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Cooley, Moss Trimmed For A Healthy 2012


Over the last decade in Washington, the standard for receivers has been set by Santana Moss and tight end Chris Cooley.

Collectively, the pair has appeared in 212 games for the Redskins, catching 916 passes for 11,429 yards and 70 touchdowns.

But for the first time in their careers, both were missing from the lineup at the same time in 2011, derailing a promising start for the offense.  

In 2012, the pair knows that they will need to stay healthy if they want a roster spot, and will also need to produce in order for this team to win.

"Moss has come in in excellent shape," head coach Mike Shanahan said.  "He's 15 pounds lighter than at the end of the season. He's come in probably as good as shape as he's come in during the last few years."

Last season, Moss missed four games with a broken hand, sustained in Week 7 against Carolina.  Moss returned to the field in Week 11, but his four weeks away from practice hurt his conditioning down the stretch.

"I realized that I was playing heavier the last couple of years than I had played at earlier in my career," Moss said today after practice.  "I'm down closer to that weight now."

Cooley battled a knee injury from late 2010 through the first six weeks of the 2011 season, before a broken finger ended his season. 

Going into 2012, his finger is totally healthy, and he says trouble with the knee is no longer a concern.

"No knee brace, no swelling, no anything," he reported after practice.  "This is the first time that I've been out with the team that I've not felt sore. I don't know if I've felt as fast as I've always felt, but I think that's something that you get back."

Cooley said that he had lost about 20 pounds this offseason in an effort to take pressure off his knee. 

He said that he still feels strong enough to block, but this is probably the lightest he's ever played as a professional.

"I feel great; this is the best I've felt in a while," he said.  "It's a pleasure to be back, I'm excited to compete.  I'm excited to be a part of a team that I like the guys"

In 2010, Shanahan moved Moss to the "Gator" position in the slot, and it revitalized his career as the team's top receiver. 

Cooley is expected to form a dynamic tight end tandem with Fred Davis, who led the offense in Cooley's absence last season.

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