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Santana Moss has a fantastic story about a time Sean Taylor blasted him at practice

Santana Moss has a fantastic story about a time Sean Taylor blasted him at practice

Back when Santana Moss was a star for the Redskins, the pass catchers and defenders had an agreement that the two sides would "protect each other" in practice.

That meant that the team's most important players would only thud during drills and live reps, as opposed to full-on hit each other. One day, though, someone apparently violated that rule, and Moss was on the wrong end of it.

"I remember going for a ball across the middle, and the way I landed — I was hit from behind — and the way I landed, I landed on my face," Moss told NBC Sports Washington recently. "I assumed I had to be hit pretty hard."

Moss was the franchise's best weapon for the majority of his tenure with Washington, so he was quite surprised someone would have the gall to deliver such a blow to him during a midweek session. Then, he figured out who did it.

"I got up, and it was Sean," Moss explained. "So, I'm like, 'What the hell?' I threw the ball down and I pushed him. And he was like, 'Come on, 'Tana, it was all chest.' And he laughed, because he knew I was going to be hot."

The wideout was extra hurt that Taylor, his very close friend, turned out to be the hitter in question. Taylor, however, maintained he didn't actually get that physical on the play. But Moss remained eager to get his hands on some video proof so he could prove the safety was wrong.

"I rushed to get back to meetings because I wanted to see how he hit me," Moss said. "Folks were trying to tell me, 'Whatever you felt was different from what we saw.' And I got into the meeting room and the guy didn't even try to touch me. He basically was trying to go over my head for the ball and my back touched his chest, but that's just how hard of a guy he was."

Afterward, Moss went to apologize to Taylor. Moss felt like he had been blasted, but the tape showed that the collision was more of a simple bump in the end.

"He wasn't even mad that I was mad at him," Moss remembered. "He almost laughed about it."

Moss wasn't the first receiver to not enjoy an interaction with Taylor in the middle of the field, and he definitely wasn't the last, either. Happy 37th birthday, Sean.

NBC Sports will be featuring Sean Taylor in an episode of their new podcast series, Sports Uncovered, which will be available on all podcast platforms in June.


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One thing that will really help Ron Rivera right the Redskins? Time

One thing that will really help Ron Rivera right the Redskins? Time

The 2019 campaign was a disastrous one for the Redskins, but there's more optimism surrounding the organization now than there has been in years.

Almost all of that optimism has to do with the changes the franchise has made this offseason, with the hiring of head coach Ron Rivera being the biggest addition.

Since the well-respected head coach has arrived in Ashburn, it's been nearly impossible to hear a bad thing about him. During Zoom conference calls this week, both coordinators Scott Turner and Nate Kaczor have raved about the head coach. Rivera has preached accountability since taking over, a trait that has been absent from Washington for a long time.

In a recent interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, NFL Network analyst Dan Hellie was asked his opinion on the addition of Rivera. Hellie explained he may not have initially been as high on the hire as others, but he believes it was a smart move for the franchise.

"I like the hiring of Ron Rivera," Hellie said. "At the time, I didn't feel like it was that splash, home run hire that [Redskins owner Dan] Snyder has tried to go for in the past. It was kind of like a solid double; you're in scoring position now."


Hellie has been impressed with the changes Rivera has made during his first few months on the job. But as he explained to Redskins Talk, he believes the organization must be patient with Rivera as the head coach attempts to turn around the culture in Redskins Park.

"[Rivera is] preaching all the right things. He's preaching character, family, responsibility, building for the long haul," Hellie said. "I hope he's given the opportunity to do that. I think the most important thing for the Redskins right now is having one voice. There's not going to be that infighting that there was when Bruce [Allen] was there. I believe the hiring of Ron Rivera is going to enable them to get better as an organization over the long haul."

During Rivera's introductory press conference, the head coach explained it wouldn't be a quick fix. Building a winning culture takes time, and the new head coach knows that.

Hellie explained that hiring Rivera was a big step in the right direction, but his arrival doesn't mean they'll necessarily be a good football team right away.

"I love the direction they are headed right now, I just wouldn't expect them to be better in a hurry," he said.

