Redskins Rookie Thaddeus Moss Tired of Being Compared to his Hall-of-Fame Father

Jesse Pantuosco
May 14, 2020 - 10:27 am

Redskins rookie Thaddeus Moss is well-aware of his football bloodlines. You don’t have to keep reminding him.

“Everybody keeps mentioning my father, mentioning his last name,” said Moss, who has grown increasingly weary of the inevitable comparisons to his Hall-of-Fame dad, former Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots receiver Randy Moss. "The identity I want to make is my own identity. I look forward to making a name for myself."

The LSU product arrives in the nation’s capital with a major chip on his shoulder. Twelve tight ends came off the board in last month’s NFL Draft. Inexplicably, Moss was not one of them. “Having picked kickers and punters, special-teams guys getting picked over me, I definitely felt some type of way over it,” said Moss, who called the experience a “slap in the face.”

The elder Moss, a first-round pick of the Vikings in 1998, wasn’t sure what to tell his son as teams continued to pass on him, but the 21-year-old took his draft snub in stride. “The last name Moss, people have always had their eyes on me and always doubted me,” the Charlotte native told ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim. “Having the last name that I have, people think I was handed a lot of things, but it's the opposite.”

Moss, who joined the Redskins as a free agent shortly after the draft concluded, has absorbed plenty of football knowledge from his pop, but looks forward to the challenge of forging his own NFL path. “I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work for everything,” said Moss, who starred with 47 catches for 570 yards and four touchdowns during LSU’s title run in 2019. “I've always had a target on my back my whole life growing up. I've grown accustomed to it. You use it as fuel.”

Undrafted rookies usually face an uphill battle for early playing time—assuming they even make it out of camp—but Moss is the rare UDFA capable of making an instant impact. With not much going at tight end—Washington’s current depth chart includes the ragtag likes of Richard Rodgers, Logan Thomas and Jeremy Sprinkle—Moss figures to work his way into the starting mix sooner rather than later. Moss was also pursued by the Bengals and his father’s former team, the Patriots, in free agency but chose the Redskins because they called him first.

Moss’ offseason foot surgery may have contributed to his draft slide, but the 6’3,” 249-pounder expects to be ready for practice once the coronavirus quarantine is lifted.

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