience standpoint [but] from a leadership standpoint.”

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett says much the same for Clark.

“Ryan is here for a number of different reasons: To help us win games, to help run the defense, to help grow the whole secondary,” Haslett said. “His presence has helped the whole offseason. And we’re going to expect that leadership from him.”

Clark, however, has been careful not to cast himself as anyone’s mentor.

“I look at all of us as brothers,” Clark said. “It’s not like I try to come in here and be anybody’s grandfather or father. What I try to do is be part of the group. And when you are part of a group, guys see the way you work. They see the way you pay attention to detail. They see how focused you are about each rep. As you do that, if they feel close to you, that’s when they ask questions.”

There are times Wright surveys the field and forgets how old Moss and Clark are. They seem to see the game so slowly, yet react so quickly that for a moment, the trainer who played football at Duke can’t recall for a split second whether they’re 23 or 33.

By Week 6, both will be 35, approaching an age that a generation ago was reserved for NFL punters, kickers and the most sturdy quarterbacks.”

And the younger Redskins are taking note, even as they try to take their jobs.

They sidle up after meetings and pick their brains over lunch. “How can I do what you do?” they want to know. “How can I play at such a high level for so many years?”

It’s enough to make Wright believe that in a few years, the sidelines at Redskins training camp will be lined with 40 or 50 blue coolers.

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Redskins' Gruden praises Moss but says veteran's role is uncertain

RICHMOND—During OTAs, some were wondering if Redskins receiver Santana Moss would end up on the wrong side of the roster bubble. He was about to turn 35, the team had signed two big-ticket free agent wide receivers in DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts and drafted Ryan Grant. And there was a new coaching regime in place and nobody would have been surprised if Jay Gruden wanted to go younger at the position.

But when he was asked about Moss in June Gruden had some high praise. “Santana, he’s had an excellent offseason program, man,” said Gruden. “He’s fun to be around, he’s fun to watch, he knows every position, he’s making big plays out there. He looks like a young kid, he’s got energy, he’s a great leader.”

Fast forward to training camp and Gruden’s praise for Moss continues. “Santana is a veteran guy and he can do everything also,” said Gruden. “He’s a guy a lot like Andre [Roberts] where he can play inside and outside. He is a veteran guy who has been through a lot of big games, played a lot of big games, caught a ton of balls, touchdowns, been there, done that. So he is a very valuable asset to this football team not only from an experience standpoint [but] from a leadership standpoint in that receiver room when you have young guys – Ryan Grant – guys looking up to some veteran leadership-type guys.”

But Gruden still doesn’t know exactly what role Moss will play. “How much he is going to be used? I don’t know,” said Gruden. “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. Like I said, from the personnel grouping standpoint, if you line up with two receivers who are those two going be? Three receivers, who are those three going to be?”

Now, things aren’t as up in the air as Gruden indicates. If there are two wide receivers they are going to be Pierre Garçon and Jackson. If a third trots onto the field it is likely to be Andre Roberts. After that, it remains to be seen.

Moss seems to be nearly a lock for a roster spot but an outstanding preseason by a couple of the younger receivers like Cody Hoffman could put him on the bubble. But even if he makes his, his exact role and how many snaps he might get per game are very much up in the air. 

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Santana Moss’ Mentality Still The Same

Throughout the many changes that inevitably occur in the NFL, Santana Moss has been a consistent X-factor for the Washington Redskins over the last decade.

Moss is entering his 10th season with the Redskins and 14th season overall. During his time in Washington over the past decade, Moss has excelled, as he ranks in the top-five all-time in career receptions (571) and career receiving yards (7,751).

Moss is a resilient leader who brings a significant amount of experience to a talented young group of wide receivers. After playing 187 career regular season games with 135 starts, he knows what it takes to be a serious competitor at football’s highest level.

“Every year you should come in with that hunger to try to go out there and take what everyone else wants in this league. And that’s the ultimate trophy, that title,” Moss said. “And I think every team in this league comes in with that same mentality, the same goal.”

Moss clearly has high expectations for the team this coming season and is ready to compete for a coveted spot on the final 53-man roster.

“It’s up to see who wants it more and that’s how we gotta play, how we gotta practice,” Moss said. “Regardless if you got a chip or not, we all have the same goal, every team in this league. Only two teams can get there, only one team can win it.”

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Santana Moss will have to fight to stay on Redskins’ roster

As training camp approaches, Mike Jones takes one final look at a player who finds himself competing for key roles this season, and is in a position battle this preseason.

Two offseasons ago, the Redskins made moves that knocked Santana Moss down from the No. 1 receiving target to third. Now after this past offseason, another offseason of action at wide receiver, Moss’s role looks as if it could diminish even more. At this training camp, he will have to fight just to remain on the roster.

After seven seasons as Washington’s go-to guy, Moss moved to the slot receiver role when Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan joined the team in 2012. Moss continued to contribute, ranking third in receiving that season, and even last year – despite some ups and downs – he ranked a distant second among wide receivers because of struggles by the now-departed Morgan.

The 35-year-old’s contract expired this past offseason, but Washington re-signed him to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal on the same day they inked new slot receiver Andre Roberts, but three weeks before they unexpectedly added ex-Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson.

The top three wide receiver jobs appear to belong to Pierre Garcon, Jackson and Roberts, leaving Moss with an undefined role.

Moss this training camp will battle with third-year pro Aldrick Robinson, second-year receiver Nick Williams and rookie newcomers Ryan Grant, Cody Hoffman, Rashad Ross, Jerry Rice Jr., Rashad Lawrence and Lee Doss for two to three roster spots. Once Leonard Hankerson receives clearance in his rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament surgery, he too will join the competition.

But the 35-year-old Moss remains unfazed by the situation.

“I’ve never not had to go work for my job,” Moss said earlier this spring. “So at the end of the day, there’s always competition. Like you say, you all will rate where somebody’s at. I never did that. I went out here and worked. That’s why I’m able to be here today is because I’ve always showed instead of talked about it. So I’m gonna continue to do that. I’m gonna go out here and practice hard and put everything on tape and at the end of the day, you can judge on the tape.”

During offseason practices, Moss’s motivation and determination were evident. His experience and versatility also shined through. He lined up at all three receiver positions at various points, and played as fast and effectively as ever. He didn’t look like a player approaching the sunset of his career.

“Santana, he’s had an excellent offseason program, man,” coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s fun to be around, he’s fun to watch, he knows every position, he’s making big plays out there. He looks like a young kid, he’s got energy, 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 onto the next one, man.’ ”

“He’s a great guy to have for these young guys to learn from at the receiver position, and every position for that matter,” Gruden said following an offseason practice. “He’s working out hard. He’s the first one out there today again, 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. He’s another one that’s going to help this team out.”

Garcon and Jackson will hold the two most prominent pass-catching roles, with coaches also expecting a lot from Roberts. Tight end Jordan Reed will also be heavily involved, yet Moss does offer something unique.

In his 13 seasons in the NFL, he has seen and experienced it all, which enables him to fill any role. That also allows him to serve as a leader and teacher on a young unit. But with Garcon and Jackson well-established in the league, and former long-time receiver Ike Hilliard as the position coach, it remains to be seen what kind of a value Washington places on Moss’s intangibles.

Aldrick Robinson’s history of inconsistent play and a lack of versatility, and Hankerson’s history of injury and inconsistencies would seem to help Moss’s chances because from a depth standpoint, beyond Garcon, Jackson and Roberts, Washington has no proven backups. But strong play this summer from some of the new young faces could prompt coaches to worry less about experience and focus more on the future.

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Santana Moss says having to work for a roster spot is nothing new to him

Santana Moss turned 35 this month and has played 13 NFL seasons. The Washington Redskins made upgrades at his position this offseason  by signing wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts as free agents.

But when it was suggested to Moss last week that he faces more competition than usual to secure a spot on the Redskins’ season-opening roster, he said the situation is nothing new from his perspective.

“I’ve never not had to go work for my job,” Moss said following an offseason practice at Redskins Park. “So at the end of the day, there’s always competition. Like you say, you all will rate where somebody’s at. I never did that. I went out here and worked. That’s why I’m able to be here today is because I’ve always showed instead of talked about it. So I’m gonna continue to do that. I’m gonna go out here and practice hard and put everything on tape and at the end of the day, you can judge on the tape.”

Even so, Moss acknowledged that his approach to the sport has changed in recent seasons.

“Honestly, the more you hear, the more you’ve been around this league, you mature a lot more and appreciate what you’re doing a lot more,” he said. “For the last four or five years, my appreciation of the game has been a little different. My approach is very different especially when you’ve got these young fellas coming in. You want to show them how to prepare, show them how to practice and just show them the reason why I’m still here because I can go out here and play this game. My approach has been different but at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun.”

Moss had 42 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns last season as the Redskins went 3-13 and then fired Mike Shanahan as their coach. Moss said there’s plenty of work to be done to ensure that things will be different under the team’s new coach, Jay Gruden.

“You can’t put it on a scale right now,” he said. “I just feel like last year things didn’t go as well as we had planned. And it should have. I feel like the coaching staff, they did a tremendous job of getting us ready every week. At the end of the day, we went out there and laid the eggs. But it’s not just on the offense, the defense or the coaching staff. It’s on everybody.  Right now we’re trying to build so we don’t have that same lapse. So right now you can’t put it on a scale how different it is. But so far, so good.”

A coaching change always brings optimism in the NFL, Moss said.

“When it’s new, everything is all good,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s new. It’s just like getting that new girlfriend. You had the old one and she got on your nerves. The new one ain’t gonna get on your nerves until down the road. When it’s new, everything is all good.”

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Santana Moss can still help

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss can still help the team win games and is having an excellent offseason, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden added that Moss is working out hard, is the first one out on the field and provides great leadership for younger players.

Fantasy Tip: What Gruden is saying is all fine and dandy, but Moss is still no lock to make the final roster. If he does make the team, it’s best to leave him on waivers, where you might be able to pick him up as a bye-week replacement.

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Santana Moss: 'Ain't too much changed'

ASHBURN, Va. -- The lack of another receiving weapon for years left Santana Moss without much help. Or without anyone to deflect attention. That’s changed the past couple years, though, so, too, has Moss’ role.

And there’s even more talent now.

“It’s fun to be around all these guys,” Moss said, “now that I’m much older. But there’s no age. When you’re out there you’re out there so it’s fun to have different targets.”

The question is, however: Will Moss benefit from those targets in games this fall? Or will he struggle to make the roster? Moss turns 35 on Sunday and is coming off a season that featured 42 catches, but he also dropped seven passes. His drop rate of 8.9 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Information, was better than only six of 145 players listed.

If he makes the team he’d no longer be the Redskins’ starting slot receiver. Not after they signed Andre Roberts (and then added DeSean Jackson). More likely, Moss is an insurance policy in case Leonard Hankerson isn’t ready to open the season. Or in case rookie Ryan Grant will take a couple of years to develop. Moss signed a one-year contract with a signing bonus of only $65,000, making him easy to cut if necessary.

"I don't have any decision made right now," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said, "as far as our starting two, three, four wide receivers or five wide receivers."

Regardless, Moss, who has caught 571 passes in his Redskins’ career, can’t be bothered by any of this.

“I let you guys do all the worrying,” Moss said. “I don’t worry myself. I put stuff on tape and at the end of the day I make it undeniable for a coach to have to question me. That’s all I do, man. I’ve never been a negative guy so therefore I think positive and as long as I think positive and do what I do, what I know how to do …”

He cut off his sentence and pointed out that he looked sharp in practice. Indeed: Moss looked the same, even catching one deep ball down the left seam. What does it mean? It’s only May, after all. To Moss, though, it means something.

“If you’re watching out there,” he said, “you can see ain’t too much changed.”

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Both proCane Redskins' thirtysomethings must produce

They’re hardly a new Over the Hill Gang, but they do have a lot of thirtysomethings on their roster. Which can be viewed in multiple ways: A) They didn’t get younger after a season in which they went 3-13 and needed to rebuild, at least defensively; B) A lot of teams ahead of them in this ranking are quite successful; with age comes experience and savvy.

September will be when we’ll start to see which way the Redskins go. But, for now, we’ll just take a look at their players who are at least 30 years old. Washington is tied for eighth in the NFL with nine such players, according to ESPN's Field Yates. Oakland leads the way with 13, and you never want to be in Oakland’s company, but among the other teams ahead of Washington: San Francisco (12), New Orleans (11) and San Diego (10). All made the postseason. Arizona (10) went 10-6; Chicago (12) and Pittsburgh (10) both went 8-8.

But at the other end: Super Bowl champion Seattle has three such players while AFC champion Denver has six.

So what does it mean? Your players over 30 had better produce. Seven of their nine thirtysomethings play defense; four play along the line. Is it good that a defense coming off a tough season has that many older players? The Redskins appear to have taken a win-now approach with the hope of finding young guys in the draft to groom. That’s fine, but it had better work, otherwise they’ll just be old and slow.

Another note: The Redskins have four players who are 29 (three on offense, all linemen). Their offensive nucleus is young and can help now and in the future. But elsewhere the roster will be in transition for a couple years.

Anyway, here’s the Redskins' thirtysomethings:

WR Santana Moss (34): He’s not a lock to make the roster and if he does it’ll be as a backup, barring injuries. If Leonard Hankerson is healthy Moss would have to be sixth on the list at receiver (also behind Aldrick Robinson). At this point Moss is insurance.

S Brandon Meriweather (30): Signed back on a one-year deal. With Clark here, he’ll be able to play more in the box, where he’s best suited. But he needs to improve his consistency with tackling and positioning. Maybe a year further removed from knee surgery will help, too. But his troubles didn't all stem from being slow or late. Had Phillip Thomas not been hurt last summer, Meriweather might not have returned. But he was hurt, so the alternative was to re-sign Meriweather or find another player in free agency. They did not view the non-expensive options as better. As for Thomas, Lisfranc injuries can be tricky, so it’s tough to know how he'll look this summer.

See the rest of the 30 somethings here.

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D-Jax signing hurts Santana Moss' roster chances?

ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim believes Santana Moss' road to making the roster became more difficult when the team signed DeSean Jackson.

Jackson's signing shifts Andre Roberts into the third-receiver, slot role formerly manned by Moss. Turning 35 in June, Moss was a shell of his former self last season, struggling to a 42-452-2 campaign. Moss will likely have to beat out one of Aldrick Robinson or Leonard Hankerson in training camp to keep his job.

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Santana Moss Never Questioned Re-Signing: ‘This Is What I Live For’

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - When the Redskins approached veteran receiver Santana Moss about possibly re-signing with the team, he didn’t have to think about if for a second, he told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Friday, because he wanted to be here.

Asked if he thought about how he’d fit into Jay Gruden’s offense, Moss quickly said he did not, prior to re-signing to play for the Redskins for another year.

“I didn’t have to look at the offense and all that,” Moss said. “That didn’t matter to me. I wanted to be home, and I didn’t have the chance to have to go look at film and see if I want to have a fit; when they gave me the opportunity to come back, it was no question that I was wanting to be there, so I signed on.”

Moss, 34, will be 35-years-old by the start of the 2014 NFL season. But that doesn’t matter to him either, he said, and he’s never once thought about the amount of mileage on his body, or how much less wear and tear he’d have had he been playing out of the slot his entire career.

“I never have to question myself about what I want to do, because this is what I live for,” Moss said.

“My thing is to play ball,” he said. “Regardless of the situation, I just go out there with my heart, my soul, and just try to make sure that I can give my all for my team because that’s all that matters.”

As for plans for future retirement? Well, that’s a simple answer too.

“When I can’t play no more, you’ll know because you won’t see me around no more,” Moss said. “But until that date comes, I’m gonna keep playing.”

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Contract breakdowns Santana Moss

Santana Moss is not a lock to make the team. The Washington Redskins expect Clifton Geathers to be on the roster. That’s the assumption one can make after checking out their contracts.

Neither one of those statements is a big surprise; when Moss was signed, myself and others wrote that he was not guaranteed anything. His contract backs that up as Moss only received a veteran minimum deal -- a $65,000 signing bonus and a base salary of $955,000 (but he would only count $635,000 against the salary cap if he makes the roster. The minimum salary benefit takes effect so his base, for cap purposes, would be $570,000).

The only guaranteed cash in the deal for Moss is the signing bonus. The Redskins still think he might be able to help, hence the sort of contract he signed. But I doubt their quest to add another receiver will end; indeed, Kenny Britt is visiting Tuesday. Also, if Leonard Hankerson is healthy and looks good in training camp, that wouldn’t be good news for Moss, unless the 34-year old shows he can still play. But Hankerson and newly-signed Andre Roberts can play in the slot. Aldrick Robinson can as well, but not to the same level as the other two.

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Redskins re-sign WR Santana Moss

The Redskins have re-signed veteran wide receiver Santana Moss to a one-year deal, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed.

Moss, entering his 14th NFL season, turns 35 in June. Last season he recorded 42 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns.

It remains unclear what type of role Moss will have considering the team earlier on Tuesday came to an agreement with slot receiver Andre Roberts.

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Garçon On Moss: 'We Need Him Back'

While all good things must come to an end, there are those in Washington that want to see Santana Moss back in the burgundy and gold next season.
The 13-year NFL veteran recently finished his ninth season with the Redskins, putting up modest numbers with 42 catches for 452 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

This was his lowest season production since 2002, his sophomore season in New York. But the impact that cannot be quantified is the leadership Moss provided to a young offense.

His role in the locker room is one of the many reasons why fellow receiver Pierre Garçon wants him back.

