- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss needs just five more catches to tie Gary Clark for third on the franchise’s all-time list with 549 (in second: Charley Taylor at 649). It’s safe to say the 2005 trade that brought Moss to Washington from the Jets in exchange for Laveranues Coles has worked out. Quite well in fact. At 34, Moss remains a key target for quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Does being five catches from tying Gary Clark for third on the Redskins' all-time list mean anything?
Santana Moss: It probably will down the road. Right now my main focus is to continue to get better and grow as a receiver. You probably think it’s hard for a 13-year vet to continue to get better and continue to learn. I learn every day. Having a whole new position gives you a new outlook. How much can you grow at that position? Yeah, this is late in my career but as far as learning, how much more I can be the guy being on the inside and the more things I can do with this God-given talent. All that stuff will come when I can sit back and reflect. Right now my goal is to just get better.
Are there things you’re still learning about playing the slot?
Moss: I mean, I’m learning in a total not just one area. I just feel like I’ve been confined to one area all over again, not the area I was used to. I played the slot before. I know a lot of things about it. I just find different ways from a leverage situation, from a guy playing you heads-up inside with so much field on your left and right. Instead of being outside, now you have more inside to worry about. That’s what I’m saying. I’m learning how to beat guys and take advantage of the leverage these guys give me.
What did you have to do to adjust?
Moss: Just studying. We’re all blessed to do a lot of things. One of my things I’m blessed with is my quickness alone. I use my advantages and study on guys' weaknesses or things I know I can get them on quickly because everything happens inside faster that it does outside.
Do you have to get to your moves quicker?
Moss: Not necessarily, but I’ve always been a quick person when I run a route. But the quicker I can get on a guy the faster I can beat them. I like to beat you now. A lot of guys you see they lull you and they beat you. How can I get on him quick?
Do you study other slot receivers?
Moss: I watch everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re good, bad or poor. Whoever I’m facing I’ll watch how they cover the receiver. It could be a no-name guy but if he can beat him a certain way I’ll take it. I’ll take something they did and I’ll say I know I can get this guy with that and I can put my own twist on that.
Does changing roles like this keep you on your toes?
Moss: I just get up knowing there are younger guys coming in. Different things motivate me. I’m self-motivated but when you see younger guys coming in and know the potential they have and you know sometimes those younger guys take your time it makes a person like myself who has been around long enough to appreciate where I’ve come and to take it more serious. Those young guys don’t know. There’s not always tomorrow. With me knowing there’s not a tomorrow and I’m still here today I try to appreciate my day a little more because of those young guys. I remember being a young guy and the young guys with me. They’re going about their life like I’m going about mine, but tomorrow didn’t come for them. That’s why I get a kick out of knowing these days are always numbered. You have to appreciate it and go out there and enjoy it.