His reasoning makes sense, too. The Redskins are coming off a 3-13 season, and making a complete turnaround from that requires a lot more than just a coaching change.

Hellie also doesn't believe the Redskins will turn things around right away under Rivera's leadership because he has a lack of faith in Dwayne Haskins. The analyst expressed that he doesn't feel that he saw enough from Haskins as a rookie that showed the passer can truly be great.

"I'm not completely sold on Haskins," he said. "I think he has the tools, but we've seen a lot of the guys that had the tools in a Redskins uniform that weren't able to produce. I hope I'm wrong. I hope he's great. I just haven't seen greatness from Haskins on the NFL level."

Hellie admitted that Haskins' sample size as a rookie -- seven starts and nine total appearances -- was not big enough for him to truly judge the passer. Additionally, he questioned the Redskins decision of not throwing Haskins into the fray right away, unlike his draft class counterparts in Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones and even Gardner Minshew.

Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, but the quarterback finished the 2019 season playing his best football. Over his final two starts, Haskins threw for nearly 400 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 72 percent of his passes. He's made major changes to his body this offseason and been grinding in the classroom, earning praise from his new offensive coordinator in Turner.

Besides his lack of faith around Haskins, Hellie believes the odd circumstances of the 2020 offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic is another thing that will hurt every team come this fall, but will especially impact a young roster like Washington's.

The Redskins have added several new pieces and have a completely new playbook. For the players, learning an entirely new system is already a hard enough task within itself, but attempting to learn it via video chats is even harder.

"You add all these new pieces and you're having virtual OTAs," Hellie said. "It's going to be very difficult for young teams to improve quickly given the trials and tribulations during this offseason that we have never seen before."

So, when you put all these factors together, Hellie explains the 2020 season might be another tough one for Washington. But as he emphasized throughout the entire interview, the franchise is taking the right steps to be much better in the long run.

"I think the Redskins have nowhere to go but up," he said.

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Infighting has 'crushed' the Redskins in the past, but that should change under Ron Rivera

Infighting has 'crushed' the Redskins in the past, but that should change under Ron Rivera

It's already hard to win in the NFL, but that hard task becomes downright grueling when you're beating yourself long before you even get to the stadium. That's a fact the Redskins know all too well by now.

Washington has simply been a mess as of late when it comes to being aligned and unified, and during an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, NFL Network host Dan Hellie attributed their troubles in those areas to one man: Bruce Allen.

Allen's inability to allow others to receive credit and have success was a massive problem for the Burgundy and Gold during his tenure, according to Hellie.

"The infighting crushed that organization and I’m not just talking about the on the field product," he said.

Hellie cited the December 2018 firing of the well-regarded Brian Lafemina, who was brought on to lead the team's marketing and improve its relationship with fans, as a prime example of Allen's major flaw.

Lafemina was given just eight months on the job before he was forced out, and that decision summed up just how dysfunctional the Redskins could be with Allen leading the way.

"Why do you think that happened?" Hellie said. "It happened because there was a massive power struggle with Bruce Allen."

Allen, of course, is no longer with the Redskins. Ron Rivera is now in charge, and with the way the franchise is currently constructed, there's no one standing between him and Dan Snyder. 


That alone is a promising sign in Hellie's eyes, since it shows the "full faith" the owner has in his new coach.

"I’m convinced that Dan has grown up as an owner," Hellie told Redskins Talk.

Snyder's growth is also evident because Rivera wasn't the most flashy hire Washington could've made this offseason.

Urban Meyer, for example, would've generated far more buzz. Plucking someone like Matt Rhule out of the college ranks and dropping him into the pros would've done so, too.

This time, though, Snyder passed on driving headlines to instead secure someone who could lead the entire operation and not just the 55 players on Sundays.

"I think the most important thing for the Redskins right now is having one voice," Hellie said. "I believe that the hiring of Ron Rivera is going to enable them to get better as an organization over the long haul."

The use of "organization" there is vital.

Yes, it's the team who ultimately influences the scoreboard every week, but to put that team in the best position, the organization around it must be running smoothly. Nothing was smooth under Allen. With Rivera, however, the chaos should stop, which should allow the Redskins to in turn generate more chaos come kickoff.