"I would love him to come back," Garçon recently told ESPN 980. "He definitely helps me out with my game, and it helps everybody in the receiver room with a definite leader on our team.

"We would definitely love him to come back and definitely need him to come back to help our offense to move forward."

With veteran Joshua Morgan also headed for free agency, Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson still developing, the Redskins may have a need at receiver.

Even if the Redskins look for a long-term answer in the draft, Moss provides the type of veteran guidance necessary in the locker room.

"He’s definitely a great player, definitely a leader in the locker room, definitely a leader in the NFL," Garçon said. "He’s been around for a long time, definitely playing well, and I love what he does."

And Moss has been at it for a long time in Washington, putting up elite numbers that land him as one of the best receivers in franchise history.

In Week 6, Moss surpassed 7,500 receiving yards with the Redskins, joining Art Monk (12,026), Charley Taylor (9,110) and Gary Clark (8,742) as the only players in team history to reach the milestone.

In Week 9, Moss recorded the 700th reception of his career, becoming the ninth active player at the time to reach the milestone, joining Tony Gonzalez, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Jason Witten, Wes Welker, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith and Larry Fitzgerald.

Moss’ 700th career reception was also the 549th of his tenure with the Redskins, tying Gary Clark for third-most in team history. He later took full possession of third place, trailing only Monk and Taylor.

In Week 11 at Philadelphia, Moss surpassed the career 10,000-yard milestone, becoming the seventh active player to do so, joining Tony Gonzalez, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

In Week 15, Moss caught a 3-yard touchdown, the 48th of any kind with Washington. He tied running back Stephen Davis for 10th in team history.

If he were to return, Moss would be reunited with receivers coach Ike Hilliard, who oversaw Moss' eight touchdown 2012 campaign in Washington.
Garçon believes Moss can return to his 2012 form and still produce on the field.

"He's a slot receiver, he’s a punt returner, and he can take it to the house," he said. "We definitely would love Santana to come back.

"We [would] have Santana, we have Jordan Reed, we have myself, we have whoever else that they sign in free agency. But he’s definitely a weapon we can use right away."

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Redskins stay or go: WR Santana Moss

Position/name: WR/Santana Moss  
Age: 34
2013 cap number: $4 million
2013 stats: 42 receptions, 452 yards, 2 touchdowns

Background: Moss’s career is winding down. That cannot be debated. What the Redskins must decide, however, is this: does the slot receiver have enough left to help them win in 2014? Last season, Moss recorded the lowest yards per catch average of his career (10.8) and, with eight drops, ranked 83rd in catch percentage (54.5), according to Off the field, though, Moss is a locker room leader and a mentor to the team’s young players. He also shared the Media Good Guy Award for routinely answering reporters’ tough questions as the losses mounted.  Still, the question remains: Does the good outweigh the bad?

El-Bashir: Stay—It’s usually a bad business decision to re-sign an older player after his production drops off as precipitously as Moss’ did in 2013. But to me, if there ever were a reason to make an exception to that rule, Moss is it. The reason? Veteran leadership will be critical in a rebuilding year and, with London Fletcher retiring, Moss is the logical successor. Remember when Moss called out Robert Griffin III for not accepting enough responsibility? Few players had enough juice to say something like that. And you know what? It worked; RG3’s tone changed. In the long run, RG3 will be a better teammate because of what Moss said. On the field, Moss should be good for 500 snaps, 40 receptions and 400-plus yards. I say sign him to an affordable, short-term deal. He’ll earn it with his presence alone.

Tandler: Go—I certainly get the importance of locker room leadership and Moss has been one of the best on and off the field since joining the team in 2005. But all good things must come to an end and 2014 is the years for Moss’ Redskins career to end. He had the worst season of his career in 2013 after having the second- and third-worst years of his career the two previous seasons. He turns 35 on June 1 and the chances of him getting better are as slim as those of RG3 and Mike Shanahan vacationing together in Cabo. The Redskins need to move on and give those snaps to a younger player. Yes there will be a leadership vacuum in the locker room but such situations have a way of working themselves out. I didn’t notice Pierre Garçon having much problem being blunt about Griffin’s struggles last year. 

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Santana Moss: Kyle Shanahan ‘one of the young great coaches of this league’

Many Redskins fans will watch with interest as Kyle Shanahan takes over the mediocre Browns offense next season. If Shanahan and the Browns prosper, there will be unhappy grumbling. If Shanahan and the Browns struggle, there will be satisfied gloating.

Santana Moss, who spent the last four years with Shanahan in Washington, appears confident that Shanahan will succeed.

“I think it’s great, honestly,” Moss told Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan when asked about the Shanahan hiring. “It’s tough what we all had to go through these past couple of years together. And just to see one of the youngest coaches – to me, I think, one of the young great coaches of this league – not have a chance to really shine with the offense that he had, it was tough seeing us not be as good as we’re supposed to be.

“But I think Cleveland has a great coach,” he continued. “The offensive players should all get real amped about what he’s going to bring to their offense. … If you’re really rolling in that offense, everyone should be able to eat and have fun with it. We had our share of years where we all got a chance to see that. It’s just last year was a tough one for us. But I think the players up there in Cleveland should be amped up, knowing what kind of offense is coming to their team.”
Moss was then asked how much offensive control the younger Shanahan had as the situation in Washington spiraled downward in 2013.

“Honestly, as a player, you don’t always know what’s going on,” Moss said. “Coaches put you in place to go out there and have an opportunity to perform, and I think every week that’s what he gave us. Every week he came up with a way that we can run different concepts with our offense that we should be able to get open. And as a receiver, we had those chances a lot.

“There wasn’t a week that I could go out into a game and say that the defense could cover what we’re running, as long as you hit the right guy that’s open,” he said. “Every week, he brought that for us. And he was the guy that you’re gonna love. He gets right to the point. He’s a young guy, so at the end of the day he’s just like a player. He has the same mindset. He’s going to go out there, and if he’s allowed to, he’s gonna run the score up if he has the right kind of guys, as far as running those plays he’s calling. I think no player on that Cleveland team is gonna be disappointed with the kind of coach they got, because he’s gonna be out there for them. He only wants them to do better and do good, because if they do good, then it’s gonna make him look great.”

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Which Longtime Redskin Deserves To Be In The Super Bowl? Santana Moss

A few thoughts come to mind on the topic of which player NFL players would most like to see in a Super Bowl:

Redskins angle: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was the only Washington player to receive any votes (he got three). If you’re seeing him in a Super Bowl it probably means he returned to the dynamic ways of his rookie season. Who wouldn’t want to see that on the biggest football stage of all?

But if I had to pick one Redskin? Santana Moss. Nobody has been through more garbage in Washington than Moss. Since being acquired in a trade in 2005, Moss has played on three playoff teams. But he’s also been a part of five double-digit loss seasons, not to mention the worst part of it all: the death of his friend and teammate, Sean Taylor. Through it all Moss has acquitted himself well and with class. Reed Doughty and Kedric Golston were around for all those seasons as well, but Moss has them beat by a season and he’s been a key part of the offense. Of course, this also could have been his last season in Washington.

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Moss on Skins’ Season: ‘It’s Been Some Sh*t Man’

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - The Washington Redskins finally brought an end to their miserable 2013 campaign with a 20-6 loss to the Giants on Sunday.

As you might imagine, 3-13 wasn’t the record most Redskins’ players would have predicted to start the season – or fans, or media, for that matter – coming off the team’s 10-6 record, and first NFC East championship in thirteen years in 2012.

Just how bad was this season for the Redskins?

“It’s been some shit, man,” said veteran receiver Santana Moss delivering the quote of the year, when asked to sum up the dreadful 2013 season.
The 34-year-old receiver has experienced just three winning seasons in his nine years as a Redskin.

While the tailspin is finally over, things may get worse before they get better in Washington.

Head coach Mike Shanahan – who told reporters after the loss he’d have a conversation with Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder about his future with the team on Monday morning – is largely believed to be on his way out.

With that expectation comes an uncertain future for the franchise, which would then have to embark on its fifth coachingicon1 search since 2000.

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Santana Moss won't reflect on Redskins career

ASHBURN, Va. -- He was here for three magical playoff runs and two horrendous finishes. He’s survived two coaching changes. He became an instant hero early in his first season here, catching two touchdown passes to win at Dallas.

He’s also experienced the lowest of the lows: the death of teammate, and friend, Sean Taylor.

But this could be it for Santana Moss in Washington. After nine seasons, Moss will become a free agent after the season and, considering he turns 35 in June, the end is near.

At one point this season the Redskins viewed Leonard Hankerson as a future slot receiver, making Moss expendable. Hankerson’s torn ACL complicates that, as does the fact that head coach Mike Shanahan might not be here in 2014. Would a new coach want to re-sign an aging wideout?

If this is the end for Moss, he’ll go down as one of the best wideouts in franchise history. Moss ranks third in catches with 569 and fourth in receiving yards with 7,738. His 48 touchdowns are tied for 10th best with former running back Stephen Davis. Moss did this during a pass-heavy league; he also did it with constant change at quarterback and in various schemes.

But the one thing you learn with Moss: He doesn’t like to reflect; he doesn’t like to address the future. He only likes to talk about what’s going on right now. So this might be his last game in a Redskins uniform after nine seasons?

“I don’t even talk about it,” he said. “It’s nothing I can control. All I got to do is control what I control, and that is to go out and play ball come Sunday. Why sit back and try to be the superior on something that’s going to be either given or not. I can’t do nothing about it.”

It’s an attitude that helped Moss endure rough seasons or even games where he’s not being targeted. He’s always been about what he can control. He’s always been consistent. In fact, and this is rare, I don’t recall him ever turning down an interview or being rude with reporters. Even when seasons are going bad, as this one has, Moss still sits at his locker, listening to his music. If a reporter happens over, he’ll take off his earphones and answer every question. I remember when the Redskins traded for Moss in 2005 (safe to say they liked giving up Lavaraneus Coles to get him; worked out well) and hearing that he could be up-and-down with the media. That hasn't been the case here; it's all been up.

Moss survived in part because he’s smart, fast, quick and a good route runner. As his speed decreased -- he had back-to-back seasons averaging better than 17.7 yards per catch in 2004 with New York and ’05 his first in Washington -- he became a clutch receiver on underneath routes.

Moss might not scare defenses anymore, but his production isn’t much different than two years ago when he caught 46 passes (a 47-pass drop-off from the previous year). He has 40 now.

If Moss doesn’t return to Washington, he’s shown he can still help. Even last week, he returned three punts for 35 yards. He started taking better care of his body two offseasons ago, when he was in danger of being cut. Earlier in his career the knock on him was he wore down late in the season.

As his career winds down, it’s natural to wonder what’s next for him. Not that Moss wants to do so. He shook his head at whether or not he’s weighed retirement, saying he’s only thinking about Sunday’s road game against the New York Giants.

And he did say this about his nine seasons here:

“It’s been a beautiful experience. It’s nothing I can ask for more. But I’m not trying to have that conversation now, about how much fun and all that. That’s something we’ll do down the road. I enjoy every day regardless of what day it is or what year it is. Even my four years before these nine years, I enjoyed those also. Every year it’s going to be something different.”

But, for the past nine years, one constant was Moss.

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Santana Moss: RGIII deserves chance to get healthy

Before word began circulating that Kirk Cousins was almost certain to start Sunday’s game in Atlanta, Santana Moss was asked about such a possibility. During his weekly appearance with LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan, Arrington — who strongly opposes such a move — asked Moss what that would say to the locker room.

“My perspective of it would be a little different, just knowing what we’re trying to get accomplished and what you would want from Robert leading up to the next season,” Moss said. “At this point right now, when you don’t have anything but to be a spoiler and to go out there and play with pride and try to win as much as you can these last three games, you would want Robert to at least have a fair shot at being healthy this offseason. Because that’s what we think really hurt our chances from being better this year: him not being there the whole offseason, to be able to put in the work that’s needed to be that quarterback.”

That was surprising. After some counter punching from LaVar, Moss said he could see both sides.

Regardless, he can clearly see the flames lapping at Redskins Park. Dukes asked him where this season’s madness ranks amid all the dysfunction he’s seen since joining the Redskins.

“It’s up there,” Moss said. “Honestly, it’s up there. We’ve had some things, and as the years go by you forget about a lot of it, so you can’t really rate it and judge it amongst the other stuff you’ve been through as a team. But with this organization and this team, it kind of allows me — honestly — to not let it bother me. Trust me, the most I hear about what’s going on is when I’m here with you guys and when I have to talk to [the media]. Other than that, I’m zoned out.”

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Santana Moss rips officiating

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss made it clear why he drew his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty Sunday night. He also made it clear he could draw a lot more if all it takes is for him to say something was a “B.S. call.”

That’s because Moss said he’s seen plenty of calls that would qualify.

“It’s been the worst by far since I’ve been in the league,” Moss said. “I just know it’s been some crappy calls.”

Moss drew a 15-yard penalty after being called for holding in Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the New York Giants. He directed his ire at the official. It sounded like Moss was not only upset with that call, but others that have – or haven’t – been made.

“We’ve been going through this all year where they haven’t given us the call when we deserve it or they call us for holding when it’s crap,” Moss said. “We’ve been going through it. I have to learn how to handle myself in that situation better, but when you’re in the heat of the moment stuff like that happens.”

Moss said he’s seen inconsistency with how officials call catches, whether in games involving the Redskins or others around the league.

“It’s probably been worse this year as a whole,” Moss said. “You got guys catching balls and they take two steps and they get tackled and the ball comes out and after they hit the ground and it’s no good and the other guy does it the next week and he gets the catch. Come on. Someone has to change that rule. ... I understand some things being changed but some of that stuff is crap. Hopefully somebody who’s in a higher position can really watch this season alone and see some of the stuff that’s being called.”

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Santana Moss offers views on Redskins coaches

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Given a chance to endorse Mike Shanahan to return as coach of the Washington Redskins, Santana Moss and Robert Griffin III took very different approaches.

Veteran receiver Moss gave a solid vote of confidence to the coach who has a 24-36 regular season record near the end of the fourth year of a five-year contract, while the young franchise quarterback's response was hardly campaign-speech material.

"The grass ain't always greener," Moss said Wednesday. "I've always lived by that, learned from my father. At the end of the day, this is RG's second year, and it wasn't the second year that (any) of us hoped for. He had to deal with an offseason of just rehabbing and getting himself back, so you almost automatically got to feel that you have to give him another chance to really show that this offense can be ran the way it should be under him and these coaches."

Griffin's answer was more circumspect.

"Everyone's going to have an opinion," Griffin said. "And it's an outside opinion. ... Whenever you have a year like we're having, sitting at 3-9, we had higher hopes and higher expectations, people are going to try to sink the ship and our job is not to focus on that stuff."

Pressed specifically for his opinion about the coaching staff and the future, Griffin replied: "I think these guys have a great future, and I love having them here, and that's all I can say."

The difference could be attributed to a savvy 34-year-old knowing better than an upstart 23-year-old the best way to deal with potentially tricky questions, but Griffin's answer led to more questions, along the lines of "How would you describe your relationship with the coaches?"

"Whenever you have competitors like us, losing can be tough," Griffin answered. "But at the end of the day, just like when I came in here, me, Coach, (offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan) and all the rest of the coaches and all the rest of the players, we all want to win and that's a winning recipe, whether you do it on the field or not. So that's the way I look at it. We're all competitors. We all get heated at times, but at the end of the day, we all want to win."

It can be argued that "we all want to win" is a pretty low baseline - after all, everyone wants to win - so Griffin was asked how much trust he has in the coaching staff.

"At much as it can develop in a year-and-half, two-year span," Griffin said. "I haven't spent a lot of time here, obviously. I haven't spent a lot of time in the league, and it takes time to build that trust over time with a coach."

Griffin will likely have to endure at least four more weeks of similar questions. The Redskins will be playing for pride in December with an eye on the future, and the much-analyzed Shanahan-Griffin dynamic will be front and center.

Griffin had one of his better games of the season in Sunday's 24-17 loss to the New York Giants. He completed 16 of 17 passes in the first half, and his receivers dropped several passes in the second half. His passer rating topped 100 for only the fourth time this season.

If Griffin can maintain that momentum this week against the Kansas City Chiefs - particularly if the Redskins pull off the win - it would temper the outside noise.
"We were really clicking," Griffin said. "And we've just got to find a way to channel that for a whole game and not just for a half."

When Mike Shanahan was asked about the relationship with his quarterback, the coach joked about why they don't spend time together at the local pub - "He doesn't drink," Shanahan said - and, more seriously, cited the importance of the coach-QB bond.

"I think we've got a good relationship. ... I think it's always been good," Shanahan said. "I know some of the things I read (say) it's not always that good, but I've always felt it's been good."

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Santana Moss on the crowd at FedEx Field

After the Redskins lost two straight at home — running their home mark under Mike Shanahan to 11-20, if you include the playoffs — several local sports-talk shows talked about Washington’s apparent lack of a home-field advantage.

Chad Dukes brought the question to Santana Moss on Tuesday, during the latter’s weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan. Dukes mentioned how you could hear Giants fans chanting “De-Fense,” and cheering for Victor Cruz on Sunday night. After a pause, the veteran wide receiver said this.

“You know, I try not to let that bother what I have to go out and do — for all the years that I’ve been here — because you do worry about that at times,” he said. “I hate seeing the other team tailgating, and they’re flicking you off, and you’re home. You know, I can take it when I go away, because that’s what it’s supposed to be. I hate when their team is in the game and you just hear [visiting fans] more. I hate all that stuff.

