RICHMOND — There were times last season when, with Pierre Garcon out of the lineup and Josh Morgan struggling with leg and hand injuries, the Washington Redskins’ most reliable wide receiver was Santana Moss.
That says something about the season that Moss had at age 33 after seemingly being close to being out of the team’s plans. But it also says something about the Redskins’ wide receiver corps, a group that was remade prior to last season. The immediate results of that makeover were mixed.
The Post Sports Live crew offers early impressions on the injuries, recoveries and fans from the first week of Redskins training camp.
Insight on the Redskins and all the latest news from Post reporters Mike Jones and Mark Maske.
For the Redskins to be the team they want to be this season, they very well might need more out of their wide receivers. The ideal scenario for them would be for Garcon to remain healthy, for Moss to duplicate last season’s performance and for Morgan to feel better and produce more.
“I watch a lot of football and I see [receiving] corps,” Moss said this week at the Redskins’ training camp headquarters. “I see the Green Bay Packers’ corps. I see the Saints. I see different teams that have four or five guys that can be called upon. Last year we were one of those corps that were trying to be like them. And I just hope this year we take it to the next level.”
The Redskins were very good on offense last season en route to winning the NFC East title and quarterback Robert Griffin III being named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year. They were fifth in the league in total offense and fourth in scoring offense. They were first in rushing. But they were only 20th in the league in passing, based on yards per game.
Garcon and Morgan had been signed as free agents prior to last season to bolster a group of wideouts that had lacked a 1,000-yard receiver in the 2011 season. Yet the Redskins failed to produce even a 700-yard receiver last season. Garcon missed much of the season because of an ailing toe and led the team with 633 receiving yards.
Morgan had a team-high 48 catches. But they produced only a modest 510 receiving yards. The D.C. native had high hopes after signing with his hometown team following four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. But he was limited by his ongoing recovery from the broken bone in his lower right leg that he suffered during the 2011 season. He also hurt ligaments in both hands at different points last season.
“Last year I don’t think I was healthy enough to do anything you were supposed to do as a wide receiver,” Morgan said this week. “It hurt to push off. It hurt to plant and cut. It hurt to catch the ball.”
Morgan said he “went back and forth” all season with the idea that he should sit out long enough to get healthy. But he played on. It wasn’t an easy season for him, especially after he received threatening messages on Twitter for committing a costly penalty late in a loss at St. Louis in the second game of the season.
“It was very frustrating, especially after the Rams game with that type of mistake,” Morgan said. “You just want to shut everybody up: ‘That’s why they brought me here.’ I finished as the team’s leading receiver with receptions and everything. With everything I went through, I still look at that as an accomplishment.”