EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – They talk all the time. They will chat tonight and probably visit in person on Saturday.
Then, on Sunday, they will wear the uniforms of rival teams.
Santana Moss is the Washington Redskins' top receiver. Sinorice Moss of the New York Giants would love a similar role.
While Santana knows where he fits in the Redskins' offense, his younger brother remains less sure. A fourth-year player who was a second-round draft pick in 2006, Sinorice has battled injuries that held him back and kept him buried on the Giants' depth chart, among assorted other receivers.
"He's been through a rough few years," Santana says. "You always look forward to seeing him get his chance. I hope the Giants find a place for him."
Sinorice can only echo that sentiment. The Giants turned over their receiver corps with the departures of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer but a young group that included Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Moss was just joined this year by No. 1 pick Hakeem Nicks and sixth-rounder Ramses Barden. So where does Moss fit in?
"Honestly, I'm still trying to figure that out," he says during lunch at the Giants' new Timex Performance Center. "I don't know. I don't know where they are trying to play me at but every chance I get to get on the field, I'm going to shine my light and do my best to help this team."
Hixon and Smith are listed as the starters for Sunday's season opener at Giants Stadium against the Redskins. Moss is listed as Smith's backup. He also returned punts and kickoffs during a preseason in which he had only four catches, though two went for touchdowns.
A pulled quadriceps muscle slowed Moss as a rookie and he played in only six games. He injured a hamstring late in 2007. He has played in 29 games, made 38 catches and scored his first two touchdowns in '08.
Santana, of course, performed ably for the New York Jets. They drafted him in the first round in 2001, 16th overall, out of the University of Miami (Fla.), where Sinorice also played. The Jets traded him to Washington in 2005 for another receiver, Laveranues Coles. Santana caught 79 passes, second on the Redskins last year, with six for touchdowns. Going into his ninth year, he has posted three 1,000-yard seasons, including 2008. He has 40 career touchdown receptions.
Santana will line up with Washington's first-string offense. He knows what his team will need. Sinorice hopes those questions will soon be answered for him by the Giants.
He will talk to his big brother, but not about this. The conversations rarely revolve around football, he says.
"We talk about family, how the kids are doing, different things we saw on TV, but not too much about football," Sinorice says. "I'll see him when he comes in. I hope he has time to come out to the house."
Larry Weisman covered professional football for USA TODAY for 25 years and now joins the Redskins Broadcast Network and Redskins.com to bring his unique viewpoint and experience to Redskins fans. Go to Redskins.com for the Redskins Blitz column and NFL Blitz on Friday. Larry also appears on The Jim Zorn Show on WRC-TV on Saturday night, on Redskins Nation, airing twice nightly on Comcast SportsNet, and on ESPN 980 AM radio, all in the Washington, D.C. area. Read his blog at redskinsrule.com and follow him on Twitter.com/LarryWeisman.