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Moss, Panthers' Smith Are Two of a Kind


Santana Moss is 5-10 and 195 pounds. Steve Smith is 5-9 and 190 pounds.

Moss entered the 2009 season with 430 catches. Smith entered 2009 with 431 catches.

They are both regarded as explosive, big-play receivers who use speed to get open and burst past defenders.

They both emerged as elite receivers in 2005, when Moss had a career-high 84 catches and Smith had a career-high 103 catches.

Oh, and they both wear No. 89, too.

While Moss and Smith won't compete against each other this Sunday when the Redskins take on the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., they might as well be mirror images.

"They're both fast and they're both great route-runners," Antwaan Randle El said. "They both can make incredible catches. They have a knack for making those types of big plays."

Through four games this season, Moss has caught 17 passes for 293 yards, an impressive 17.2 yards per catch. He has 57- and 59-yard touchdown catches, including one last week that helped beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField.

Smith has played in three games this season--the Panthers had a bye last week--and has 15 catches for 190 yards. He has yet to reach the end zone.

Moss downplayed comparisons to Smith, though.

"You can say we both have a similar game, we both have the same size and we're fiery guys," Moss said. "He might show his [fiery side] a little differently than I show mine. I show mine when it's time.

"He does things better than me, but I do some things that are probably better than him. It's hard to compare guys. You can just look at us--we wear 89 and we're short, and they have that big-play knack.

"That's what I think of when it comes down to comparing us, but other than that, he's Steve Smith and I'm Santana."

Moss has a higher career average of yards-per-catch at 15.2 (Smith is 13.8) and has more career touchdowns (45 to Smith's 38).

One area where Smith has the advantage over Moss?

Pro Bowls.

Smith has been to four (2001, 2005-06 and 2008), while Moss made one (2005).

Smith is expected to draw coverage from DeAngelo Hall, the Redskins' top cornerback.

Smith and Hall have had some heated matchups through the years, when Hall was in the NFC South as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

The two became friends after they met at a Reebok photo shoot a few years ago. After some on-field verbal exchanges and incidents, their friendship appears to have ended.

Hall recounted a 2007 incident in which he was called for three penalties while covering Smith on one drive. One of the penalties was for unnecessary roughness after he jammed Smith hard at the line of scrimmage.

"We've had some great battles," Hall said. "He's definitely a great receiver. You win some and you lose some. I've definitely won a couple, he has won a couple. My team has won a couple, his team has won a couple. It has been fun.

"Anytime you get a guy who is going to push you to the brink of insanity on the football field, you know you have your work cut out for you. But it's not me and him. It's my team vs. his team and we're going out there to win."

Redskins coaches expect Hall to play with discipline amid the intensity of the matchup.

"To me, you're talking about two competitors," secondary-cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray said. "You can't let it get out of hand, though. It's about the game and it's about winning. I think DeAngelo understands what's important at hand right now."

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