Let’s get right to today’s topic: Does veteran wide receiver Santana Moss make the Redskins?
Two days ago, I would have said, “it’s going to be tight.” But after listening to Coach Jay Gruden gush about Moss on Wednesday afternoon, I’ve upgraded my opinion to, “probably.”
It’s important to point out that what coach says in a press conference isn’t always what he’s actually thinking. I get that. It’s also important to note that things can change as the intensity ramps up in the coming weeks. But Gruden really went out of his way to praise the 35-year-old veteran, who is one of 12 receivers fighting for six (maybe seven) spots.
“Santana, he’s had an excellent offseason program, man,” Gruden said. “He’s fun to be around. He’s fun to watch. He knows every position [and] he’s making big plays out there. He looks like a young kid. He’s got energy. He’s a great leader.”
Gruden added: “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.”
Sure, Moss’ stats are on the decline. Last season, he had 42 receptions, 452 yards (his lowest total in 12 seasons), a career-low 10.8 yards per catch average and only two touchdowns, down from eight the previous season.
But it sure sounds like Gruden is looking to Moss as a team leader, a savvy vet who can call out the quarterback if necessary, a respected voice who can help unite a locker room when things get tough. That stuff is important. And it's sometimes overlooked and undervalued.
The thing about Moss is he leads with his words and his actions.
“He’s working out hard,” Gruden said. “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.”
So now that you know how the head coach feels about Moss, what are your thoughts? Has your opinion changed?