When he steps on the Aloha Stadium Field Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii, Santana Moss will add his name to an impressive list. Named to start for the NFC, Moss will become the seventh Redskins wide receiver to play in the annual all-star game.
Moss and Carolina's Steve Smith will be the NFC starters with Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and the Rams' Torry Holt in reserve.
In its present format, the AFC, which won last year's game 38-27, holds an 18-17 edge over the NFC since 1971. Moss and teammate Chris Samuels hope to help the NFC tie things up this year.
The 5-10, 190-pound Moss came over from the New York Jets in the deal involving Laveranues Coles and had a breakthrough season in his initial year in Washington.
Moss broke the franchise record for most receiving years in a season with 1,483. The previous mark of 1,436 was set by Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell and had stood for 43 years.
Asked about his success in his first year in Washington, Moss said: "You have to look forward to whoever you play, regardless of their record, rating and everything else. Regardless of the situation, it's time to go out and play your best."
Moss, the speedster out of the University of Miami, became a Redskins fan favorite on Week 2 when he hauled in a pair of TD catches of 39 and 70 yards from Mark Brunell to shock Dallas 14-13 on Monday Night in Texas Stadium. He finished the regular season with nine TDs and 84 catches.
In his first Pro Bowl, Moss will be able to look across at an AFC defense that features corners Champ Bailey of the Broncos, Ty Law of the Jets and Deltha O'Neal of the Bengals along with safeties Troy Polamalu of the Super Bowl champion Steelers, John Lynch of the Broncos and Bob Sanders of the Colts.
Those other six Redskins wide receivers to make the Pro Bowl? Roy Jefferson didn't make the inaugural AFC-NFC matchup, won by the NFC 27-6 at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on Jan. 24, 1971. But the next year Jefferson did become the first Redskins wide receiver selected to play in the game.
Charley Taylor and Gary Clark both were named to four Pro Bowls, Art Mont three and Charlie Brown two. Coles represented the Redskins in the 2004 game.
In the regular season, Moss averaged 17.7 yards per catch, numbers that proved to be deserving of the Pro Bowl nod.
Along the way Moss discovered a favorite play in the Redskins' offense. "That's the good old slip-screen, the one we've been running it all year," Moss said with smile.
In one of his more memorable plays of last season, Moss caught a screen pass from Mark Brunell, weaved his way through some Kansas City Chiefs defenders and sped downfield for a 78-yard touchdown.
Of course, the last Redskin player to score a Pro Bowl touchdown wasn't a wide receiver and wasn't even an offensive player. In the 1996 game, linebacker Ken Harvey picked off a pass and went 36 yards in a game the NFC won 20-13.
Now that really gives Moss something to shoot for on Sunday in Honolulu.
Redskins Pro Bowl WRs
- 1972 -- Roy Jefferson
- 1973 -- Charley Taylor
- 1974 -- Charley Taylor
- 1975 -- Charley Taylor
- 1976 -- Charley Taylor
- 1983 -- Charlie Brown
- 1984 -- Charlie Brown
- 1985 -- Art Monk
- 1986 -- Art Monk
- 1987 -- Gary Clark, Art Monk
- 1988 -- Gary Clark
- 1991 -- Gary Clark
- 1992 -- Gary Clark
- 2004 -- Laveranues Coles
- 2006 -- Santana Moss