NFLN survey/Super Bowl player: Redskins

January, 22, 2014
Jan 22
11:00
AM ET
A few thoughts come to mind on the topic of which player NFL players would most like to see in a Super Bowl:
  • Adrian Peterson received the most votes and there’s obviously a great deal of respect for him. He’s no doubt fun to watch. But that also means perhaps seeing an up-and-down Christian Ponder. No thanks. Now, if Peterson had gotten there with a Brett Favre several years ago? Very cool (unless you’re a Saints fan).
  • But I’d love to see Peterson in that sort of spotlight, seeing him have the impact he did in the 2012 season. I also worry how much time he has left at an elite level. He’s already played seven seasons. But it’s remarkable what he’s been able to do given the attention he faces from defenses, without the benefit of a consistent passing attack. So, yeah, I have no problem with him as the top choice.
  • Tight end Tony Gonzalez was second in the voting, three votes behind Peterson. Considering he’s now retired, this won’t happen, but it’s always disappointing when an all-time great never reaches the ultimate game.
  • Think this is an offensive league? The highest vote getter among defensive players was J.J. Watt with four votes. That’s 55 fewer than Peterson and one more than Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas.
  • My favorite? Champ Bailey, who obviously will finally get the chance to play in this game. He received three votes. Bailey remains at or near the top of my list of favorite players to deal with. Doesn’t mean I was extremely close to him. But I always respected his professionalism; he also was not afraid to express his confidence so you would get more than coachspeak from him. Never disrespectful, however. Bailey was as patient as they come in dealing with the media; he’d be stopped by one group of reporters outside the locker room, by another group just inside the doors and then be met at his locker by a few more. Yet he always answered the questions.
Redskins angle: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was the only Washington player to receive any votes (he got three). If you’re seeing him in a Super Bowl it probably means he returned to the dynamic ways of his rookie season. Who wouldn’t want to see that on the biggest football stage of all?

But if I had to pick one Redskin? Santana Moss. Nobody has been through more garbage in Washington than Moss. Since being acquired in a trade in 2005, Moss has played on three playoff teams. But he’s also been a part of five double-digit loss seasons, not to mention the worst part of it all: the death of his friend and teammate, Sean Taylor. Through it all Moss has acquitted himself well and with class. Reed Doughty and Kedric Golston were around for all those seasons as well, but Moss has them beat by a season and he’s been a key part of the offense. Of course, this also could have been his last season in Washington.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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