When tight end Thaddeus Moss takes the field for the first time in the Burgundy and Gold, the four letters that run across the top of his back will be the first thing that stands out to many.
The former LSU pass-catcher is the son of Hall of Fame wideout Randy Moss. While the younger Moss said he doesn't get tired of questions about his father, the Redskins tight end wants to carve his own legacy, one that his last name doesn't necessarily define.
"I don’t get tired of the questions, I’m just tired of the comparisons," Moss told local media during a Zoom call Wednesday. "I think I finally have reached that point where I am tired of the comparisons. You know everybody keeps mentioning my father, mentioning his last name, but just the identity that I want to make is my own identity. I look forward to getting out there and making a name for myself."
After surprisingly going undrafted, Moss signed with the Redskins as a priority free agent just minutes after the draft had concluded. The tight end said two other teams came calling following the draft, the Patriots and Bengals, but he ultimately decided to sign with Washington, who inquired about his services first.
For someone who wants to get out of his father's shadow, it makes sense that Moss decided to bypass playing in New England, where his father starred, or Cincinnati, who just drafted his college QB in Joe Burrow.
"It’s a blessing to be here," he said. "Ultimately, all I could ask for was an opportunity."
During the early stages of the pre-draft process, Moss was expected to be a mid-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. He played an integral part in the LSU Tigers' 15-0 season and championship run, while becoming one of Burrow's most trusted targets.
But during the NFL Scouting Combine, a foot injury flared up, preventing him from going through workouts. He was forced to have surgery, and medical concerns shied teams away from the tight end. Moss would watch 12 other players at his position get drafted, which he called a "slap in the face."
Although Moss admitted he was upset that he wasn't selected, he doesn't feel an added motivation to prove everyone wrong. Rather, he is ready to just prove himself right.
"I’m not taking the approach that I’m trying to make teams feel me for going undrafted," he said. "I’m not going out there with a vengeance, trying to prove people wrong. I’m just trying to go out there and be the best football player that I can be, be the best teammate that I can be, you know, and like I said, just prove myself right."
By being Randy Moss' son, Thaddeus explained that he's always had doubters and a target on his back.
"The last name Moss, people have always had their eyes on me and always doubted me and always wanted to see what I can do, and always had expectations," he said. "This is no different. Being an undrafted free agent, I don’t really have a lot of expectations, so going in there and playing football. You know, having to really get out the mud and work for everything.
"That’s what I’ve been having to do my whole life and that’s one thing that people don’t understand," he continued. "People get misconfigured is me having the last name that I have, a lot of people think that I was handed a lot of things or that I was given a lot of things but that’s actually the opposite. People always ask me with the last name, what are some pros and cons, that’s definitely a con to it."
In Washington, the tight end is ready to create his own legacy for himself, one he can attribute to his own hard work.
"I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work for everything," Moss said. "Whatever my NFL career is, whether that be one year, two, three, four, five to 10, you’re going to have to respect it, because I worked for everything. I wasn’t given anything."
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