ASHBURN, Va. -- The fact that Santana Moss is one of the most dangerous downfield receivers in the league didn't really matter in 2009. By the time Moss reached top speed, quarterback Jason Campbell was usually in the clutches of a defensive end. And the fact that Jim Zorn had his play-calling duties stripped a few weeks into the season only served to make things more confusing.
That's why I was a little surprised Friday when Moss informed me that '09 might have been his best season as a pro. He averaged a career-low 12.9 yards per reception and only had three touchdowns. So I gave him a confusing look.
"I know it sounds crazy, but even when the going got tough, I was able to stand strong," said Moss. "I told Michael Irvin the same thing recently. I was nicked up really bad, but I just refused to fold my tail and give in to all the misery. I think it was important for the younger guys like Malcolm [Kelly] and Devin [Thomas] to see that it wasn't getting to me."
Moss said he kept telling his young teammates that something good was going to come out of the chaotic season. And when he heard the news about Mike Shanahan being hired, he simply looked at Kelly.
"I just kept telling them that something great was going to happen here," said Moss. "Things had gotten really dull around here and then 'boom!' the storm hit. Now, there's a completely different feeling about this team."
New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan asked Moss to watch film of Andre Johnson with the Texans. Shanahan had coached Johnson in Houston and watched him become one of the elite receivers in the league.
"He told me that some guys could only do one thing, but he said I could be like Andre and play inside or outside," said Moss on Friday. "I was fighting all these double and triple teams last year, but Kyle's not going to let that happen."
"I think it's my job to get open," he said. "I've never looked at it like I need someone to help me get open."
Moss joined Donovan McNabb in Phoenix, Ariz., last month for "Hell Week" workouts. He says the chance to bond that week has given the receiving corps a head start coming into camp. I'll have much, much more from Moss in my upcoming Redskins Camp Confidential.