RICHMOND—During OTAs, some were wondering if Redskins receiver Santana Moss would end up on the wrong side of the roster bubble. He was about to turn 35, the team had signed two big-ticket free agent wide receivers in DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts and drafted Ryan Grant. And there was a new coaching regime in place and nobody would have been surprised if Jay Gruden wanted to go younger at the position.
But when he was asked about Moss in June Gruden had some high praise. “Santana, he’s had an excellent offseason program, man,” said Gruden. “He’s fun to be around, he’s fun to watch, he knows every position, he’s making big plays out there. He looks like a young kid, he’s got energy, he’s a great leader.”
Fast forward to training camp and Gruden’s praise for Moss continues. “Santana is a veteran guy and he can do everything also,” said Gruden. “He’s a guy a lot like Andre [Roberts] where he can play inside and outside. He is a veteran guy who has been through a lot of big games, played a lot of big games, caught a ton of balls, touchdowns, been there, done that. So he is a very valuable asset to this football team not only from an experience standpoint [but] from a leadership standpoint in that receiver room when you have young guys – Ryan Grant – guys looking up to some veteran leadership-type guys.”
But Gruden still doesn’t know exactly what role Moss will play. “How much he is going to be used? I don’t know,” said Gruden. “Right now, I like what he’s doing. I don’t think he’s lost a step. I think he’s still quick. I think he still knows how to run all the routes, which is good because he’s run them all. Like I said, from the personnel grouping standpoint, if you line up with two receivers who are those two going be? Three receivers, who are those three going to be?”
Now, things aren’t as up in the air as Gruden indicates. If there are two wide receivers they are going to be Pierre Garçon and Jackson. If a third trots onto the field it is likely to be Andre Roberts. After that, it remains to be seen.
Moss seems to be nearly a lock for a roster spot but an outstanding preseason by a couple of the younger receivers like Cody Hoffman could put him on the bubble. But even if he makes his, his exact role and how many snaps he might get per game are very much up in the air.