Moss wouldn't mind the patent on ``big-time plays''

Updated: October 18, 2005, 7:08 PM ET
Associated Press

ASHBURN, Va. - Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss proved Monday night that "big-time players make big-time plays in big games." The speedy Moss only wishes he had patented the expression.

When reminded this week by the media that he did, indeed, utter the "big-time plays" quote on the field at the Orange Bowl in 2000 after his No. 7 Miami Hurricanes defeated rival and then-No. 1 Florida State, 27-24, Moss broke into a smile as wide as the Florida Panhandle.

"Thank you for saying that I said that. I should have got that patented," Moss said. "I should have done that. I could have at least got that quote on a T-shirt."

Redskins owner Dan Snyder will surely spring for a T-shirt or even a patent lawyer if Moss keeps up his big-play antics, especially against archrival Dallas. Moss helped his team shock the Cowboys, 14-13, with touchdown catches of 39 and 70 yards in the closing moments of the game.

When Redskins coach Joe Gibbs introduced the 5-foot-10 Moss in March after his trade from the New York Jets for Laveranues Coles, he highlighted two issues: the Redskins were convinced that Moss was a "big-play guy" and Washington's offense was lacking in big plays in 2004.

Gibbs' faith has been rewarded in the first two weeks. Moss, the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his five-catch, 159-yard performance against the Cowboys, is tied for second in the league with 255 yards receiving and has an electrifying 28.3 yards per catch average.

And about those big plays? Last year the Redskins' longest touchdown pass of the season was 18 yards. In fact, the Redskins 18 TDs passing in 2004 totaled just 152 yards. Moss accounted for all his 159 yards receiving against the Cowboys in the second half, including the two touchdown throws from Mark Brunell and another 41-yard catch.

"Santana made some big plays," said Brunell. "The biggest thing as a quarterback, when you are playing with a guy with that much speed, is you can't underthrow him. You have to throw it out there about as far as you can because he is going to run and get it."

Not only did Moss break Michael Irvin's school record for yards receiving at Miami, but he also was the Most Outstanding Performer at the 2000 Big East Outdoor Track & Field Championships and he won the 1999 Big East indoor 60-meter championship with a conference-record 6.83 time.

Moss spent his first four seasons with the Jets and made his mark as a receiver and as a crafty punt returner. In 2003 he caught 74 passes for 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns, but his numbers dipped last year when he caught 45 passes for 838 yards and five touchdowns. Moss still had the big plays: He had catches of 40-plus yards in seven games last year.

"New York didn't give up on me. I left knowing that I gave it my all," Moss said. "I'm looking at this as a fresh start. I know I can play football."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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