“I hate to be on the cold side of the field, and the other team has the sun on their side. I hate a lot of that stuff about what goes on. But at the end of the day, I try not to let that be about what we do out there on the field, because our job is bigger than that.

“But it is what it is,” Moss concluded. “When I came here it was like that, so you learn to accept it. And I feel like as a player, it shouldn’t bother you. It shouldn’t bother what our whole goal is to go out there and do that day. So at the end of the day, that’s why it doesn’t really bother me. But I do hate a lot of that.”

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Santana Moss: The Ball Was in RGIII’s Hand Last

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Santana Moss wasn’t too appreciative of RGIII crediting the Redskins receivers’ inability to get open on the final play as reason for him throwing the interception that secured their 24-16 loss to the Eagles on Sunday.

“At the end of the day, I was seen with the ball in my hand last, as a quarterback I’m saying,” Moss told Lavar and Dukes on Tuesday, “and if it didn’t get done then I’m going to let you know it was me.”

Moss was simply asked to respond to Griffin’s comments about the Eagles knowing every play that was coming, and his receivers not being open, which forced him to try to throw the ball away in the back of the end zone — an attempt which fell short of the desired effect.

“We had a certain concept with running and nobody got open so I was backing up, and in the situation where you get a sack there, it ends the game,” Griffin said, via the Washington Post. “I was trying to throw the ball to the back of the end zone. It didn’t get to where I wanted it to go.”

“I’m trying to find the right words, man,” Moss prefaced on 106.7 The Fan, before unloading. “You know, I think before I speak, because a lot of times if you don’t think, nothing gonna come out right.”

“Honestly man, just like I sat here a couple of weeks ago and talked about when I felt that Pierre was wrong for speaking out about anything that’s in house, as a leader, when you know you’re a leader, you don’t have to be told, or you don’t have to tell people you’re a leader, one,” he said.

“Two, as a leader, you understand that if you’re involved in the situation, whether you’re the receiver, the quarterback, the guys making the tackle, whoever, regardless of the outcome, good or bad, you have to at some point, stand up and say ‘me’ or ‘I,” Moss went on.

“And just to finish up man, I just get tired of, and just to be honest with you, I get tired of stuff that people allow to be taken to stretch longer than what there really is, because as a person, we’re able to give you what we want to give you.

“We can lie to you every time we come on air about something that’s going on. So for you to allow someone to take what you say out-of-context, and make it more than what it is, then to me I feel like you’re allowing that. You are letting that be more than what it really is.

“If we’re going to win games, we need to win games with our guy saying ‘at the end of the day, I didn’t make a play,’ regardless of if it wasn’t him. And that’s how I feel. Because that’s what we’re out there to do. I’m not sitting here to tell you why it didn’t happen, or who didn’t make the play for me to make a play.

“If I’m the guy, that’s at the end of the day have the ball in my hand, and we’re sitting there and the game is over because of me, I didn’t do enough to make the play. I didn’t do enough to help us win. And that’s what I would do.

“So my opinion on whatever was said, which I don’t know what was said, you just told me a lot, it ain’t called for,” Moss continued. “It should be someone who’s doing whatever they’re doing for us, when it comes down to us doing these interviews, needs to step up and talk to the guys that’s doing these interviews, to know what to say and when to say it. Because I don’t feel like it’s being said enough, and it’s getting tiring.

“It’s kind of boring right now for us to be going through this right now, and we’re at, what? How many games have we lost this year? 3-7? I’m not going to sit here and talk to you about all that man, I’m trying to win games,” Moss said.

“And you’re having to talk to us because of maybe what somebody else said, or maybe they should have been told that that’s not something you should say,” Dukes observed.

“It bothers me,” Moss said. “And I hate being bothered by stuff like that because it’s not called for, man. At the end of the day, I can tell you, I know everything and anything that went on, and I can tell you something so differently that make you believe it, and you can just leave it there and fight next week to be better.

“I don’t need to be going back and forth in the media about who didn’t do this and who didn’t do what. At the end of the day, I was seen with the ball in my hand last, as a quarterback I’m saying, and if it didn’t get done then I’m going to let you know it was me. Whether it was me or not. It was me. And I’m going to get better. And we’re going to get better together.”

In an earlier segment, Moss defended Mike Shanahan and his ability to lead the team into battle, saying the team still responds to him.

“To be honest with you, he’s far from lost us,” Moss said. “I mean we’re nowhere near, you know, what he says, we listen loud and clear. And like I said before, I’ve said this numerous times. When it comes down to coaching the team, I think he’s one of the best that’s done it. I’ve been around a lot of coaches and he prepares us well.”

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Santana Moss’ Son Encountered One Nice Fan In Philadelphia

Don’t be deceived. Even the nicest looking fans in Philadelphia are merciless, throaty critics who indiscriminately spew a stream of invective at even the most innocent offender. At least that’s the stereotype.

Those Philadelphians (Philadelphites? Philadelphonics?) picked a fight with Clinton Portis’ mom.

They forced one of their own to plead for an end to the booing.

They booed my grandma for taking too long to write a $2.00 check for milk at the checkout counter. Okay that last one didn’t happen, but you see where I’m going with this.

Eagles fans are tough to please. They can be  intimidating for visiting fans. But according to Santana Moss, there’s at least one good guy at Lincoln Financial Field.

“My first game that I let my parents come to an away game was in Philly back in ’05, and my son was there,” Moss said. “At the time he probably was 5 years old. I heard the story when I got home – then we beat Philly that night.

“This guy yells, ‘Redskins suck!’ and my 5-year-old says, ‘No, the Eagles suck!’ And the guy was like, ‘Man, you know what? I’m going to let that slide because I like your dad.’

“The whole area died laughing. I was like, man, my 5-year-old could have got my mom and my folks in some trouble that game. But the guy — I’m glad whoever that guy was, he respected my family and respected my son enough to give him that credit. But I know most Philly fans ain’t that easy with opposing team fans.”

Moss said although he doesn’t like being insulted during the game, he respects the effort by the heels of the NFC East.

“I don’t know who’s worse, Philly or New York,” Moss said. “They both have fans that really come to the game to make sure that you know they’re at the game. To me I think that’s great fans. You want to make sure that the opposing team doesn’t like you.”

Don’t be deceived. Even the nicest looking fans in Philadelphia are merciless, throaty critics who indiscriminately spew a stream of invective at even the most innocent offender. At least that’s the stereotype.

Those Philadelphians (Philadelphites? Philadelphonics?) picked a fight with Clinton Portis’ mom.

They forced one of their own to plead for an end to the booing.

They booed my grandma for taking too long to write a $2.00 check for milk at the checkout counter. Okay that last one didn’t happen, but you see where I’m going with this.

Eagles fans are tough to please. They can be  intimidating for visiting fans. But according to Santana Moss, there’s at least one good guy at Lincoln Financial Field.

“My first game that I let my parents come to an away game was in Philly back in ’05, and my son was there,” Moss said. “At the time he probably was 5 years old. I heard the story when I got home – then we beat Philly that night.

“This guy yells, ‘Redskins suck!’ and my 5-year-old says, ‘No, the Eagles suck!’ And the guy was like, ‘Man, you know what? I’m going to let that slide because I like your dad.’

“The whole area died laughing. I was like, man, my 5-year-old could have got my mom and my folks in some trouble that game. But the guy — I’m glad whoever that guy was, he respected my family and respected my son enough to give him that credit. But I know most Philly fans ain’t that easy with opposing team fans.”

Moss said although he doesn’t like being insulted during the game, he respects the effort by the heels of the NFC East.

“I don’t know who’s worse, Philly or New York,” Moss said. “They both have fans that really come to the game to make sure that you know they’re at the game. To me I think that’s great fans. You want to make sure that the opposing team doesn’t like you.”

Defensive end Kedric Golston has spent all eight years of his pro career in Washington. He said he’s seen Philadelphia fans throw eggs at the team bus.

“It’s a hostile environment to play in,” Golston said. “They don’t know what Southern Hospitality is.”

The hate doesn’t bother him.

“You want to play in environments like that,” he said. “Whether they’re booing you or screaming your name, it’s all an adrenaline rush.”

Also worth noting for you cat owners. No matter how venomous the denizens of Philadelphia may appear on Sundays, we owe them our gratitude for bringing us one of the most vital inventions in the history of animal care.

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Ray Lewis suing bank over nearly $4 million in alleged investment losses

Retired Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis is among a group of 16 current and former NFL players who are suing BB&T Bank for nearly $60 million in alleged investment losses.

The Baltimore Sun has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports. The lawsuit alleges that Lewis, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year who retired following the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII victory in February, lost $3.778 million.

Lewis' agent, David Dunn, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to Lewis, former Ravens linebacker Tavares Gooden allegedly lost $515,000 through an unauthorized bank transfer, according to the lawsuit.
Several NFL players are accusing the bank of allowing disgraced financial advisor Jeff Rubin and his former firm, Pro Sports Financial, to open accounts in their names and place tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized investments. The majority of the money went to a failed casino bingo project in Alabama that was deemed illegal under Alabama law in July of 2012.

"While we have not had the opportunity to review the allegations in detail, we understand this case concerns actions taken by BankAtlantic prior to its acquisition by BB&T in 2012," David R. White, BB&T's vice president of corporate communications, told Yahoo. "Because this is pending litigation, we cannot comment further."  

Rubin, whose firm provided financial-related services to professional athletes, has since been banned from the securities industry.

The other NFL players who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit and the money allegedly lost by each individual includes: former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson ($5.813 million), former St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans offensive guard Jacob Bell $3.339 million), former wide receiver Derrick Gaffney (2.295 million), San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore ($8.745 million), New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes ($1.159 million), linebacker Greg Jones $2.006 million), former Titans and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jevon Kearse ($7.958 million), former Washington Redskins defensive end Kenard Lang ($1.648 million), Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather ($3.645 million), Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss ($4.852 million), former Redskins running back Clinton Portis ($3.136 million), former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard ($5.011 million), former Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots running back Fred Taylor ($2.993 million) and former Cleveland Browns and Patriots defensive tackle Gerard Warren ($3 million).

The lawsuit alleges that BB&T developed a "close business relationship with Pro Sports, Rubin and other Pro Sports employees," including a special division "dedicated to targeting and servicing athletes and others in the sports industry,"

According to the lawsuit, Pro Sports deposited tens of millions of dollars of the plaintiffs' money in BB&T accounts opened and maintained in the plaintiffs' names with "illegitimate accounts that were opened with signature cards containing signatures that were forged by Pro Sports’ employees."

"After the monies were deposited, BB&T allowed numerous unusual, suspicious and extraordinary withdrawals from accounts opened in the name of each plaintiff that were neither within the scope of the service identified in the client services agreement nor authorized by the plaintiff in whose name the account was opened," the lawsuit alleges. "BB&T had actual knowledge that certain transactions on the plaintiffs’ accounts were unauthorized and exceeded the scope of the plaintiffs’ client service agreements with Pro Sports."

Former Ravens cornerback Duane Starks also had a relationship with Rubin’s firm.

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Santana Moss: 'You Want To Be That Guy'

Although no player wants to be reminded, Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss hit an unsavory milestone on Sunday, suffering his 100th loss since arriving in the NFL in 2002.

While none have been enjoyable, few stung as much as the meltdown against the Denver Broncos last Sunday.

Despite being up by 14 on one of the NFL’s heavyweights, the Redskins let the Broncos off the ropes and exposed themselves to a series of haymakers through their own deficiencies.

By the final whistle, the Broncos had scored the last 38 points of the contest.

With five turnovers on offense and only 154 passing yards, the Redskins left Denver with more questions than answers.

Questions on play-call, decision-making and inability to protect the quarterback or the football combining with errant passes, route running and an alarming rise in dropped passes, the passing attack had its worst statistical performance since Week 8 of the 2011 season, when John Beck and Co. were shutout by the Buffalo Bills.

Moss, one of only four Redskins all-time with 500 receptions, said he and his teammates must relish their opportunities, whether it is catching the ball, blocking or creating a decoy to free a teammate.

“There are a lot of guys that want the ball,” Moss said on Wednesday. “[But] there’s only a few that can get it at a time and as long as you have that in your mind and know that this game is much more than catching balls and you’re out there sacrificing for your teammates, then you have a better understanding of what your role is.”

Moss and fellow recievers Pierre Garcon, Leonard Hankerson and rookie tight end Jordan Reed have all been targeted at least 30 times this season. Only Reed has been able to secure more than 60 percent of throws in his direction.

A model of fundamentals, Moss’ number of drops has increased this year. While frustrated by the trend, the typically sure-handed receiver said the best thing he can do psychologically is shake off the mistakes and look to make better on his next opportunity.

“As a player, you know that happens,” Moss said. “It’s a part of the game. You have to be one with yourself and know that [you] have to make that play.

“When you don’t, you have to tell yourself you don’t get them often so when it comes to next time you make the play. It’s a hard task and at the end of the day, somebody has to come up with [the ball] and you want to be that guy.”

He admitted that Griffin III has done a good job of distributing the ball to his various weapons, but with defenses like the Broncos keying on the run game, the offense must do a better job of making adjustments to free Robert Griffin III to make the necessary play.

“It’s all about what we did with Robert [Griffin III],” Moss said in reference to last year’s high-octane offense. “Robert was new to this league and a lot of things he did wowed people because they didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t know if he was going to tuck it or run it.

“When you look at our running games and the things we’ve been able to do with Robert running the ball, a lot of times that wouldn’t get done if it weren’t for the outside guys.

“So defenses sit back and try to find a way to prevent him from doing that because when he’s doing that than everything is wide open because you don’t know what to stop. When he’s not, than we have to be a little more creative and find a way to beat them without having to run Robert.

The elder statesman of the receiving corps also wants his teammates to remain patient; their number will be called.

When it is, they’ll have the chance to flash their skills. 

“Wait your turn, it will come,” Moss said. “That’s how I look at it. You might have to block more, it might be the tight end getting off this week or it might be the X receiver getting off this week. You might be playing a team that has light coverage on the inside and the gator guy might [get it], so it varies.

“We play games based on what the defense is weak at and you try to scheme your gameplan around what we can attack most. Your job might be to get a lot of attention so that somebody else can get open. It’s about you being ready, and if you’re ready you never have to worry about being ready because you’re expecting it.”

After last season’s late run and no NFC East team above .500 entering Week 9 action, Moss knows that Redskins are still very much in the thick of the race.
But they will need to improve internally before doing any sort of scoreboard watching.

“I don’t think it’s too late for all that to happen for us right now. We’re going to get on eventually.”

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Santana Moss bothered by Pierre Garcon’s comments

Pierre Garcon had some harsh words to say about the Redskins’ passing game. When asked about it after the loss to the Broncos, Garcon seemed to call out those involved in the passing game.

“It doesn’t matter if we play the worst team in the league on defense,” he said. “If we suck at passing, we suck at passing.”

While on with LaVar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday (audio here), Santana Moss was played the the audio of Garcon’s comments and asked to respond.

“We all a part of the passing game, as receivers,” Moss said, after pausing to choose his words carefully. “Regarding whether we suck or aren’t the best, it’s not my job to come out here and tell you that. It’s not my job to go out there and tell someone asking a question about what’s going on, what’s going on in house. Everybody see what’s going on, but everybody don’t know what’s going on. So, getting back to what I’ve always said, if that’s your opinion, find a way to keep your opinion to yourself and express it around where it need to be expressed. In house, with the guys. And that’s the only way you can solve that. We can’t get better talking about what we suck at. Especially when it comes to addressing something you a part of.

“As receivers, we don’t throw the ball to ourselves,” he continued. “We understand that. But if you have a problem, and if it’s a problem, you address the people that has control over getting you the ball.”

Moss admitted that Garcon’s public criticism bothered him, especially when asked if it was a veiled shot at Robert Griffin III.

“I just feel like there’s better ways to do it, if it was,” he said. “Personally, I can’t go at nobody through the media. That’s the last place I go at somebody at. And personally, if I feel like I had a problem with Robert, I’d have to go to the source above Robert, and let them know how I feel so they can hear and understand where I’m at, then bring it to him so there will be no misunderstanding.”

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Santana Moss’ Pointers From Manning

After Sunday’s 45-point outburst, the Washington Redskins offense had it’s best showing since last season’s stuffing of the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

There was an old saying that used to float around NFL circles that if you could hold your opponents to 17 points or less than you’d be almost guaranteed victory. Ehh that saying is more applicable than ever in this “modern” NFL of spread formations and no-huddle offense. Holding your opponent to 17 points should be a victory of its own.

If you hold the Denver Broncos to 17 points then the league should just go ahead and give you two wins. As a team they already have 35 offensive touchdowns. Let me repeat that so the Internet world can fully grasp what I just said. Through seven games the Denver Broncos have score 35 offensive touchdowns.

Thanks to the guy who created italics for helping my cause.

The nucleus of their offense is of course 12-time Pro Bowler Peyton Manning. Manning is one of those players universally respected with a legion of followers who are continually in awe of his legendary preparation skills. Entering the team facility at an hour where even the overnight janitorial staff is not seen, Manning devises plans, equipped with countless audibles, that he then disseminates to his offense when they get their days started. Whether it’s learning from mistakes or building on successes, Manning makes sure to build a unique rapport with each weapon.

Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss admitted his open respect for Manning and said that he’s not only trying to build a similar connection with Robert Griffin III, but instill similar preparation skills in the sophomore as well.

