Santana Moss, deposed last year after six seasons as the Redskins' No. 1 receiver, responded to the challenge presented by the signings of free-agent receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan and earned praise from Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Moss is down 15 pounds and the Redskins plan to use him not at split end, but as a slot receiver, where his speed, short-area quickness and big-play ability will challenge defenses concerned about containing deep threat Garcon outside.
Shanahan said Moss would be used in the slot and the Redskins are likely to incorporate a base offensive formation including three wide receivers. Last year's third-round pick, Leonard Hankerson, and Morgan are competing at flanker. Brandon Banks is also in the mix. Niles Paul, a rookie last season, moved to tight end.
"Santana's entire offseason -- he came in possessed," Shanahan said at his press conference wrapping up minicamp Thursday. "He was ready to go. You know a lot of guys can lose weight by starving themselves, staying in the steam and dehydrating themselves and just getting on a scale. Santana did it the right way. I feel he's more powerful. He's more explosive."
Moss played in 12 games last season and never appeared to get on the same page with the Redskins' rotating quarterbacks. He had 46 receptions and four touchdowns, an off-the-cliff decline from his 93 catches for 1,115 yards in 2010.
The expectation is Moss will be invigorated throughout the regular season, just as Panthers Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith was at the same age last season with the addition of rookie Cam Newton and his rifle throwing arm.
Robert Griffin III, drafted No. 2 overall, might not immediately stabilize the offense but he's going out of his way to make certain he's on the same page with Moss. They'll meet at least once for an extended throwing session before RG3 comes back to the team facility in mid-July.