Unfortunately, these moments were few and far between last season. After a solid start, a strained groin slowed Moss for much of the rest of the 2007 season. We had a chance to catch up with Santana recently and chatted about everything from marriage to mixed martial arts. Oh, and we even found time to discuss a little football too.
How frustrating was last year, with all of the nagging injuries and everything?
“It was, but at the same time, when you overcome it, it builds you to be a stronger person,” Moss said. “One thing I take from every year, I look at what I go through and I say to myself ‘How did I finish?’ Or ‘What did I accomplish?’ If you can get something out of — because no one in the NFL is going to play with everything alright — but when I go through stuff like that it just builds me stronger and makes me understand that I’m doing things when I’m not at full speed. I’m just looking forward to having one of those years where, if nothing’s bothering me, I’ll just be able to dominate the whole time.”
So are you tired of training camp, or are you actually getting something out of this?
“I like to put in the work and really look forward to what we gonna be able to show after the whole thing is done,” he said. “Training camp is one of those experiences where there’s gonna be dog days and it’s gonna be hard, but as long as you put the work in you have something to look forward to when it comes to the season.”
Congrats on getting married this offseason. Has that changed anything between the two of you?
“Nah. I’ve been with her like 13 years already, so it just made an honest woman out of her. That’s all,” Moss said.
Naturally, the topic of marriage made me think of mixed martial arts, so I asked Santana about MMA and was surprised by his answer.
“I like that. I actually enjoy watching that. I actually trained — I did a little of that training-wise this year, and it’s some tough shit, man,” he said.
What did you do?
“All kinds of stuff,” he said. “The conditioning is crazy — the fighting, the punching and the kicking. You think you can do that for hours, and those guys can do it. But it’s not easy at all. So my first couple of months when I was home, instead of doing football stuff, just to keep my wind right. There wasn’t a day that I did it that I was in shape. I felt like it broke me down every day. There was something new that I experienced every day.”
What are you seeing from these rookie receivers?
“I see a lot of potential,” Moss said. “When you come into this league young, with so much going on, you’re trying to settle in and trying to do this and do that. What I see with these guys, they’re confident. They already know that they’ve got guys in front of them that’s gonna help them. There’s no envy. We all here together. We’ve all been in this situation, so I’m gonna let them know everything that I know, and the stuff that I don’t know we’ll learn together.”
What can Redskins fans expect from you guys this year?
“You know, it’s early,” he said. “All we can do is be the best that we can be. I don’t like to talk the talk. I like to go out there and show it. All they can know is that we’re gonna line up every week and be the best team.”
A healthy and motivated Santana Moss is just what this team, and especially Jason Campbell need for the 2008 season. With things looking up both on and off the field for Moss, Redskins fans can reasonably expect a return to the Pro Bowl level they’re used to seeing. And with some mixed martial arts under his belt, we can only hope that the first time Adam “Pacman” Jones or Asante Samuel attempt to jam him at the line of scrimmage, he breaks out a rear-naked choke and makes them tap.
And heaven help Roy Williams if he tries to horse collar anyone when the ‘Skins and Cowboys meet again.