“To be honest I’ve always liked Peyton,” Moss said. “I have a good close friend in Reggie Wayne that I played ball with in college and I remember ever since I was with the Jets I would call him and ask him how things [were] and be like ‘How is it so simple and easy’ and then you hear about his stories of how he studies and how he gets everybody around him to get practice reps week in and week out.”

Moss’ never say die attitude and play far beyond his diminutive frame has endeared him to Redskins fans ever since the day he made the Cowboys realize that football is a 60 minute game.

Never in his first seven seasons in Washington, D.C. though did he have a quarterback like RGIII. So when the rookie came to town last April, he made sure to stick to him like glue, making sure to build a strong rapport and preached to never become complacent just because it worked in the past.

“That’s the only way you can get better,” Moss asserted. “That’s some of the things I try to do with Robert. When we don’t do something right or even when we do do something right, I want another rep in or two just so he can have that confidence in me and I can have that confidence in him.”

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Santana Moss Not Pondering His Legacy Just Yet

Lost in the discussion of the team’s slow start is the steady, reliable performance of veteran receiver Santana Mossicon-article-link, who stands on the precipice of a number of career milestones.

With five more receptions, Moss becomes the ninth active player in the NFL to reach 700 career receptions.

With his receptions, he will pass all-time great Gary Clark (549) for third in team history for career receptions as a Redskin.

With 29 more receiving yards to become the fourth player in team history to amass 7,500 Redskins receiving yards (Clark, Art Monk, Charley Taylor).
And with his next touchdown reception, Moss will tie Stephen Davis for 10th-most total touchdowns in team history (48).

With so many milestones at his fingertips, Moss would be well within his right to sit back and admire his legacy with the Washington Redskins.
But that can and will have to wait for another time as Moss still has too much to accomplish in the moment.

“I probably will down the road. All that stuff will come one day when I can sit back and reflect but right now my main goal is to continue to get better and focus on how I can be my best for the team,” he said, shaking his head in front of his locker. “Right now my main focus is to continue to get better and grow as a receiver.

“You would probably think it’s hard for a 13-year veteran to continue to get better and to continue to learn, but I learn every day.”

Moss has made an unmistakable impact on the Redskins in the 2000s, developing from an uncatchable deep threat operating on the fringe of the offense, to a wily veteran capable of exploiting soft spots in the coverage anywhere on the field.

For any decrease in raw physical talent with age, the 34-year-old receiver has compensated with his cerebral mastery of the game.  

“I think what is helping me grow is having a whole new outlook on how you can grow at that position,” he said. “As far as learning a lot more on how I can beat a guy, being on the inside and different things I can do with my God-given talent.”

Unbelievably, Moss’ God-given talent was once questioned in New York, where he was a hard-luck youngster trying to live up to his draft billing with the New York Jets.

“The media got on me earlier when I had my injury,” Moss said, referring to the series of leg injuries he suffered as a rookie. “Being a kid, not knowing how to handle myself and not playing a full year of football was tough.”

For a young Moss, New York was a long way from his home and alma mater in Miami, Fla., and the character assassination in the media made the Big Apple unbearable.

“I took it to heart, and I got down on myself,” he admitted, thinking back. “One guy in the media picked on me; I don’t know why. It could have been something about Miami but it wasn’t me because I treated everybody with the same respect.”

But the negative attention was a net positive for the talented youngster, as Santana Moss hardened his resolve and learned the business side of the NFL.

After just two years in New York, the former top prospect was sent packing to Washington in exchange for Laveranues Coles. With a clean bill of health and a fresh start, Moss had the perfect situation to thrive.

“I found out early you go through those things for a reason. It helped me be the person I am and the player I am,” Moss said. “When I step out there on the field, it gave me another chip on my shoulder. It gave me something else for me to go out and prove.”

Not surprisingly, Moss made an immediate impact for the Redskins, catching four passes for 96 yards in his first game in the burgundy and gold.

He finished his first season in the nation’s capital with 84 receptions for 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns. Better yet, he finally had the support of a fan base hungry for a playmaker.

“Fans were pleased with what I did,” he said with a shrug. “I learned that after I left New York, when you get the feedback from the fans. The media and fans gave me a chance to be who I can be.”

Dubbed “The Cowboy Killer” by fans, Moss has had some of his best games against the Redskins archrivals, the Dallas Cowboys. His performance against the division rivals helped bring pride back to Washington, revitalizing a once-sagging rivalry with 84 receptions for 1,189 yards and seven touchdowns.
Through all of the good times and lean years, one constant has been the reliable play of No. 89.

“Once you have been playing this game as long as I have, you realize that there are things that you are going to have to deal with everyday differently,” he explained. “That’s why I never look at anything that has been done.

“I always try to look ahead and try to be better because you can’t look at last year or last month.”

Letting the memories fade from his mind, Moss collected his practice gear and began to prepare himself for yet another day of practice in the NFL. Helmet, mouth guard, gloves, cleats, pads and jersey, and the all-important chip on his shoulder.

Hard-earned milestones lie ahead for Santana Moss, but that doesn’t help him prepare for another day of practice. As quickly as the topic is discussed, it is forgotten.

“It’s amazing. Like I said before, I probably will look back and reflect,” he said. “But really, that stuff doesn’t come to mind until you all tell me about it.”

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Santana Moss leads Redskins with 77 yards in Week 3

Santana Moss caught seven passes for a team-high 77 yards in Washington's Week 3 loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Moss was targeted on nine of Robert Griffin III's 50 passing attempts. He's going to see a handful of targets every week, but fantasy owners need to be looking for more upside than Moss. He's nothing more than a WR5.

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Santana Moss Approaching Redskins Milestone

WR Santana Moss needs one TD to tie ex-RB Stephen Davis for 10th in Redskins history with 48.

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Santana Moss says first two games were Griffin’s preseason

Wide receiver Santana Moss said Wednesday that as far as he’s concerned, the Washington Redskins’ first two regular season games served as the preseason for Robert Griffin III that the quarterback didn’t have this summer.

“I don’t know,” Moss said when asked about the team’s reduced use thus far this season of option-style running plays with Griffin. “He just got back to playing, man. I mean, this is only like his second preseason game. You’re gonna go out there and run him crazy? To me, that’s how I look at it. These first two regular season games are just being two preseason games for this kid. You’re not gonna go out there and make him do a bunch of stuff that, you know, you’re not sure of. Once he gets his feeling back and, I think, the coaches confident with him doing all that stuff, then I’m pretty sure they’ll let him do more.

“But right now I don’t think that’s what we need to do to win games. We have it in there. We have called it. But if they’re keying on him, then he’s not going to run the ball. And that’s what teams [are] doing. Teams are gonna come and key on him. So you’ll see him hand the ball off. And I’m glad he’s doing that because we don’t need that right now. We just need to do what we know how to do and that’s make plays, and we’ll be able to try to win these games.”

Griffin started the first two games of the season after being withheld from the entire preseason while working his way back from knee surgery in January.

Asked about the contention that Griffin is not as fast this season as he was last season, Moss said: “That’s not why we’re losing games. I don’t know. I don’t know about that. I’m not even going to comment on that because that ain’t got nothing to do with what we’re doing as far as a team. To me, honestly, that’s something that I won’t want to comment on because regardless if he’s fast or not, we still should be able to go out there and put up points and do what we’re supposed to do on offense. That’s something that I’ll let him have that.”

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Santana Moss advises teammates to erase loss from memory

After the Redskins‘ third consecutive offensive possession of the season ended in disaster, veteran wide receiver Santana Moss huddled his teammates and told them to settle down. He reminded them of the success they experienced last season, and told them they needed to “flush” the struggles, which included a fumble, an interception and a safety on the first three possessions.

“I just told the guys to calm down. Stuff’s going to happen,” Moss said. “It’s football. We saw the game the night before and watched the Giants go through some of the same things, but we know that’s not our team, so let’s get back to what we’ve done before. Don’t dwell on this.”

The Redskins dug their way out of a 26-7 hole, but still lost 33-27.

Although the offense finally settled in to a rhythm in the final quarter-and-a-half of play, Moss said little can be taken from the game. His advice to teammates was to erase the game from their memories – something he already had done.

“It’s already out. What’s done is done,” said Moss. ”Can’t go back. Now the week is already started and it’s time for us to prepare for Green Bay. That’s Monday. It’s over, it’s far from here right now.”

Moss added: “The thing in this game is, somebody has to take a loss. It’s nothing about – you lost one game, what is that going to affect? That’s not going to affect nothing but the people that don’t really know nothing about the game. You’re going to have to lose. Somebody has to lose, so you have to go out there with the mentality of ‘Okay, we’ve got one loss on our record. Now, we’ll go out and start all over.’ ”

Moss said his teammates shouldn’t even use the poor performance as a source of motivation because in his opinion, they should approach the meeting with the Packers as if they have a clean slate.

“No motivation. For what? You’re motivated to come out here and know you still have 15 more games left. You can’t be motivated by you went out there and laid an egg. Now we have a loss, we know we have to prepare, we know what we didn’t do right, and now we have to capitalize off that.”

Moss conceded that there were a few positives that he and his teammates can take from that second half.

“The rhythm felt a little better because we weren’t in a rhythm, but it’s far from what we can be and what we are made of. But it’s a step toward what we can be,” Moss said. “That’s our first game with Robert. To be honest with you, I didn’t expect it to be more. I didn’t expect the fumbles and stuff, and this and that, but I didn’t expect us to go out and look phenomenal. This was his first game. Every week he’s going to get better and we’re going to get better because we’ll have more time together to mesh. When you’re out there practicing, you can practice sharp and crisp, but until you play in a live game, with live bullets flying, you’re not going to really know how to take it. I’m glad he got a game under his belt, I’m glad we played better in the second half as a team, and we have to take and build off of it.”

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Santana Moss catches five passes in Week 1

Santana Moss caught five passes for 54 yards in the Redskins' Week 1 loss to the Eagles on Monday night.

Moss was targeted nine times, two behind Pierre Garcon for the team lead. The 34-year-old worked as the slot receiver, just as he did last season. The Redskins threw the ball 49 times on Monday night. It would be silly to expect Moss to see even a handful of targets in a normal week, let alone the nine he saw Week 1. Moss is off the fantasy radar in standard 10- and 12-team leagues.

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Santana Moss setting standard for longevity

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss is quietly climbing the charts.

Entering his ninth year with the organization and 13th in the NFL, Moss’ career numbers put him in elite company. He has appeared in 120 games with the Redskins. A healthy 2013 and Moss will have played more games in Washington than franchise legend Sonny Jurgensen (135).

Moss needs only 21 receptions to pass Gary Clark (549) on the all-time list. At 529 catches entering the season, only Art Monk (888) and Charley Taylor (649) are out of reach. With 45 touchdowns, he could pass Bobby Mitchell (49) in that category, too. That would rank sixth in Redskins history.

The 5-foot-10, 189-pounder long ago proved concerns about his size coming out of the University of Miami were unfounded. Four times, Moss has topped 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

Now he’s trying to prove that age can’t slow him down, either. At 34, Moss is no longer the No. 1 receiving option as he was his first six years in Washington. That is Pierre Garcon now. Even in 2011, Jabar Gaffney and tight end Fred Davis had more receiving yards as Moss missed four games. Wide receiver is just not a position where you see many players in their mid-30s.

“I know a lot of people can’t do it,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “I think last year [Moss] was better for us than he was the prior two years even though the stats weren’t the same.”

That’s because Moss was a trusted, valuable weapon for quarterback Robert Griffin III last season with 41 receptions — 15 of them on third down — and he expects to be again as a veteran slot receiver on a team that hopes to defend its NFC East title.

In the preseason, at least, Washington showed well, but this journey has barely started and Moss has been around long enough now to know what really matters. The Redskins haven’t reached the playoffs two consecutive years since 1991 and 1992.

“I’ll put stock in it when it’s done, when it counts,” Moss said. “Right now, you grade yourself off what you put in. So when you go out there and see you’re putting in wins in the preseason and putting good stuff on film then all you can do is have high hopes for what you can do in Week 1.”

Those 41 catches in 2012 were Moss’ fewest since he had 45 with the New York Jets in 2004. And yet he still managed eight touchdowns and appeared in every game. Moss is no longer the deep threat he was in 2005 when he set the franchise record for single-season receiving yards (1,483). Even in 2010 he posted 1,115. Those days are gone.

But that slot receiver role is still an important one. With the veteran no longer expected to carry a heavy load, the Redskins could pick spots for Moss. Earlier in his career he faded at times late in seasons. Last year his legs appeared strong during the stretch run. Instead of working his way back into shape during training camp, Moss trained during the spring and arrived ready to go.

It made a difference last fall and the coaches have seen it again from him this summer. That’s given Moss a chance to stick with the Redskins and push himself higher into the franchise’s record books next to Hall of Famers like Monk and Taylor and a fan favorite like Clark. Despite his longevity in Washington, that recognition hasn’t always been easy for Moss to come by.

“You can’t help but look up to him,” said Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, a fellow South Florida native who worked out with Moss during the offseason. “He’s been doing this for a long time. He’s been one of the top receivers for so long and he really doesn’t get noticed for it.”

Moss’ name has even surfaced in the search for a punt returner in the wake of Richard Crawford’s season-ending knee injury. And while not thrilled about that option, Moss said he would take on that role, too, if asked. He has three careericon1 touchdowns on special teams, but his last punt return came in 2009.

“You can see some of the plays he has made thus far at camp, [see] that he’s hungry,” Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. “And he’s going to play at a very high level.”

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Santana Moss Tunes To ‘Robert Channel’

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss has been through countless changes since being acquired from the Jets in 2005. He’s played under three head coaches, found a way to make every catch he hauls in look perfect from nine different starting quarterbacks and his hair has gone from long, to short to now medium.

Through it all though, the veteran’s consistency is what has made him one of the most popular players in Redskins history not only with the fans, but the media as well. At each opportunity the media gets to access the players, it’s a certainty that the crowd mobbing the first stool in the Redskins Park locker room is to grab a quote from none other than No. 89.

In this weird development he’s always asked about Robert Griffin III and his progression. Want to know how he gets his answers though?

Well if you haven’t already asked yet, please ask you cable provide information on how to get the Robert channel.

“I have accepted it because if you don’t have a guy like that then you ain’t doing nothing,” Moss said of the constant bombardment of questions involving Griffin III.  “I’ve been on this team awhile and sitting in this locker room it [got] boring at times, but every day it’s about Robert. I kind of tuned into my Robert channel in my head and be ready for any questions you all have about Robert.”

After it was confirmed that Griffin III is indeed starting on Monday night, he was asked his thoughts of Robert Griffin III’s injury story being “over”.

“It’s really not over [laughs]. You all don’t know how I feel, but at the end of the day I know it comes with the territory and I’m glad we have a guy like that on our team to be talked about a lot. He’s a tremendous player. He’s done a lot for us thus far since we’ve had him, but I’m just glad that he’s able to go out there and showcase on Monday.”

As for the last time the words Robert Griffin III, Santana Moss and the Philadelphia Eagles were murmured in the same sentence together:

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Santana Moss willing to return punts if asked

The Washington Redskins need a punt returner, and 13th-year wide receiver Santana Moss said Monday that he would be willing to do the job if asked to do so by the team’s coaches.

“I don’t care,” Moss said. “I don’t mind if I’m asked. It’s nothing that I’m putting a sign on saying I’m the punt returner. If Coach lets me do it and they want me to do it, it’s not new to me. I feel like it’s something I still can do. Dealing with the circumstances, if we need me back there, I’ll go.”

Moss has made 112 punt returns in his 12 NFL seasons, averaging 11.3 yards per return. He has three career touchdowns on punt returns, two for the New York Jets in 2002 and one for the Redskins in 2008. He last was credited with a punt return in the 2009 season.

“You always enjoy it,” Moss said. “It’s something that got me here. I shied away from it a lot because I was a starter and when you’re out there more and more, you want to give yourself a chance on the offense and not take away what you can do offensively. Now that I have my share of time off from being a starter, I wouldn’t mind being back there.”

Moss became the Redskins’ third receiver last season and is penciled in for the same role this season.

The Redskins lost their punt returner when reserve cornerback Richard Crawford suffered a season-ending knee injury during Saturday’s preseason triumph over the Buffalo Bills. Coach Mike Shanahan said after the game that the team would consider its options at the spot.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall has made 16 career punt returns, including one last season.

Rookie running back Chris Thompson took over for Crawford against the Bills and totaled 48 yards on three punt returns Saturday, including a 31-yarder.

“I felt pretty comfortable doing it,” Thompson said Monday. “I felt even more comfortable when I got in the game. I was real calm. I wasn’t stressing at all. I felt good…. I’m just glad he trusted me enough to let me go back there and try to make some plays for the team.”

The problem for the Redskins is whether they can afford to keep a player on the season-opening roster just to serve as the punt returner. Thompson appears to have fallen behind Roy Helu Jr. and Keiland Williams in the race for roster spots as reserve running backs behind starter Alfred Morris. Thompson said he hopes his punt-return skills make him more valuable to the team.

“I hope so,” Thompson said. “I’m gonna just continue working every single day and whatever decision Coach makes for this upcoming game and for the season, I know they’ll make the right decision.”

The Redskins also listed rookie wide receivers Skye Dawson and Nick Williams on their depth chart at punt returner for the Bills game. Washington concludes the preseason Thursday night at Tampa.

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Santana Moss backs Mike Shanahan's decision to shelve Robert Griffin III

RICHMOND, Va. — Santana Moss put on his coaching hat, by request, for an instant Tuesday as he weighed in on the Washington Redskins' rehabilitating star quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

If Moss walked in Mike Shanahan's head coaching shoes, would he reverse course and grant RG3 his wish to play in a preseason game?

