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Moss Contributing To Offensive Renaissance

Posted Nov 19, 2012

He may be the team's oldest player on offense, but WR Santana Moss is still contributing at a high level this season, even in a reduced roll.

He may be the team's oldest player on offense, but veteran receiver Santana Moss is still contributing at a high level this season, even in a reduced roll.

After averaging 15 starts per season over the last four years in Washington, Moss has started only one game this season, but contributed in each of the team's 10 contests.

"[Moss] has just been unbelievable this year," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said recently. "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 played a pivotal role in Sunday's 31-6 victory over the Eagles, catching one pass for a game-sealing 61-yard touchdown.

The play came on 3rd-and-10 from the Redskins' 39-yard line.  Moss streaked down the right sideline and beat double coverage with a leaping catch at the 5-yard line, before spinning across the goal line for the score.

After the game, Moss said it was time for a playmaker to make a play.

"Honestly, it was just time to make a play," he said. "They called my number and a play was made. That was just me being hungry and knowing that this opportunity may not come again.

"Touchdowns don’t come easy. I was hungry just knowing that those kinds of plays are big for our team."

This was Moss's second reception over 60 yards this season, the first time he had a pair of that distance since 2005, his first season in Washington.

His 77-yard reception earlier this season was his first reception greater than 60 yards since 2008.

"It's almost instincts. Whenever I get the opportunity, I just use it," Moss said of his playmaking ability.  "I used to be asked that question by [former] Coach [Joe] Gibbs back in the day when I was here with him. I just see [the ball] and it’s my time to get it.

"I put everything else out there and try to attack the ball."

Moss's production has contributed to the team's offensive resurgence this year, rising from 16th in total offense in 2011 to No. 8 in 2012.

In Week 5, Moss became only the fourth player to record 500 career receptions as a member of the Washington Redskins, joining Gary Clark and Pro Football Hall of Famers Charley Taylor and Art Monk.

In the five games since then, Moss has caught only 13 more passes.

Even as snaps have come at a premium this season, Moss understands his role on the team extends beyond the sidelines.

“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 recently. “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.’”

Taking the ball deep has always been a major part of Moss's game, but his ability to score on big plays hasn't always been so easy.

After catching the Hail Mary yesterday, Moss related it to previous seasons where he may have been tackled inside the 10-yard line.

"I’ve been a victim before of catching balls down there and not getting in the end zone some years back, and I just saw it," he said.  "It kind of happened so quick. I just saw an opportunity and being that those opportunities don’t come as often as they used to, I try and make sure I capitalize off every one that comes my way."

Moss's team-leading six receiving touchdowns this season nearly equals the output of the rest of the team combined (seven), and surpasses the team leader from 2011 (Jabar Gaffney, five).

It is also ties the most touchdowns Moss has scored in a season since his nine in 2005, his first season in Washington.

"You have to try and take advantage of every chance you get to score," Moss said. "When I had the opportunity, I just made sure I did the best with it."

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