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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