"I wouldn't do it," Moss told USA TODAY Sports. "No matter what he means to the team, I wouldn't do it. Being a guy that's all about players and the player that I'm considering, I'd have to talk to him because I know deep down inside that he wants to play.

"But he'd have to respect my authority for that decision."

RG3 is on track in his rebound from reconstructive surgery on his right knee and expects to hit another marker by participating in 11-on-11 drills for the first time this summer in Wednesday's practice ... though if RG3 had his way, he'd run 11-on-11s now.

Barring any setbacks, Shanahan reiterated Monday that the target date for his quarterback's return remains Sept. 9, when Washington opens the regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Yet the eager Griffin has declared that he wants to play during the preseason — which Shanahan flatly ruled out at the start of camp and again Monday.

"I want to play, let's get that straight,' Griffin said during yesterday's press conference. "I want to play in the preseason. Coach is just saying that if things go great these next couple of days and next week, then maybe. But it's a hard no right now. It's my job to make that a soft no and possibly a yes. But I'm definitely going to push for it. I feel ready to go."

Maybe someone needs to send RG3 a memo.

There's no reason to risk a setback — and perhaps the season — by playing him in a meaningless preseason contest. For now, he should focus on working on the timing and rhythm with his offensive teammates.

Just ask Coach Moss.

"It's a tough situation to deal with as a coach, but Coach (Shanahan) has dealt with a lot this offseason about what he should have done or not done," Moss said, referring to Shanahan's decision to allow a hobbled Griffin to continue playing in the NFC playoff opener last January in which he tore the ACL in the already damaged knee after clearly struggling to move about the field prior to the final injury.

"I don't think he's going to let that get in his way this time."

Moss, a 13th-year veteran receiver, can also understand Griffin's side of the debate. RG3 is a competitive player, a tough football warrior.

Yet Moss also says Griffin needs to understand that no means no.

"As football players, we've got to abide by what the coaches want," Moss said. "As competitive players, we want to do a whole lot. And I know where Robert is. He's rare. I know it's hard, because he wants to go out there and get into that rhythm and flow. He wants to be sharp and phenomenal like he's going to be, anyway.

"He's special, but Coach has to be hard on him. You don't want that to be the cause of our season (falling apart) because you took one chance and let him play in the preseason because he wanted to."

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Santana Moss can still produce for Skins

When many thought his career was winding down, Santana Moss enjoyed quite a productive season in 2012.

While his reception and receiving yards totals did not come close to his career highs, Moss made the most of his touches. Hauling in 41 catches last season, Moss took almost 20 percent of his opportunities into the end zone, accounting for eight touchdowns.

As a 5’10” slot receiver, Moss has proved his ability to get separation from defenders and find open space for over a decade in the NFL.

Though it is unlikely Moss will ever recreate his near 1,500-yard season like he did his first year for the Skins in 2005, the shifty veteran gives RG3 a reliable option, particularly on third down.

This season, Moss wil be 34, ancient in terms of NFL receivers. So what are reasonable expectations for the 13th year player out of the University of Miami?

It’s hard to project Moss, because his value in the red zone outpaces his overall statistics. Hauling in eight touchdowns led all receivers on the Skins, but Moss did not even get to the 600-yard mark on the season.

In recent Redskins memory, Henry Ellard provides a decent benchmark for Moss. Ellard, like Moss, was a smaller player, and had some of his best seasons late in his career with the Skins.

For three seasons, Ellard broke the 1,000-yard barrier for Washington, and what’s important for the Moss comparisons was that Ellard did that in his early 30s.
Unlike the running back position, where players rarely make it in their 30s, some receivers can continue to post strong numbers at age 33 or 34. Ellard certainly did that for the Skins in the mid-1990s, but he was the best receiver on a few bad teams.

Former No. 1 overall pick Keyshawn Johnson accounted for 815 yards at age 34, bringing in four touchdowns. Johnson was a bigger, more physical receiver than Moss though.

Jimmy Smith actually improved late in his career with the Jaguars, teamed up with Keenan McCardell and quarterback Mark Brunell. At 34, Smith reached the 800-yard mark, but at both 35 and 36 Smith hauled in more than 1,000 yards.

Competing with Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson for RG3’s attention, Moss will have to earn his reps this coming season. But like he has done for more than a decade, expect Moss to make an impact in 2013. 

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Santana Moss Motivated By Younger Competition

With the influx of youth on the roster in recent years, it’s easy to overlook that leadership that indoctrinates them into the Redskins way.

No player on the roster represents the Redskins’ core values of teamwork, effort and tradition better than veteran receiver Santana Moss, who is going into his ninth season on the team.

During his tenure with the team, Moss has played for three head coaches, four offensive coordinators, and received passes from nine different quarterbacks.
After last season, Moss moved up the franchise leader boards to fifth in receptions (529), fourth in yards (7,299) and seventh in touchdowns (45).

When Moss decides the time is right to hang up his cleats, he will go down as one of the greatest players to ever strap on a Redskins’ helmet.

But that time will not be any time in the foreseeable future.

Moss is no longer the Redskins’ No. 1 receiver in the offense, but is still playing with an intensity unbecoming of a grizzled NFL veteran.

His motivation: younger competition and proving that he still belongs.

“I’m just motivated off the guys we bring in. When you bring young guys in, you try to prepare yourself against the young guys,” he explained during minicamp. “When you see yourself competing against guys who are coming out of college and are 10-11 years younger than you, it gives you more motivation to keep going out there and do what you do.

“I’m always motivated. I’m a self-motivated kind of guy, and I’m going to keep going out there every year and do what I do until I can’t anymore.”

After registering the fourth-most receptions in the NFL in 2010 (93), Moss struggled with injury in 2011 that limited him to 12 games and 46 receptions.

After the Redskins added a pair of veteran receivers before 2012, Moss recognized that he was on the chopping block and stepped up to the challenge. He lost 15 pounds in an effort to regain his speed and maximize his utility out of the slot.

It worked.

Last year, he went most of the season with more receiving touchdowns than the rest of the offense combined, and finished with eight on the year, his best since 2005.

Moss was a fixture during the team’s offseason workouts this spring, crediting the coaching staff for creating a culture of accountability, even for veteran players.

“A lot of coaches say, ‘Hey I don’t really need you here but if you want to come then that’s fine.’ But our coaches say loud and clear, ‘You are showing what you want,”’ he explained. “They tell us that if they don’t see us, they don’t know if we are really into winning or into the team.

“It tells a lot about the coaching staff and what they want out of us. We want to pick up where we left off at. We want to not dwell on last year but advance forward.”

One of the biggest keys to advancing next season will be the health of starting quarterback Robert Griffin III. The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year said he is expecting to be ready by training camp, but Moss said that speculation is a media creation.

The team needs Griffin III whenever he is ready to play.

“It’s only a big deal for people who are writing about it. Our team needs him regardless,” Moss said. “We have guys who are preparing themselves to fill that void if we need to. Knowing Robert [Griffin III], he wants to be out there.

“Let’s let him rehab and have his space and hopefully he’s going to be there Week 1.”

Looking ahead to training camp, Moss said the competition at receiver and elsewhere will finally start to come into focus.

“Until we get out there in the heat and training camp, then we will have more to say,” he said. “Every week we have a chance to get together and get better, that’s all we can do. It’s great.”

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Santana Moss Still Beating Coverage

Redskins veteran receiver Santana Moss carries a workmanlike attitude into every practice, and still takes joy in beating defensive backs that are many years his junior. While the team was practicing goal line drills today, Moss beat triple coverage in the end zone for an easy touchdown from quarterback Kirk Cousins. There is a reason why Moss led the team with eight receiving touchdowns last year: he just knows how to get open.

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Santana Moss has high hopes for Skins in '13

With OTAs set to begin in less than two weeks and all but one starter returning, wide receiver Santana Moss says he believes the Redskins are well positioned to build on last year’s 10-6 season and take that next step.

“I think the key is just to go out there and continue to do what we’re doing,” Moss said during a guest appearance Tuesday morning on NFL Network. “I think last year was one of those years where we showed everybody who we can be.”

“Coach [Mike] Shanahan has been trying to build this team to get all the core guys that he wanted,” the 12-year-veteran continued. “I think last year was the first year we can honestly say he has those guys.”

Indeed, the Redskins retained 21 of the 22 starters from last season’s NFC East championship squad, despite an NFL-imposed $18 million salary cap penalty. And the one position where there is an opening – safety – was bolstered in last week’s draft when the team selected a pair of promising prospects in Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. 

“It’s time to just build from what had last year and go out there and just do it,” Moss said. “There’s nothing to really talk about; you have to go out there and just want it.”

Moss is coming off a season in which he embraced a reduced role but still managed to lead the Redskins in receiving touchdowns (8), rank second in receiving yards (573) and third in catches (41).

The soon-to-be 34-year-old also joined fellow veterans Brandon Meriweather, Adam Carriker and Josh Wilson in accepting pay cuts this offseason. And while the moves were no doubt motivated in part by self-preservation, it’s hard to ignore the fact that four established vets took less individually in the hopes of achieving more collectively.

Asked if he believes the Redskins have enough talent to make a Super Bowl run in 2013, Moss said he views last year’s disappointing loss to Seattle in the first round of the playoffs as a necessary part of that process.

“I think we have a bunch of guys that’s eager and that’s ready to have that experience,” he said. “You play in this league for so long, and you get close, you get close, you get close, that’s kind of in the past. You want to go out there and live that moment.”

Moss added: “Last year was our first chance feeling like we can really live that moment. But we fell short in the first playoff game. With that in mind, we have that taste in our mouth now. We can take something from that and learn and know how to attack that moment next time around. The only way we can experience that moment is by experiencing what we experienced last year, so hopefully we can build on that.”

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Santana Moss' production, conditioning in 2012 prompted Redskins to keep him

PHOENIX | The Redskins could have saved $4.5 million in salary cap space by releasing veteran receiver Santana Moss last week. Moss instead agreed to a paycut that saved the Redskins $2 million, according to two reports.

So why didn’t the Redskins save the full amount by releasing the 33-year-old slot receiver? His team-leading eight touchdown catches last season and good conditioning were factors.

Moss, who ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time receiving yards list, responded last season to coaches’ challenge to report to training camp in better shape. His 573 receiving yards in 2012 ranked second on the club.

“I liked the way Santana played last year,” coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday at the owner’s meetings. “He came in in excellent shape. I think he was a big part of our offense. There’s a big upside to Santana next year because he’s very familiar with our offense. He did a great job in our third-down package. I expect him to come in in the same type of shape and make the same plays he did last year.”

Shanahan did not consider Moss’s 34th birthday is in June.

“I don’t look at somebody’s age,” he said. “I look at what they did for us. I had Jerry Rice at the end of his careericon1. I knew what Jerry did. I know what some older players do when it comes to offseason conditioning, how they handle themselves. I thought it was Santana’s best year out of the three years. He made a commitment to being in great shape and doing the little things you have to do to give your football team a chance to have some big plays.”

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Redskins WR Santana Moss takes pay cut

The Washington Redskins on Tuesday restructured the contract of wide receiver Santana Moss. According to Mike Jones and Mark Maske, the restructure does not add any years onto Moss' contract but instead converts $2 million of his 2013 salary into incentives. This saves the Redskins $2 million against the salary cap, and since Mike Shanahan said Monday that they were about $1 million under, you figure now that they're about $3 million under. (That's right. I was really good at math in high school. It's OK to be impressed.) That leaves them room to sign a free agent when the window opens at 4 p.m. ET today, and I wouldn't be surprised if they came out of the day with a new cornerback. I think Derek Cox from Jacksonville makes a lot of sense, and it's easy to connect the dots on Aqib Talib as well.

But we'll know all of that soon enough. The point I wanted to make here is about the two veteran restructures the Redskins have done in the past two days. Neither Moss nor defensive end Adam Carriker had any years added onto their deals. Carriker, like Moss, agreed to convert a portion of his guaranteed salary into incentives. And though these incentives have been characterized as "attainable," giving up guaranteed money is always a risk in a league in which your season could end on any given play. What you're seeing with Moss and Carriker is players agreeing to help out the team with its salary cap problem in ways that could end up costing them money. And I think that's significant and says something about the culture that's been established around the Redskins in recent years.

Now, of course it's possible that Carriker and Moss were told they'd be released if they didn't take the pay cuts. The Redskins did cut cornerback DeAngelo Hall on Monday without an attempt at restructuring. But it's noteworthy that these two restructures do not simply shift salary-cap costs into future years, as many of the restructures being done around the league do. It's clear that Shanahan wants to avoid that practice if at all possible, and it appears he's been able to do that so far in spite of the $18 million in cap penalties still affecting the franchise. It's entirely possible that, as free agency rolls along, the Redskins have to do the more common type of restructuring with some of their deals. But so far, they've avoided it.

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What does the future hold for Santana Moss?

As the Redskins continue preparations for the NFL scouting combine, free agency and the draft, we’re going to begin taking a look at players on the roster and questions  that surround them, as well as some of the decisions the team must make.

We’ll kick it off with a look at wide receiver Santana Moss:

The 12-year veteran experienced a resurgence last season, despite seeing his role reduced because of the additions of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, and the development of Leonard Hankerson. Despite not being a starter for the first time since his second NFL season, Moss remained productive, compiling a team-high eight touchdown catches (third-best in his career) and 41 catches for 573 yards (14.0 yards per catch).

Part of the key to Moss’s success was his dedication during the offseason, when he slimmed down and regained some speed and explosiveness. Of Moss’s 573 yards, 225 came after the catch. Moss also excelled because coaches kept him on a limited snap count to preserve his aging legs fresh and maximize his impact.

What does the future hold for Moss?

Set to turn 34 as he enters his 13the NFL season, Moss is entering the final year of a three-year deal signed in 2011. His cap figure for the 2013 season is just more than $6.1 million.

Can the Redskins afford to carry him at that figure?

Moss proved last season that despite his age, he can still have an impact. The Redskins don’t have a proven slot receiver on their roster. Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson saw some time there, but lacked the same effectiveness.

So, it would seem that keeping Moss is the right call for Washington. However, given his cap figure, and the fact that Washington is believed to be $3 million to $4 million over the cap, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Moss’ deal restructured. The Redskins will be working to create some financial flexibility by March 12 so they can make moves in free agency and sign players of their own whose contracts are expiring.

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Santana Moss might need to restructure

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss will count $6.3 million against the cap, which might be too much for the team considering the veteran will soon be 34 years old. Moss is still considered a player that can help, but he might need to restructure his contract to return.

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Washington Redskins' Top Receivers Will Cost $7 000,000 More for 2013 NFL Season

The top four wide receivers for the Washington Redskins—Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan were the only group of four NFL receivers on the same team to each have 500-plus receiving yards in the 2012 season.

While they accounted for 62 percent of the Redskins' receiving yards and all but seven touchdowns, to keep them will cost the Redskins over $14 million combined in 2013.

Should the team assess the contributions these receivers made to the team on offense and will any have to take a pay cut to remain on the 2013 roster?

Pierre Garcon was the Redskins' first free agent signed prior to the 2012 season after four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Garcon missed six games due to an injury to the bottom of his right foot, but led the team in receiving yards with 633 yards and four touchdowns.  

His $2.1 million salary is going to more than double next season with a scheduled payout of $5.6 million. Garcon averaged 4.4 receptions and 14.4 yards per catch.  

In his eighth year as a Redskin and 12th NFL season, Santana Moss led the team with eight receiving touchdowns and second with 573 receiving yards. Moss played every regular season game and averaged slightly over 2.5 receptions per game and 14 yards per reception.

Moss collected $2.65 million in 2012 and is due $4.15 million next season.

Leonard Hankerson entered his second season with the Redskins after missing much of 2011 either as a non-starter or while on injured reserve. He was the lowest paid receiver among the four with a 2012 salary of $465,000. He is scheduled to earn $555,000 next season.

Hankerson accounted for 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns. His biggest game of his professional career occurred in Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns as Hankerson caught two touchdowns from quarterback Kirk Cousins en route to a 38--21 'Skins victory and the team's fifth straight win.
Josh Morgan signed a five-year contract in 2012 after four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. The first two years of his contract are secured and the Redskins have the option of nullifying the remaining three years.  

In 2012, Morgan had two receiving touchdowns and 510 yards. His $1.8 million salary jumps to $3.8 million next season.

With salary cap space at a premium in 2013, should the team pare down the receiving corps or look for cuts elsewhere? The Redskins have a diverse, capable and productive receiving corps which kept defenses uncertain as to which receiver among the four would be targeted as the prime receiver.

Despite having the only wide receiver quartet to each have 500-plus yards, quarterback Robert Griffin III finished his rookie year ranked 22nd in passing yards among 2012 quarterbacks.

Griffin's rehabilitation from knee surgery could allow his return by the start of the 2013 season. During the offseason, the Redskins may evaluate the triple-threat, pistol formation offense to limit any further injuries to their quarterback of the future.  

If that is the case, the Redskins could see an increased need for their top four receivers and a decrease in rushing by their quarterback as evidenced by Griffin's rushing total of 67 yards in the final two games of the 2012 regular season.

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Pay cut coming for Santana Moss?

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss' salary will jump from $2.65 million to $4.15 million next season, making him among the team's five highest base salaries.

Moss would likely have to renegotiate his deal if he wants to stick around in 2013. We don't see that as being a problem for the veteran WR.

