Redskins.com recently caught up with legendary wide receiver Santana Moss to get his thoughts on the team's young wide receivers and the tight end tandem of Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis.
Santana Moss played his NFL last game on Dec. 28, 2014, finishing off a quiet season that completed a very solid career. Three years after hanging it up for good, Moss still keeps close tabs of what the Washington Redskins are up to and has attended a handful of games over the last two years.
Redskins.com recently caught up with Moss to ask his thoughts on some of the team's wide receivers and tight ends, including 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson.
Doctson only appeared in two games during his rookie season as he was hampered by different Achilles injuries.
The pressure will be on Doctson this season to perform up to the normal standard set for a first-round pick. Factor in the losses of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon in free agency, and the expectations for the 2015 unanimous All-American are heightened.
Moss thinks Doctson just needs to come out with a relaxed mindset.
"I want him to come out and be Doctson. I want him to have no pressure. I want his to know I was in his shoes, it might not have been the same situation but I was in those shoes as a young guy coming in," Moss said. "I was a first-round pick for the New York Jets and I hurt my knee on fan appreciation night. I didn't get a chance to play preseason or regular season until Week 13. By the time I got back into playing form I wasn't in playing form. I was out of shape and out there just thrown into the fire."
Moss said Doctson should use those doubting his long-term viability as fuel both this year and beyond.
"I want to see him do great because some of these people talk so much about we needed him and I hated it," Moss said, "I was the guy who had to be on-air talking amongst those people and talking about him. I want him to be the guy and that is one thing I feel for him. I want him to go out there and really put in some good work this year.
"Doctson is that guy I put a circle around and I want him to sign and take advantage of the opportunity. Opportunity is everything and he has that now. You put that injury behind you and now you the man since [Jackson and Garçon] are gone."
While Doctson is hoping for a breakout year this season, Jamison Crowder experienced one of his own in 2015.
The Duke product improved his receiving numbers across the board from his rookie season, catching 67 passes for 847 yards and a team-high seven touchdown receptions.
Moss first became a fan of Crowder when he was still in college, serving as the Blue Devils' No. 1 receiving option.
"He might not know it but I watched him play against my former team, the Miami Hurricanes," Moss said. "I was at that game and watching not knowing Crowder would be a Redskin and he was the guy who caught my eye that game. Sitting here now and seeing who he is now in this league and to this team, it is great knowing that this young kid came in and took advantage of the opportunity that was given to him. He has really excelled at to what he is doing."
The Redskins will also return their potent one-two punch at tight end this season as well, after the team was able to come to an agreement on a contract extension with Vernon Davis.
Moss recently bumped into Davis at a local gym and they discussed the future for Washington.
"I told him my honest opinion and said if you look at this offense and the way it is ran, you have to have two great tight ends and we have that," Moss said. "I hate to see Pierre and Jackson leave, but you have a guy like Crowder and Doctson that you can count on. …and I told Vernon, if out tight ends are playing well, our slot guy playing well, our running backs are doing their thing then the offense is going to always be in good hands. We should be in good hands with our offense."
While Moss, of course, didn't team up with Davis on the field at any point during his 14-year career, he was teammates with Jordan Reed for his first two seasons.
Reed showed flashes of being an elite tight end in 2013 and 2014, but injuries limited his time on the field. While it was frustrating for Reed, Moss told him to remain upbeat.
One day his breakout would come, and it did during the 2015 season. He was rewarded with a multi-year contract extension last May.
"I told him that he can do so many different things if you just allow yourself to do it," Moss said. "When I said that he was going through a lot of things and got injured two years in a row, and I felt as a young guy you don't know where you are at really. You don't know how to prepare yourself to know that you can avoid those injuries and I was a guy that learned the hard way. Seeing him now and what he means to the team, I am one of his biggest fans and I hope to see him be the guy that can go out there and play these next five years and all 16 games. That is what really counts is to be one of the guys the team can count on to be out there every week."