A Caution to this Season's Opponents: Underestimate Santana Moss at Your Own Peril

I loved the gutsy article posted by "theAgentC83" and the comment posted by Shaved24 covering our depth and youth at receiver, Santana Moss's upcoming cap hit in 2013 and the natural consequences. The flip side, of course, is why the Redskins have been more than happy to pay Santana that huge contract.

Tana Man will be a valued resource and frequent outlet for our young QB.

What You Want in a Slot Receiver: Smarts, Shiftiness and Great Hands
Santana speed reads defenses, anticipating opponents' moves as accurately as London Fletcher and reacting on the fly as quickly as RG3. Tana Man's ability to fool and juke defenders is right up there with Wes Welker's. And Santana's hands over the course of his Redskins career have been as reliable as Art Monk's.

Santana is one of the best in the league when it comes to finding the holes and passing lanes in the defense, the soft spots in coverage where he's open for the catch. It's one of the primary reasons he was immediately on "the same page" with every QB we've ever put on the field.

We've watched the NFL change over the years. Gone is the fullback on most downs, replaced by the slot receiver, and what a productive substitution that has been! No receiver in the league has had more receptions over the past 5 seasons than slot receiver Wes Welker.

No receiver on the Redskins has caught more receptions or gained more yardage the past 7 seasons than Santana Moss. (His injury-plagued 2011 season being the lone exception and an absolute aberration IMO.) Santana talks about his weight being an issue last season, but the real issue was his injuries, which are completely healed. His new weight is relevant only in that it allows him to be quicker than a cat playing from the slot.

Santana Moss
Season | Receptions | Yardage

2010 | 93 | 1115
2009 | 70 | 902
2008 | 79 | 1044
2007 | 61 | 808
2006 | 55 | 790
2005 | 84 | 1483

Our offensive system and our QB's skillset vastly differ from New England's, but considering RG3 and Santana are rabid students of the game, workaholics and perfectionists, look for RG3 and Santana to quickly form the same relationship as Brady and Welker, albeit at a lower number of receptions, given the differences in the teams' offenses.

Here's an example of how we'll see this play out. Garcon will release vertically, carrying the corner with him until the safety can get there. Moss meanwhile will react to this coverage by running a short out underneath that corner, taking the free yardage the Zone D gave up on this easy pass play. Later the defense will counter by moving a linebacker outside or rolling a nickel toward Garcon. Santana will respond by slicing inside for yet another easy completion. Santana will be dangerous no matter where he goes, and he'll make Pierre all the more effective.

I am a fan of our young receivers but I don't look forward to the day any of them try to match Santana's skillset or his productivity in the slot. Pierre Garcon hopefully will lead our receivers in yardage and receptions this season but now that we are heading into the regular season does anyone honestly believe any of our other receivers or tight ends will pull in more receptions than Santana?

The Redskins are one of my favorite outlets. Look for Santana to be one of RG3's, a slot machine that young Robert can't resist feeding.

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