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Santana Moss shows what’s old can be new again

It really wasn’t a demotion. Coach Mike Shanahan made that clear to Santana Moss during the offseason while explaining how Moss’s role would change in the Washington Redskins’ revamped receiving corps. The Redskins still needed Moss, Shanahan assured him, just in a different way.

“When a guy has been as successful as Santana, and worked as hard as he has to help your football team, it can be difficult when you say, ‘We’re going to try something else now,’ ” Shanahan said. “But knowing Santana, I expected it to work out fine. I think you could say it has.”

That’s for sure.

Formerly Washington’s longtime No. 1 receiver, Moss thrived (how else would you describe leading a playoff-bound team in touchdown receptions?) in his first season as a key reserve. Moss’s efficiency as primarily a third-down specialist — he also finished tied for second in first-down catches — is a big reason the Redskins’ offense is among the NFL’s best. In his 12th season in the league, Moss, 33, was still good enough to help Washington win just its second NFC East title in the past 21 years. On Sunday, the team will host Seattle in its first playoff game at FedEx Field since the 1999 season.

There are many reasons for the Redskins’ resurgence. But no list would be complete without including Moss’s efforts. And the selflessness Moss displayed in accepting his change in status was no less important than his consistent production in games. The team’s most important player definitely appreciates Moss’s decision to put the Redskins first.

“With what he’s done over his career . . . it’s just awesome as a quarterback to have that guy in the huddle with you,” said Robert Griffin III, the rookie quarterback chiefly responsible for Washington’s worst-to-first turnaround in the division. “He’s taken his role and perfected it.”

Moss’s body indicated the time for a change had come.

Because of overuse, Moss wore down physically in 2011. In the second half of Washington’s 5-11 season, Moss rarely broke free from coverage. And the guy responsible for running Moss into the ground knew what he was doing was wrong.

“I needed to protect him,” Shanahan said. “I wanted to rest him so he’d have his legs. But I couldn’t.”

That’s because Moss was, by far, the best receiver in an otherwise mediocre bunch. Moss was a deep threat who also could turn short- and mid-range receptions into big plays — when he wasn’t exhausted, that is. The situation was clear: The Redskins needed to get better, deeper and younger at wideout.

Under Shanahan’s direction in free agency, the Redskins signed Pierre Garcon, 26, who became the team’s new top player at the position, and added Josh Morgan, 27, to potentially fill the No. 2 job. Also, Shanahan figured he could expect more from second-year players Leonard Hankerson, 23, and Aldrick Robinson, 24.

Shanahan was right about the entire group. Everyone contributed, especially during Washington’s season-closing, seven-game winning streak.

“Having the core we have this year helped me to be able to step back and stay fresh,” said Moss, who played in every game but started only once.

All the changes, however, meant Moss had to reinvent himself to find a spot on the field. And in a league in which 30 is usually considered over the hill, players are rarely given an opportunity to age gracefully . Fortunately for Moss, he had two Shanahans in his corner.

Just like his father, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan believed Moss could still run precise routes and possessed the speed to get behind defensive backs. But the Shanahans had to reduce Moss’s workload and put him in favorable matchups. That led Moss to the slot.

The transition went well. Defensive coordinators usually assign their third-best cornerbacks to cover slot receivers. Even with all the mileage on Moss’s legs — he’s fourth on the Redskins’ career list with 7,299 receiving yards — he’s still better than most backup cornerbacks.

“The guy has made play after play after play for us,” said tight end Chris Cooley, Moss’s teammate since the 2005 season. “He’s at a point where, okay, maybe he isn’t the No. 1 [receiver]. And maybe he isn’t the two. But that doesn’t mean he still can’t be Santana Moss. It doesn’t mean he still can’t be a baller.”

That was pretty much Moss’s thinking entering the season. Moss accepted that the Shanahans brought in Garcon to fill the role Moss took pride in having for seven years. Moss knew he’d have to compete with Morgan, Hankerson and Robinson for catches.

So Moss made sure he was prepared. He dropped 15 pounds, brushed up on the playbook and worked as much as he could with the Redskins’ new quarterback. There’s nothing like a sound plan for building success. “At the end of the day, the role changed but the player hasn’t,” Moss said.

Moss’s days at the top of Washington’s depth chart are over, but that’s okay. He fit it just fine with the Redskins’ new crew, and proved he’s still a playmaker for the hottest team in the NFC. Not bad for an old-timer.

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Santana Moss happy to be part of Redskins turnaround but unwilling to look back yet

Wide receiver Santana Moss has played in Washington since 2005, longer than any Redskins player except tight end Chris Cooley. So even though he has never played in a Redskins game with the winner-wins-the-division stakes like Sunday night’s, he understands what it means to this region.

“This city is a different city when you’re winning,” Moss said. “You have a lot of diehard Redskins fans here. Lord knows what they’ve been going through.”

Moss will be playing for the chance to make the playoffs for only the third time since he arrived in Washington in 2005. At 33, after it appeared like he might be in the downward phase of his career, he’s contributed to the Redskins’ six-game winning streak like a younger man. Revitalized by Robert Griffin III, Moss is third on the team with 39 catches for 551 yards, and he has six touchdowns in the past eight weeks.

In the Redskins’ locker room today, Moss was not in the mood to reflect. He may look back at what the season meant to him after Sunday, but not until then.

“I’m grateful to be in this situation, because I know there’s been years where I’ve been fighting hard just to get to this moment,” Moss said. “But I can’t express my feelings until we go out and accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish. Until that happens, then I’ll be able to tell you how I feel. Right now, my focus is too strict to even let me dwell on where we’re at. I don’t feel like we’ve accomplished nothing yet.”

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Santana Moss: 'I've Been Waiting For This Moment'

After a dozen years in the NFL, Redskins receiver Santana Moss still gets excited by winning football in the month of December.

Over Moss's eight seasons in Washington, the Redskins hold a 15-17 record in the game's final month, including a 2-0 record this season. 

Not surprisingly, the team's last winning December was in 2007, the last time that Redskins made the playoffs.

"It feels good," Moss told the media after Sunday's 31-28 overtime victory over the Ravens. "I’m out of body right now. I’m floating somewhere around here."

Moss was also floating around the field, finishing as the team's third-leading receiver with three receptions for 52 yards, including a 31-yard strike to open the game.

For Moss, this season has been a long time coming, but something he envisioned when he signed a three-year contract with the team before the 2011 season.
"I’ve been waiting for this moment, where we can beat this kind of team," he said.  "It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be here a couple of years ago when it was time for me to sign back.

"There’s nothing more important for me than to come out here and be part of something like this."

Moss is having a solid season statistically, tallying 32 receptions for 468 yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns.  At his current pace, Moss will finish the year with 40 receptions for 576 yards and nine touchdowns.

Even if Moss falls short of these projections, his leadership in the final three games will provide a positive impact for the Redskins' playoff hunt. 

That leadership was on display in the final moments of Sunday's win, when Robert Griffin III left with a knee injury and was replaced by Kirk Cousins.

"I told them in the huddle when we got to the red zone, 'We are going to overtime, so just put that in your head,'" Moss said after the game.  "That mindset has to be there, that we are going to take it to overtime. Kirk came in and handled himself well."

Now one game over .500 for the first time since Week 1, the Redskins travel to Cleveland for their final AFC matchup of the regular season.

The Redskins have won four-straight, but are well aware that they need to close out the final three games strong if they intend to play in January.

"We have the opportunity and just need to do something with it," Moss said.  "If we can continue to play together, regardless of who is up and who is down, I think we can come up with the wins.

"I'm proud to be on the other side of the playoff conversation for a change."

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Santana Moss helped Ravens’ Ed Reed become great

ASHBURN Ed Reed’s footprint in NFL history is undeniable, and he is considered one of the best safeties to play the game.

“I can’t say he’s the best of all time because I haven’t seen everybody, but he’s definitely the best I’ve ever seen,” Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “There’s a reason people say he’s the best of all time: because he plays like it.”

The Baltimore Ravens safety also has some loud footsteps. His hard-hitting reputation precedes him, so opponents want to know where he is on the field at all times.

“It’s nothing to fear. But he covers a lot of ground. He does a lot of unconventional things,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “You’ve just got to be aware of where he’s at.”

The Redskins no doubt will be planning for Reed today because his greatness is more than 10 years in the making. It blossomed at the University of Miami in 2000 and 2001, when he became more than just a kick returner, and was a consensus All-American.

Reed had 17 interceptions in his final two seasons at Miami, but his development started before that, thanks in large part to Redskins receiver Santana Moss and Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne.

“Me, Ed and Reggie Wayne, we were suite mates when we first came in,” Moss said. “Every day was one of those days that we just got each other better (with) different things that we did.”

It happened on the practice field, where Reed said Moss’ competitiveness as a “fire-starter” got him fired up, too.

“A lot of battles, too, from the (defensive backs) and receivers. I remember Santana getting mad at some of the DBs for covering a certain way and hitting throughout training camp and stuff like that,” Reed said. “We tend to get a little physical at Miami.”

That physicality didn’t stop when the Ravens drafted Reed in the first round in 2002. He has registered 590 NFL tackles and 11 forced fumbles, and he hasn’t slowed down despite being 34. “He changes the game,” Shanahan said.

He does that with more than just big hits. Reed (61 career interceptions, seven returned for touchdowns) is a major threat to pick off Griffin or any other quarterback.

“He knows what is going to happen before it happens,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “Ed Reed is in a different zone. There’s not too many guys like him. He’s got a great understanding of offenses. He knows how to set people up, quarterbacks up. That’s why he’s got so many picks and that’s why he’s a great player.”

After talking to Moss and hearing about Reed from coaches, Griffin has plenty of respect for Reed. He’s an intimidating presence on the Ravens’ defense, which perennially has been one of the best in the league.

Moss sees him as a friend, too. Reed called Moss “a brother to me.” That was forged at “The U” last decade.

“I remember when I broke my jaw one year, Ed Reed made fun of me, calling me ‘Who Killed Kenny?’ because I couldn’t talk. I used to mumble everything,” Moss said, laughing. “But it was all fun days, man. Who would’ve thought back then that all of us would be here now. Looking back at those times and playing against each other almost every other Sunday. Nothing but good memories come to mind with those guys.”

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VIDEO: Sean Taylor Tribute, Reed, Moss, Portis, Rolle Reflect

It was five years ago today that Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor died after a shooting at his home. Taylor's death was one of the most shocking and affecting in recent sports history, and the memory of it still resonates strongly and emotionally with Taylor's fans, friends and former teammates. This video tribute includes insights from former college and professional teammates Antrel Rolle, Clinton Portis, Ed Reed, Chris Cooley and Santana Moss as well as Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who smiles as he remembers Portis badgering him to draft Taylor.

I remember hearing of Taylor's death, of course. I was a baseball writer at the time, but anyone who followed sports even tangentially heard the story, and no one could get their arms around it in a way that made any sense. Five years later, as I heard today from fans, watched the video and read the columns by those who were covering the story at the time, it's clear that Taylor's death is still affecting a large number of people.

Rolle talks about how he still watches Taylor highlights on YouTube. Cooley remembers how grateful he was that Taylor never practiced his trademark big hits against him in practice. And Moss breaks down in tears remembering the way the news affected him. If you're a Redskins fan, I know the loss of Taylor is a wound on your heart that still hasn't healed. I invite you to share your memories and your feelings about him in the comments section of this post.

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Santana Moss Fully Cleared To Play Against Philadelphia After Concussion

ASHBURN – Santana Moss said the concussion he sustained late in the Washington Redskins’ loss to Carolina on Nov. 4 “really wasn’t bad” and that he passed all subsequent tests, freeing him to play against Philadelphia on Sunday.

The receiver left the game in the fourth quarter when he collided with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman while running a route.

The team required its injured players to remain in the area and receive medical treatment during the week, but Moss was given time off when he was cleared by a team physician and an independent neurologist.

“I mean, I ain’t supposed to talk much about it, but it really wasn’t bad,” said Moss, who practiced with his teammates on Monday without restriction. “This is the first time y’all are talking to me, but I walked out of there the day of the game just like this, so I’m cool. I appreciate it.”

Moss, working primarily as the Redskins’ slot receiver this season, has caught 24 passes for 313 yards and a team-high five touchdowns.

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Santana Moss says he’s feeling fine after concussion

Wide receiver Santana Moss participated in the Washington Redskins’ practice Monday and said he felt fine.

Moss suffered a concussion in the Redskins’ most recent game, a loss to the Carolina Panthers prior to their bye week.

He declined to discuss the details of the testing he underwent after suffering his concussion but said he was feeling “good,” and added: “I practiced.”

Moss said he still sees possibilities for good things to happen in the Redskins’ season, even with their 3-6 record.

“I don’t see any down faces in here because of what we’re going through,” Moss said. “I didn’t see that before we left. So, you know, guys are loving what they do every day, and that’s all you can do. You look forward to just being out there and putting work in. That’s what I look forward to. I don’t see no change.”

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Concussed WR Santana Moss subject to NFL return-to-play protocol

Veteran receiver Santana Moss is subject to the NFL's return-to-play protocol after suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to Carolina, Mike Shanahan said Monday.

The Redskins don't play again until Nov. 18 against Philadelphia because this weekend is their bye, so Moss has some extra time to show he is asymptomatic.
That's fortunate for Washington because Moss leads the team with five receiving touchdowns (no one else has more than one) and ranks third with 313 receiving yards. He primarily has been a slot receiver in sets that include three or more receivers.

Moss, 33, will go through the same neurological tests quarterback Robert Griffin III and receiver Aldrick Robinson underwent earlier this season. Both played in the following Sunday's game, but the duration and intensity of concussion symptoms are unique to each sufferer.

Moss was injured when he ran a quick out from the left slot. Cornerback Josh Norman, who lined up over receiver Aldrick Robinson on the outside, came off Robinson when he recognized Griffin intended his throw for Moss. Norman dove to broke up the pass, and his helmet hit the side of Moss' head. Both players were going for the ball, and the hit was not penalized.

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Santana Moss Diagnosed With Concussion After Late Collision

LANDOVER, Md. – Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss was diagnosed with a concussion after he collided with a defensive player late in the loss to Carolina on Sunday and was not allowed to return to the game.

Moss, who had just one catch for two yards in the 21-13 loss, collided with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman with 3:22 remaining. He was the intended receiver on that play, running out of the left slot but apparently unaware of Norman’s presence.

He dressed with the rest of his teammates after the game but was not allowed to speak to reporters about his health because of a league policy prohibiting players experiencing concussion-like symptoms from doing so.

Because of the bye week, Moss will have two weeks to recover from the concussion before the Redskins face Philadelphia on Nov. 18. He has 24 catches for 313 yards and a team-high five touchdowns through nine games.

He is the fifth Redskins player to sustain a concussion this season, joining cornerback Josh Wilson, receiver Aldrick Robinson, quarterback Robert Griffin III and safety Jordan Pugh.

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A Santana revival: Moss and RG3 are a 'Smooth' combination

Let’s examine a pair of Santana revivals for a moment, shall we? Because in some ways, the 1999 revival of seminal guitarist Carlos Santana and the 2012 revival of Redskins WR Santana Moss are comparable.

In 1999, the aging but still masterful Carlos Santana broke out of a long commercial slump with the release of the LP “Supernatural.” It included a number of collaborations with other well-known musicians, including Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Wyclef Jean and Cee-Lo Green. The album’s smash hit was “Smooth,” a song co-written and sung by young vocalist Rob Thomas of the band Matchbox Twenty. “Smooth” was the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks, and it holds the distinction of having been the final No. 1 song of the 1990s. The Santana-Thomas collaboration exposed Santana to a new generation of appreciative listeners.

In 2012, the aging but still skillful Santana Moss has broken out of a long TD slump with the release of the Redskins’ passing game from the clutches of mediocrity. The key Santana collaborator has been young QB Robert Griffin III. With Moss having caught five TD passes in his last six games, a new generation of appreciative fantasy owners has been exposed to the sort of TD production Moss last attained in the early-to-mid 2000s.

The two revivals have some obvious differences, of course. Carlos Santana goes back a little further than Santana Moss, having played for the masses at Woodstock early in his career, while Moss can only claim to have played for Herman Edwards early in his career. And I’m not sure how much the aforementioned collaborators have in common. Robert Griffin III is one of the most spectacular playmakers to come into the league in years. There are no adequate superlatives to describe how impressive his rookie season has been thus far. As for Rob Thomas … uh, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the quality of his career thus far.

For fantasy owners, the compelling question is whether the Moss revival is sustainable. I think it is, at least for the rest of the season — though it’s easy to understand why the Moss surge is being viewed suspiciously in some quarters.

Moss had largely fallen off the radar of fantasy owners entering this season. He produced 584 receiving yards and four TDs in 12 games last season and was only the third-most-productive pass catcher in Washington’s mediocre aerial game, behind Jabar Gaffney and Fred Davis. Although there was optimism that RG3 would be able to reinvigorate the ’Skins’ passing game this season, it was expected that Davis and the newly acquired Pierre Garcon would be the rookie’s top targets.

Davis is out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles, and Garcon has been struggling to come back from a foot injury that could conceivably put him on the shelf for the rest of the season, so Moss has been granted an opportunity to reassert himself as a principle component of the ’Skins’ passing game. But while Moss has been scoring a lot of touchdowns, he hasn’t exactly been a high-volume receiver. Yes, he has had five TD catches over his last half-dozen games, but Moss has amassed only 17 total receptions over that span, with an average of 41.7 receiving yards per game. Moss isn’t even a starter despite the Garcon injury — Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan have been starting for the Redskins.

