Santana Moss Named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Photo by Ned Dishman

Photo by Ned Dishman

It’s rare that you can point to precisely the play that earns someone a weekly award, but that’s the case here. Santana Moss took part in one special teams play, an 80 yard punt return for a touchdown, and is now the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

It’s the fourth NFL-issued award for the Redskins, after Clinton Portis being Offensive Player of the Week for week 5, and Chris Horton’s Defensive Player of the Week for week 2 and Rookie of the Month for September.


Snoop Dogg and Devin Thomas Make Me Feel Old

Open locker room on Fridays comes after practice, when the guys are showering and hustling to get changed and get out of the Park to their relatively small bit of free time. This means that Friday’s open locker room isn’t the relatively quiet mid-day workplace that it is over the lunch hour during the week; there’s an iPod hooked up to speakers, guys are singing along, guys are getting ready to go, all that.

Maybe it was because I was thinking for that earlier post about what year Nevermind and 2Pacalypse were released, maybe it was just a fluke. But when Dr. Dre’s Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang came on, I noticed rookie wideout Devin Thomas singing along, and it made me curious.

Were you even born when The Chronic came out?

“Yeah, of course, man! I was … I think I was around seven when that came out? That’s like the classics, though.”

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Hitting the Crossbar

For a week now, the quarterbacks and equipment guys and occasional guests have been trying to hit the goalpost after practice. Sometimes they aim for the crossbar, sometimes the right upright, but the basic goal remains the same: hit the designated part of the post from about 20 yards out. “It’s pretty much a ritual by now,” says Todd Collins.

And here’s the thing: Jason Campbell‘s getting pretty good at it, although no one believes him.

His first throw clangs solidly off the crossbar, and he smiles. “One for one,” he says. Santana Moss walks up and asks what the target is. Campbell explains, adding, “I’m one for one right now.”

“Right,” says Moss.

“No, I am,” Campbell says. “Ask him,” he says, pointing at me, and I confirm that I saw the first shot hit. “I hit on my first one yesterday, too, but no one saw that one.”

“Whatever,” says Moss, and joins in.

No one hits again, although Campbell manages to bounce one off the upright and all of Moss’s throws appear to skim just inches above the crossbar. (Hitting the wrong part of the goalpost is counted a miss, as Antwaan Randle El learned to his dismay the day before — he hit the crossbar on his first throw, but the target was the right post.)

Afterward, as Campbell walks back inside, Moss shakes his head. “I told Jason he’s gotta be better than me, because I’m not a thrower. If my ball looks almost as good as his, he’s slipping.” On the other hand, Campbell’s been hitting the thing pretty consistently. If the league ever institutes some sort of hit-the-post two point conversion or something, the Redskins are going to be in really good shape.

Redskins Watching Olympics

Among the Redskins, there are two major reactions to the Olympics. The first is exemplified by Todd Collins: “I’m watching when I have time. Maybe now that we’re done with two-a-days I’ll watch more.”

Others are not only engrossed, they can relate. “I’m glued to the TV watching some of the gymnastics,” says Santana Moss. “I was a flipper growing up. And I love watching track and field. That’s what I’m gonna pay attention to.”

When Moss watches track and field, he knows what to look for. “In ’98, I made to the Olympic trials in long jump. I jumped 26 something. I made it to nationals, and didn’t jump well in nationals, but my jump in the Big East championships qualified for the Olympic trials that year. I was pretty good in long jump and triple jump in college.”

“I never liked to run that much – I was better at jumping – but I ran the indoor 60 and won that a couple of years. Outdoor, my events were mostly the 4-by-1, the first leg, and long jump and triple jump.”

Chris Cooley has a similar reaction to a different event.

“I think I probably could’ve been an Olympic wrestler,” says Cooley, who was an undefeated state champion and All-American in wrestling in high school. I suggest that he probably made the more lucrative career decision, and he laughs. “Ha, yeah. Rulon Gardner probably isn’t doing so great now.”

(In fact, Rulon Gardner owns a very well-reviewed food shop in Afton, WY, which is just like being a multimedia star and Pro Bowl tight end.)

Matt Sinclair also relates to the athleticism of one of the summer events, just on a slightly different level. ” I swam and was a diver growing up. Springboard diving. We’d do flips and stuff in grade school. I could do about one and a half … the degree of difficulty wasn’t too high.”

Photo Contest: First Place WINNER

Photo by Donald Robinson.

Photo by Donald Robinson.

The runaway winner, with eleven first place votes, is Donald Robinson’s shot of LaRon Landry frozen in midair. One of those first place votes came from Santana Moss.

“Oh, that’s cool,” Moss said. “Did he catch that thing?” Good question, and I didn’t know. So I asked LaRon.

This picture of you won the fan photo contest on the blog.

He gives a genuine looking smile. “For real?”

Yep. So do you remember that one? Did you catch it?

“Nope. I missed it. I just couldn’t quite bring it down. I think it would’ve been a challengeable play, though — maybe could’ve be a catch and a fumble.” Landry shakes his head. “That’s a really decent picture, though. Whoever took this is a great photographer,” he says, smiling, and walks off with the printed photo.

So Donald Robinson is the winner of the two tickets to August 28th preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Congratulations to Mr. Robinson, and thanks to everyone who entered.

Hawai’i Represents at the Car Show

Still not accustomed to seeing the green and white of University of Hawai’i athletics at Redskins Park, but as the Cult of Colt grows I probably should get used to it.

This is Dan, at yesterday’s Redskins Rides car show.

In a sea of burgundy and gold, Dan has found an alternative way to demonstrate his fanhood. “I was a Redskins fan back in the days when Mark Rypien used to throw the ball around, but I kind of lost touch” he says. “Colt is really what brought me back.” There’s some family influence here as well — his wife Dolores is a big Hawai’i fan, and is also hugely excited for Colt to come to town. As are people whose skin tone works better with that dark green than it does with burgundy, I suppose.

Ironically, most of Colt’s fans failed to notice him driving out of the parking lot in a BMW that would’ve been perfectly impressive under ordinary circumstances, but that was completely outshined in this specific context by things like Santana Moss’s fire-colored Dodge Magnum.

Still Appreciating the Fans

One thing that I’ve honestly been impressed with since starting here is just how much time the players spend taking care of the fans — signing things, talking to people, stuff like that. Just today, among a bunch of other people, I noticed Chris Cooley hosting a boy from the Redskins Charitable Foundation and Make-a-Wish foundation (as well as one of the entrants into his beard competition).

Rookie TE Jason Goode, out of Maryland, spent more than 25 minutes steadily working his way down the line of fans, signing as many autographs as he could.

Jason Goode signs for fans.

Jason Goode signs for fans.

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