ASHBURN, Va. - Santana Moss had caught just seven passes this year for the Washington Redskins. At age 35, he knows he might not be much in demand once the season is over.
That makes it a fair time to reflect on a good career that might have been even better, if only he could have played with a steady quarterback. And also to defend the first-year coach who made him a benchwarmer.
"I feel like I've been cursed," Moss said with a laugh. "Everywhere I've been, I've had a million quarterbacks, man."
Moss has averaged one quarterback per year, catching passes from 14 QBs since entering the league in 2001. An uninspiring list ranging from Jason Campbell (214) to Brooks Bollinger (two) has contributed to his 729 career receptions for 10,258 yards with the New York Jets and Redskins.
Not bad, but he says he could have had "numbers like the other guys" he feels are on his level if he could have developed some long-term QB chemistry.
"Never had a solid guy that I can really grow with," Moss said.
This year, the Redskins have used three starters: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, and Colt McCoy. It hasn't mattered which has played as far as Moss' production is concerned: He was pushed low on the depth chart this year when Washington signed DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts to join Pierre Garcon on the receiving corps.
Despite first-year coach Jay Gruden's assurances that the chances would come, Moss didn't catch a pass until Nov. 30. All seven of his catches have come in the last three games.
"It [stinks] when you still can play at this age and you don't get a chance to do that all the time," Moss said. "I've been fortunate these later weeks to be able to go out there and have fun in this sport again."
But Moss isn't venting his frustration specifically toward Gruden or the Redskins in general. He said he wants to be back with the team next season.
"As long as I can run up and down the field . . . then I'll play this game," Moss said.