In Washington’s loss to Pittsburgh last week, Moss caught four passes for 21 yards and a touchdown, with a long gain of only eight yards. But what’s significant, I think, is that Moss was targeted a season-high nine times. He hadn’t been targeted more than five times in any other game this season (though he entered last week’s game averaging a steady 4.0 looks per game, with no fewer than three in any contest). Moss was on the field for 25 snaps against the Steelers, up from 17 snaps against the Giants the week prior.

I don’t think the increased targets and snaps for Moss in Week Nine were a mere anomaly. More likely, they reflect the needed expansion of his role. Last week’s game against Pittsburgh was the Redskins’ first game without Davis, and it appears that Moss was a large part of the plan for filling the void. Moss is much better after the catch than Hankerson (Moss is averaging 6.7 yards after the catch this season to Hankerson’s 4.0), and he’s more effective in the red zone than Morgan (who has nine TD catches in 57 career games).

Moss, 33, hasn’t finished a season with more than six TD receptions since 2005, when he had nine in his first year with the Redskins. His career high in TD catches (10) came with the Jets in 2003. Moss might never again be as busy a receiver as he was two seasons ago, when he had 93 receptions for 1,115 yards, but he has a reasonable chance to finish with 9-10 touchdowns, and I think he can be a useful third receiver or flex play for fantasy owners the rest of the way.

Ain’t got nobody (at wide receiver) that you can depend on? Santana might be able to hit the right notes for you.

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Help Santana Moss remember the name of his favorite scary movie

Santana Moss is a big fan of horror movies, especially classic slasher films. When he was a kid, those scary movies were a household tradition.

“My all-time favorites was anything that scared you,” the Redskins wide receiver told me. “Like the Freddys and the Jasons and Michael Myers and all them. I love those movies. Every Friday we used to go and rent movies, and it was movies that you never heard of. You’d go in the horror section at Blockbuster and you’d find stuff that was so random.”

The movie offerings now don’t scare him like the classics, and one film in particular was his favorite. The problem is, he can’t remember the name of it.
“It was a movie about a janitor at a school, and for years I’ve been trying to find out the name of this movie because I’ve been wanting to watch it,” Moss explained. “Anyway, the kids played a prank on him in the bathroom. And one day they had a school dance or a play or something, and the janitor got into some chemicals and his face was hanging off. And he killed damn near everyone in the school. He would walk the street at night, and anybody he saw he brought terror to.

“That was real horror to me,” he continued. “Nowadays you have stuff that people think is scary, but it’s not really scary.”

A cookie to the reader who knows which movie Moss is talking about. 

As for current movies, Moss is putting out a call to action.

“You have to wait for another Freddy or another Jason or another Michael Myers movie to come out,” he said. “Hopefully someone will hear me, someone out there directing those movies and put some frightening to something.”

UPDATE: Reader @dcuniverse figured out the name of the movie, Slaughter High. I passed it on to a incredibly grateful Santana Moss, who thanks you all for the help and says “Man, the internet is incredible.”

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Santana Moss finds end zone

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss had four catches for just 21 yards in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he was able to score a touchdown.

Fantasy Tip: The veteran now has five touchdown receptions this season, and four scores over his past four games. Despite the scoring, he remains more of a WR3/4 or 'flex' fantasy play heading into Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers.

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Santana Moss isn't 'trippin'' about playing time

Back in March, some wondered why the Washington Redskins would retain an aging Santana Moss, the team's longtime leading receiver who turned 33 this year and is making $2.65 million in salary.

They had already lured under-30, free agents Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon to Washington with multiyear contracts.

But wonder no more. Morgan has been inconsistent as a pass catcher, Garcon is on the shelf with a foot injury and Moss has four receiving touchdowns, three more than any teammate.

"'Tana has just been unbelievable this year," says offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. "He hasn't been playing as much but his production has been as good as it's been for us. Even though we're limiting his reps, he's still having a huge effect on the game."

Moss, who lost 15 pounds in the offseason to regain some speed lost over the years, has played sparingly but is making a big impact. In a 27-23 loss to the New York Giants, Moss played 17 snaps, yet managed three catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns.

In the past seven seasons in Washington, he leads all pass-catchers with 488 receptions and the last time the 5-10 Moss found himself in a No. 3 receiver role was in his second season in the NFL with the New York Jets. And before that, as a freshman at the University of Miami. He says he approaches the slot position with more confidence and more of a sense of urgency nowadays.

"We all go through stuff in life that we've been through before," Moss tells USA TODAY Sports. "So it was nothing for me to adjust to. I don't look at myself as being any lesser than any guy out there. I just feel like my role is different so I accepted it and tried to make the best of it."

Shanahan said Moss is doing just that. He raves over a second-quarter touchdown in the loss to the Giants, a screen pass from Griffin which Moss took 26 yards to the house.

Shanahan said it was "blocked perfectly."

"'Tana set all the guys up. Everybody was working their tail off to get to their guys," Shanahan says. "'Tana hit it one gap at a time. Set one guy up, then the next one, then the next one, then the next one, all the way back to our backside tight end."

Urgency in attitude, patience in motion. Just about the opposite of the way Moss approached the same situation early in his football career.

"When I was young I really just went out there and thought, 'Hey, they'll give me the ball or they wont,'" Moss says. "Now I'm like, when I'm out there, I'm gonna' get open so he can give me the ball. I have a better understanding of what I'm trying to do and who I'm trying to be for this offense. I know this position is meaningful for our offense, so when I'm out there I'm trying to be the best, and I know No. 10 will get me the ball."

No. 10, or rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, may be looking in Moss' direction even more in the coming weeks. Tight end and leading receiver Fred Davis is out for the season with a torn Achilles and Garcon's absence from an early-season foot injury is indefinite.

Moss says he's happy whether he's Griffin's No. 1 option, as he's been in Washington for the better part of a decade, or the No. 3 guy who provides a spark and a reliable set of hands for a developing quarterback in a brand new offense.

"A lot of guys want to be this and be that," Moss says. "I've done it all. Don't get me wrong; I would like to be that guy. But due to the circumstances and what we have and how we're doing it, I can really sleep well knowing my role because I feel like I am that guy for that position.

"That's why I don't be trippin' about it."

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At 33, Santana Moss isn't done yet

This was supposed to be the year Santana Moss was eased toward the rocking chair. He had started to play on cruise control in recent seasons, and the Washington Redskins spent a lot of money on younger receivers to give Robert Griffin III an attractive array of targets.

But the 33-year-old vet wasn't going quietly. He rededicated himself, taking less time off in the spring and losing some 15 pounds.

That player who caught both of Griffin's passes against the Giants, including the 30-yard, over-the-shoulder grab at the goal line late in the fourth quarter? That was Moss. Not Pierre Garcon. Not Joshua Morgan. Not Leonard Hankerson.

''Lighter, quicker, faster,'' Moss said Wednesday. ''I can't say I'm back to the old 21-year-old, 22-year-old `Tana, but a few years ago when I was running like I was running, I feel like I'm that right now.''

Moss has four touchdown catches on the season. No one else on the coach Mike Shanahan's roster has more than one. That's noteworthy given that Moss is being used mostly a slot receiver and isn't on the field that much. He played a season-low 17 snaps in the 27-23 loss to the Giants, and his three receptions for 67 yards in that game put him at 19 for 290 for the season.

Not that he's complaining. In fact, the 2012 version of Moss sounds happier than, say, the 2009 version who had 902 yards for a team that went 4-12.

''So many weeks I went home stressed out, thinking like there's so much on my shoulders because I'm the only guy in the passing game,'' Moss said. ''Way before coach Shanahan got here, it was hard to go out there and put up numbers because everyone's keying on you, and then when they keyed on and you didn't get balls, they wanted you to fuss and be mad about it. And I'm, like, why fuss for something when it's not there?

''Just to sit back now and see we have so many targets and just to be a guy that's included, it's just great to see.''

Moss' newfound excitement, like everyone else's, is driven by the arrival of Griffin, whose must-watch skills have made the Redskins (3-4) exciting and competitive again. The Heisman Trophy winner leads the NFL in completion percentage and has a 101.8 rating even though he hasn't established a go-to receiver.

Free agent acquisition Garcon has missed four games with a foot injury and has only eight catches. Morgan, another free agent signing, has 18. Second-year player Hankerson is at 22. Tight end Fred Davis leads the team with 24, but he's done for the season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon. None rank in the NFL's top 50.

Those unspectacular numbers are due, in part, to Griffin's ability to spread the ball around. Also, the Redskins' effective ground game - they're No. 1 in the league in yards rushing - means the rookie doesn't have to throw as much.

Nevertheless, the season has played out in such a way that Moss has gone from potentially expendable to nearly indispensable.

''He's a guy that's seen it all, done it all, and can still do a lot with the abilities that he has,'' Griffin said. ''He can be a security blanket. But, like I've told people, you don't try to force it to guys like him who can make plays. You take it if it's there.''

While being active in the offense leads to its share of positive plays, it inevitably also brings about a few negative ones. Moss fumbled away the Redskins' final chance for a game-winning drive against the Giants, losing the ball after a catch over the middle at Washington's 43-yard line with 39 seconds remaining.

Moss said it stinks to be part of such a play, but he's been around long enough to know how to deal with it.

''At the end of the day you have to put that in perspective,'' he said, ''and know that you're going to be in some tough ones, you're going to be up, you're going to be down. It's how you handle it, and I've handed them all.''

Moss recently passed 500 catches and 7,000 yards with the Redskins, both ranking fourth all-time for the franchise behind Art Monk, Charley Taylor and Gary Clark. He might not have been around to reach those milestones had he not pushed himself anew to get ready for the season.

''If I hadn't put the extra work in, I probably wouldn't want to be here,'' he said. ''Because I know I wasn't myself the last couple of years, even though I produced well enough the year before. But that wasn't me, that wasn't the body of work I like to put out there.''

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For Santana Moss, ecstasy then agony

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In a slightly different world, Santana Moss would face the bright TV lights and microphones thrust inches from his face and relive the happy instant when the game-winning touchdown found his hands.

Instead, Moss thrust the hands deep into his pockets. The detritus of defeat surrounded him: crumpled blue towels, empty water bottles, discarded game programs, shards of training tape and the urgency to leave MetLife Stadium.

In the span of a few jarring minutes Sunday, Moss went from hauling in a 30-yard touchdown pass to losing a fumble on the last-ditch drive as the New York Giants survived the Washington Redskins, 27-23.

“It’s something,” the receiver said, “you don’t want to be a part of.”

In the midst of his 12th NFL season, Moss understands Sunday’s extremes better than most. He tries not to get too high or low. Cliches beat back the waves of cameras. He spoke in an even, gathered voice about a turn of events as appealing to him as a dip in the nearby Hackensack River.

Yes, he felt badly about fumbling. Yes, he felt good about the touchdown.

That last touchdown — his second of the afternoon, with 1:32 remaining — stuck in his mind. Victory over the defending Super Bowl champions felt like beating Giants rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley by three steps on a seam route while Robert Griffin III’s pass caught him in stride like something from a quarterback instructional video. The touchdown would do it. The touchdown had to.

“We had the game pretty much in our grasp,” said Moss, who caught four passes for 67 yards. “Would I want it to happen a little different? Yeah, but when you’re fighting, anything can happen. Sometimes you lose a fight. I just feel like a lost a fight.”

A win came before the loss. Griffin noticed Moss one-on-one against a rookie. The opportunity was too enticing to pass up. Never mind that Moss‘ extensive playing time came thanks to big-ticket free-agent Pierre Garcon’s lingering (and mysterious) foot injury. Never mind Moss‘ 33 years, an age when most players move into their post-football careers.

“I just want to give him a chance,” Griffin said. “He told me he appreciates that because a lot of people have said they don’t think he still has it. I, for one, have seen it. I think he still has it and he showed it right there.”

Of course, Eli Manning’s 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz followed.

Moss, though, had another opportunity. Did the Giants score too quickly? The football rested on the Redskins‘ 32-yard line with 46 seconds left. Could Griffin conjure up another rally against a defense he shredded for 347 total yards? The quarterback zipped an 11-yard pass into Moss‘ arms. He wrapped the football with two arms responsible for 655 career catches.

Somehow, someway Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn clawed the ball free. Moss hadn’t lost a fumble since 2010, when he handed over two fumbles.
All tackle Trent Williams saw was the football — and comeback ­— on the ground. Hosley, the rookie Moss beat a few minutes earlier, scooped up the ball. Williams hoped Moss‘ knee was down. So did running back Alfred Morris. That’s all they had left. But Moss‘ knee wasn’t down. The rally ended and sent Giants supporters whooping back to their tailgates and New Jersey Transit trains and tour buses.

After the cameras receded, Moss slipped through the locker room, arms covered by his blue-green sweater. The touchdown that gave the Redskins an oh-so-brief lead seemed far away. Across the piled duffel bags and stacks of jerseys and overflowing garbage cans stood Morris. Before the season started, the rookie asked Moss to autograph a No. 89 jersey. Moss had always been his favorite Redskin.

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Story Time: Santana Moss And A Redskins Fan

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Santana Moss has lived in the Washington D.C. area now since 2005. He knows when there is buzz and excitement in the town about the Redskins.

You would think Moss, 33, would be one of the most recognizable faces for Redskins fans to identify. Apparently not.

"I heard a guy at the gas station and he asks me 'how about those Redskins?' He didn't even know I played," said Moss to a throb of laughing reporters.
"He was like 'Aw man, I was there.' And I was like 'Yeah it was a good one, huh?' And he was like 'That run man. I haven't seen one like that in a long time.'

Moss concluded the story by saying he didn't tell the guy who he was.

"Nah, I don't get into all that."

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Santana Moss will wait until career ends to savor joining 500-catch club

Lost in the flurry surrounding Robert Griffin III’s concussion and the Redskins’ defeat by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday was the milestone achieved by wide receiver Santana Moss.

The 12th-year veteran recorded his 500th catch as a Redskins, joining Art Monk (888 catches), Charley Taylor (649) and Gary Clark (549) as the only receivers in franchise history to reach that mark.

Moss had two catches for 80 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown, but was in no mood to reflect on his accomplishment after the game. That 77-yard catch from Kirk Cousins marked Moss’ longest reception since 2005.

A couple days removed from the loss, Moss said he appreciated reaching the milestone, but likely won’t truly comprehend the significance until his career has ended.

“To be honest with you, man, I’m honored to be a part of something down the road that’s going to be big to me. Right now, I don’t know what it does for me because I don’t really get into all that,” said Moss, who had 151 catches as a New York Jet in the first four seasons of his career before he was traded to Washington. After joining the Redskins, Moss became the team’s featured receiver and led the team in catches in six of his seven seasons in a Washington uniform.

Moss no longer is a starter following the offseason additions of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. But Moss remains a part of the offense as a slot receiver. Through five games, he has 12 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns.

Coaches have praised Moss’s attitude and leadership this season and say that Moss has rebounded from last year’s injury-plagued season and has returned in top shape.

Moss says he hasn’t ever let statistics or status affect his thinking. His only goal is to win. He said that reaching the 500-catch mark does indicate to him that his approach to the game is correct.

“I know it comes down to the work that I put in to do what I do,” Moss said. “One day, I’ll appreciate having something to sit back on and say, ‘I really did go out there and do some work and have something to be acknowledged for.’ I don’t look at catches because everybody gets put in different situations. But just to be a part of the guys that are a part of it, I’m honored to be named among them.”

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Santana Moss in elite company after 500th catch as a Redskin

After Santana Moss sparked the Redskins with a 77-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown that gave them the lead in the fourth quarter against Atlanta last Sunday, he quietly reached a milestone.

Moss' next reception, a ho-hum 3-yarder, was his 500th as a Redskin. That put him among elite company. Only three other players have caught 500 passes with the team: Hall of Famers Art Monk (888) and Charley Taylor (649) and also Gary Clark (549).

"I’m happy because a lot of people don’t get the opportunity," Moss said. "I’m humbled, too, at the same time. I appreciate the honor. I appreciate being up there with those guys, but I know I’m still out here doing it."

Moss joined the Redskins in 2005. In four years with the New York Jets prior to that, he had 151 receptions. For his career, he has 9,319 receiving yards and 58 receiving touchdowns.

He has never been a big stats guy, though. Anytime a reporter mentions his numbers to him, he seems surprised.

"I just don’t really let that stuff bother me now while I’m still playing," he said. "When I’m done, I can sit back and think about everything I did then. When I’m still playing, I just kind of have one goal in mind. That’s just to be out there doing what I’m doing."

When he's done playing, he's sure to be enshrined in the Redskins' Ring of Honor at FedEx Field.

"That’d be pretty special, too," he said.

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Santana Moss Has Huge Game With Reduced Role

WR SANTANA MOSS: Moss caught a 77-yard touchdown reception that gave the Redskins a 17-14 lead with 12:24 remaining. From the right slot, he ran through the defense between the hash marks. S William Moore didn’t get deep enough to defend a pass over the top, and QB Kirk Cousins exploited the blown coverage with a perfect throw. All Moss had to do was catch it.

Moss is on this list as much for how he has handled his reduced role in the offense. Before this year, he was the Redskins’ featured wide receiver in every season since he arrived in 2005. Moss, 33, hasn’t publicly complained, though. He’s a classy teammate who cares about winning. Good for him scoring that touchdown Sunday.

“Everyone has a role on your football team,” coach Mike Shanahan said last week. “You don’t always have to accept it. You don’t always have to like it…When I did approach him, it didn’t surprise me that he was 100 percent in. Not only did he lose the weight, it’s been the way he has handled himself since Day 1. He’s a competitor. He could care less if he catches a pass if we win. When you have that type of mindset, then good things normally happen with a guy like that.”   

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Santana Moss says he’s making most of new role so far

Veteran wide receiver Santana Moss says he thinks it has been so far, so good in his new role with the Washington Redskins, lining up in the slot in three-receiver formations.

“I feel it’s gone as good as it can go,” Moss said Monday. “I’m out there. I’m out there making plays…. Thus far, I’ve been handling it well.”

Moss has 10 catches for 97 yards and one touchdown in the Redskins’ first four games of the season. He had three catches in Sunday’s triumph at Tampa, with two of them coming on the Redskins’ final drive that culminated with place kicker Billy Cundiff’s game-winning field goal to beat the Buccaneers, 24-22.

“I’ve been a guy that came in on third downs before earlier in my career,” Moss said. “Sometimes you have to just go back and think about what you did in those situations. That’s basically what I’m doing. But I’m more mature. I’m more able to handle this because I’m not young and I know this game.

“The thing I like about it the most is it’s not something that I can sit and hang my hat on. I know deep down inside if they need me to go outside, I can go out there and beat guys any day. That’s the thing that I’m fortunate to be able to do. A lot of guys may get to where I’m at in this game, their role is reduced [and] you think their role is reduced because they can’t handle the pressure on the outside. That’s not my case. This is a situation they want to put me in to make me better to be able to give them a little more.”

Moss, who’s in his 12th NFL season, was a 1,100-yard receiver for the Redskins as recently as two years ago. His production dipped to 46 catches for 584 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games last season, and the Redskins signed free agents Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan in the offseason in a bid to bolster their receiver corps.

Through four games, the Redskins are ranked third in the league in total offense and fourth in scoring offense. Their record is 2-2 after the last-second win in Tampa.

“For so long, I’ve been doing it and didn’t have the help,” Moss said. “Now you have so many guys out there that can help you, you sit back and kind of say, ‘Hey, when my time comes, it comes.’ I’ve never been a guy that worries about how many [catches] and all that type of stuff because I feel like whatever your team gives you to be successful, that’s all you can really accept. Therefore I take it in stride. I want to win more than anything. So when something was brought upon me like that, the first thing I said was, ‘If that’s going to help the team, I’m all for it.’ ”

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Reduced Role, Responsibilities Not A Concern For Santana Moss

ASHBURN – When Santana Moss was first approached with the idea of serving primarily as the Washington Redskins’ slot receiver this season, he thought about the players before him who had too much pride to agree to such a change.

“I feel like whatever your team gives you to be successful, that’s all you can really accept, and so therefore, I just take it in stride,” Moss said. “I want to win more than anything, so when something was brought upon on me like that, the first thing I said is, ‘If that’s gonna help the team, then I’m all for it.’”

Moss led the Redskins in receiving yards each year from 2005-10, serving almost entirely as their No. 1 receiver. With the offseason acquisitions of Pierre Garçon and Joshua Morgan and an expanded role for second-year receiver Leonard Hankerson, Moss has been shifted more to playing exclusively in the slot.
Through four games this season, Moss has caught 10 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown while playing just over half of the Redskins’ offensive plays. A year ago, when he caught 46 passes for 584 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games, he was on the field roughly 80 percent of time.

“I feel it’s gone as good as it can go, you know?” Moss said. “When I play football, I play football. I don’t look at it as just making catches, [but] as being a football player. My job is to go out there and block. My job is to go out there and clear out sometimes. My job is to go out there and catch the balls when they come my way, and thus far, I’ve been handling it well.”

Moss made an effort to get in greater shape during the offseason, shedding nearly 15 pounds to get his playing weight in the low-190s. He wanted to feel quicker and more explosive in the new role, which has seen him running more crossing routes and catching more passes underneath.

But his veteran presence and ability was known Sunday in the Redskins’ 24-22 victory at Tampa Bay when quarterback Robert Griffin III found him for a crucial seven-yard gain with approximately 10 seconds remaining to set up a the game-winning 41-yard field goal.

“This is a situation where they want to put me in to make me better, to be able to give them a little more, so when you have that situation, you take it with a smile and you say, ‘Hey, I’ve been doing it for so long, let me go out there and do it and then have the help,’” Moss said. “Now you have so many guys out there that can help you, you kind of sit back and say, ‘Hey, when my time comes, it comes.’”

Even when considering his pride – a 12-year veteran in his eighth season with the same team – Moss doesn’t feel slighted.

“It’s a blessing to be able to still be playing and to go out here and compete at this level the way I can compete,” Moss said. “I’ve seen a lot of guys that came in with me, seen a lot of guys that did it before me, that can’t compete at this level right now and that’s not here at this level playing. When you want to think about pride, you put all that to the side, because you’ve seen how those guys handled their situation.

“That’s the best way I look at it. I learned from other people’s mistakes and you know, there’s only a few of us that are fortunate enough to keep going, and I consider myself one of those guys. At the end of the day, you know, if somebody brings something to you and it’s gonna benefit you, you take it and not try to throw it back at them because you know what the outcome could be.”


Santana Moss thinks Bucs sabotaged Redskins' headset on final drive

Veteran wide receiver Santana Moss served as the conspiracy theorist in the Washington Redskins’ locker room Monday, one day after rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III orchestrated a game-winning drive in Tampa without a working radio receiver in his helmet.

“The only thing that might be surprising to you all is that he’s young and it happened to him,” Moss said. “I mean, I’ve been in plenty of games that when we’re away, we can’t hear the call, especially on the last part of the game. So I’m almost thinking that that’s something that they do in stadiums to say, ‘Hey, you know, let’s make it little harder for them.’ ”

Griffin led the Redskins down the field Sunday at Raymond James Stadium on a drive in the final two minutes that culminated with a 41-yard field goal by place kicker Billy Cundiff with three seconds left that beat the Buccaneers, 24-22.

Griffin said after the game that he’d been forced to call some of the plays on the drive because the electronic device in his helmet that connects him to Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wasn’t functioning.

“The funny thing was that the headset did go out on that drive and that’s why I was having to run back and forth to the sideline,” Griffin said Sunday evening. “I had to call a couple of my own plays…. You don’t want that to happen. But I was pleased.”

NFL folklore is filled with stories of home teams allegedly using improper tactics to jam the signals of visiting clubs’ electronic communications devices. Such tales haven’t been substantiated and seem to have a certain legendary quality to them.

In the aftermath of the “Spygate” videotaping scandal involving the New England Patriots in 2007, the NFL toughened its anti-cheating policies. Teams must sign annual statements saying they have complied with all competitive rules, and the league leaves open the possibility of unannounced inspections of teams’ facilities and stadiums.

Moss’s comments Monday came amid the general raving about Griffin’s exploits.

“You put him in a game-time situation, that critical, game on the line, it makes it a little more, ‘Wow,’ ” Moss said. “But other than that, as a player you know that that’s what he’s there for…. I’m glad we have a guy that, even though we’re dealing with his youth of him not being here, he doesn’t play like his age or his coming into the league this young. He doesn’t approach the game that way. He approaches the game like he’s been here before.”

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Three catches for 14 yards for Santana Moss

Redskins WR Santana Moss caught three passes for just 14 yards in Sundays loss to the Rams.
With Pierre Garcon out, some expected a larger role for Moss, but that was not the case. He was targeted only three times, and his longest reception went for nine yards. There's little to no fantasy value to be had with the aging wide receiver.

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Santana Moss: Dan Snyder ‘is a guy you want to play for’

Santana Moss was on the Jim Rome Show and took some time to wax poetic about playing for Dan Snyder.

“That’s one of the reasons why I love this team so much, because of the relationship I have with Dan Snyder,” he said. “You know, this is a guy that, he goes beyond. I hear so much in the media about Dan Snyder when it comes to how fans portray him and everything man, and I say I just don’t know. Because this guy is a guy you want to play for. He’s gonna make sure everything that you want is there and given for you to be comfortable to go out there and perform for this team.

“When you see him around, you watch him from the sidelines and you can go up to him and talk to him, ask him how his wife, ask him how his kids,” he continued. “He’s one of those guys you can conversate with. And then the day he’s one of those guys who will pat you on the butt back and say, ‘Let’s go out there and have a good game.’ You like that and you want that from your owner. You want him to be a part of what you got going on.

“I know a lot of guys experience where they don’t know the owner or they might see him every now and then,” he continued. “Dan Snyder is here, watching us practice, watching the guys, he’s interacting, asking us questions. And he knows football, and he’s one of those guys that makes you want to go out there and bleed and sweat for him on Sunday. That’s one of my main reasons why I want to be a Redskin.”

Moss isn’t the first player to talk about how great it is to play for Snyder. Chris Cooley has talked about his friendship with the Redskins owner and Clinton Portis most recently called Snyder the best owner in sports.

This clearly differs from the opinion of fans who don’t have the privilege of playing football for the Redskins. Perhaps the quickest way to improve Snyder’s public image is to sign all Redskins fans to a contract.

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Santana Moss a fan favorite

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Santana Moss not just an elder statesman for Redskins

ASHBURN, Va. – Who's the toughest guy to cover on the Washington Redskins?

Is it hulking tight end Fred Davis? Free agent pickups Pierre Garcon or Josh Morgan? Or maybe sizeable second-year wideout Leonard Hankerson? Ask Redskins safety DeJon Gomes, and the answer is simple:


According to Gomes, 33-year old Santana Moss — the Redskins' longest-tenured veteran — is still Washington's toughest player to check. Even after being relegated to the slot receiver position and coming off what was statistically his worst season in seven with the team.

"He has the speed," Gomes says. "But he also has a lot of moves off the line. Nobody can get hands on him."

With the release of Chris Cooley last week, Moss became the only remaining member of the 2005 Redskins, the year he was traded by the New York Jets in exchange for Laveranues Coles. He caught a career-high 84 passes for 1,483 yards that season, and his production remained largely consistent over the next five years. Then came a disappointing 2011, which Moss finished with 46 catches for 584 yards after breaking his hand in Week 7. When he was on the field, his yards per reception from 2010-2011 were the fewest in his NFL career.

If he had lost a step, it might explain why Redskins coaches asked Moss to slim down this offseason to keep his place on the club. So Moss showed up 15 pounds lighter in the spring, and faster, say teammates.

"Honestly, man, things change in life, and I'm well aware of that," Moss said last week. "I've never been a guy that was complacent about where I am. I've never had a hard time adapting.

"Whether the coaches need me to be the guy I used to be or not, and be something less, at least they gave me an opportunity."

The preseason showed he had gained a step, and he will likely see the field in three- and four-receiver sets beside Garcon and Morgan or Hankerson.
For years, Moss and Cooley were the only relevant targets for Redskins quarterbacks. Moss' 488 receptions for Washington are fifth-most in team history. Finally, he'll share some of the spotlight as rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III begins his NFL education in earnest.

"Santana comes to work every day and does what he has to do," Hankerson says. "In meetings, he's helping us young guys out and he's preparing like the old Santana. There's nothing different."

Moss is still one of the fastest players in what has become a diverse if not star-studded Washington receiving group. Davis, 26, was named the team's offensive player of 2011 despite being suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Garcon, 26, led the offensively inept Indianapolis Colts with 947 receiving yards last season. Morgan, 27, seemed on the cusp of a breakout effort in San Francisco last year before a season-ending leg injury.

In a division full of star wide receivers in their prime, the Redskins have none, but do have one of the deepest groups.

"They're all good," says Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson. "They all do different things that make it hard for a defensive back. Santana's quick. Pierre can take the top off of a defense. Hank is a big receiver. They all have different strengths that make it tough to check them."

But if you ask the right Redskin, there's none tougher than Moss.

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Santana Moss hopes reduced role with Redskins leads to increased impact

When Santana Moss sits at his locker at Redskins Park and glances around the room, he can’t help but notice how different it looks compared to when he first got there in 2005.

A lot of notable names have come and gone from the Washington Redskins’ roster since Joe Gibbs traded a disgruntled Laveranues Coles to the New York Jets in exchange for Moss. Clinton Portis, LaVar Arrington, Chris Samuels, Sean Taylor, Mike Sellers, Shawn Springs, Mark Brunell, Patrick Ramsey, Jason Campbell. They’re all gone.

Last week saw the Redskins part with another member of that team when they released tight end Chris Cooley.

Of the 53 players on that 2005 team, only Moss remains — having played for three head coaches and prepared to play with his eighth starting quarterback.
But as the Redskins prepare to kick off the regular season Sunday in New Orleans, Moss has not only survived, he is still expected to be a key figure in the offense.

His role has changed. He no longer is the starter, thanks to the arrival of free agents Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan and the anticipated breakout of second-year pro Leonard Hankerson. This season Moss takes on the role of slot receiver, meaning he will come off the bench for three- and four-receiver formations, and could see time on only half his team’s offensive snaps. But Redskins coaches believe that with the lighter load, the 33-year-old will be more effective.

Moss, whose 488 catches as a Redskin rank fifth on the team’s all-time receptions list, refuses to see the decision as a demotion. He’s simply glad to still be on the field.

“Honestly, man, things change in life, and I’m well aware of that,” Moss said. “I’ve never been a guy that was complacent about where I am. I’ve never had a hard time adapting. . . . Whether the coaches need me to be the guy I used to be or not, and be something less, at least they gave me an opportunity. . . . You see guys come and go — guys that have been here a while — that are gone now.”

Last summer, Moss signed a five-year, $25 million contract to return to the team, but his production during the season was limited. He broke his hand halfway through the season and missed four weeks of action. Once Moss returned, he didn’t seem to have the same explosiveness, and finished the year with only 46 catches for 584 yards and four touchdowns.

This past winter, Redskins brass deemed the receiver position in need of an overhaul. So they signed Garcon to be their No. 1, Morgan to compete with Hankerson as the No. 2, and told Moss he needed to lose weight and have a strong offseason and training camp. Coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan also planned on having Hankerson and two other young wideouts — Terrence Austin and Aldrick Robinson — compete for Moss for playing time at slot receiver.

Moss reported for spring practices 15 pounds lighter and coaches remarked that the 12th-year veteran seemed rejuvenated. Moss emerged from the preseason having beaten out Hankerson and Robinson, and Austin was released.

“He’s just keeping his nose to the grind, and wherever they put him, he’s able to be successful and still show he’s a dangerous receiver,” said Anthony Armstrong, Moss’s teammate of two seasons, whom the Redskins released Friday. He signed with the Miami Dolphins on Saturday.

Moss said he never wavered in his confidence over making the team, and never felt threatened by the competition.

“I’ve never been insecure,” Moss said. “So when it comes to [competition], I always look at it as, ‘You line up next to me and show me that you’re better than me.’ . . . We’re a team, so if I have to do something different than what I had to do before, then cool, because I can line up with the best of them.”

To understand Moss’s sense of contentment with his situation, one must go back to his days at Miami Carol City High School, where as a skinny, 5-foot-6 kid, he made the varsity squad, but found opportunities hard to come by.

His first year on varsity, Moss saw only three balls come his way. Not much changed the following year and Moss wanted to transfer to another school, but his father wouldn’t let him.

“It took me two, three years for the coach to finally say, ‘Okay, you’re ready now.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Coach, I been out here running my routes.’ But I appreciated it,” Moss said. “As I seen my senior year, we won the state championship and I was, quote unquote, that guy. I was like, ‘Wow.’ Dad told me to stay, and I was always humble about the situation, I never had any outbursts or anything. But it showed me that if you work hard and wait patiently, good things will come to you.”

Even after that state championship campaign, which saw Moss record 25 catches for 600 yards and 12 touchdowns, doors were slow to open for him. He got into Miami on a track scholarship and then earned a spot on the football team before finally developing into a first round draft pick four years later.

Moss got off to a slow start in the NFL as well. An injury forced him out of the first 11 games of his rookie season, and he didn’t become a full-time starter until his third season. Nine years later, Moss has made one Pro Bowl appearance and recorded four 1,000-yard seasons (three with Washington). He counts himself fortunate, especially considering his longevity both with the Redskins and in the NFL as a whole. Of the receivers drafted his rookie year in 2001, only Moss, Indianapolis’s Reggie Wayne and Carolina’s Steve Smith are still in the league.

“He’s probably one of the best guys I’ve been around that understands the game and understands his role and how he fits. That’s why he’s been able to last so long,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “And he’s a real humble guy. Even though he’s been a top receiver, Pro Bowl guy, at the top of his game, he’s never been a prima donna. And that’s what you love to see in a guy.”

Kyle Shanahan said this summer that he still sees Moss as “one of the premier guys in the NFL at that [slot receiver] position.” And despite his reduced role, Garcon and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III say Moss remains the leader of the receiver position.

“I am throwing it to Santana if I get in trouble,” Griffin said. “It’s just something that comes about with the flow of the play. If the play breaks down, Santana just happens to have more experience in following the quarterback.”

Moss appreciates the respect of his teammates, but at this point in his career, recognition isn’t something he seeks. Having made the playoffs with Washington only twice since 2005, he only wants to win.

“It’s bad. It’s real bad,” Moss said of his increasing contempt for losing. “But with that said, man, the only way to get that taste out of your mouth or conquer what you’re feeling is to go out there and do it. . . . Receivers can have a losing season as a team and have a great statistical season as a receiver. . . . My success is based on what the team does. I’m all about winning. And if you can’t win, you ain’t successful.”

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