Growing up in East Windsor, N.J., Nick Williams watched Santana Moss return punts and catch passes for the Jets. When Williams signed with the Redskins in May, the 5-foot-10 undrafted free agent immediately planted himself in the veteran receiver’s ear.
Williams asked questions every day. Moss answered, gradually getting to know a cerebral young player that reminded him of another undrafted 5-foot-10 slot receiver from New Jersey.
Since OTA’s, Moss assessed the rookie’s skills and saw shades of his mentor in New York, Wayne Chrebet.
“Who was better than Wayne Chrebet in the slot? There probably are a ton of guys that I’m not giving credit to, but I played with that guy so that’s the guy that I watched a lot,” Moss said.
“I just tell Nick he reminds me of some of the things that he did when it comes to his cat quickness, but he’s a little faster than Wayne Chrebet. He might be a lot faster. But Wayne just was so tough and so reliable that you kind of didn’t even worry about his speed because he was always open.”
The Redskins promoted Williams from the practice squad to the active roster on Tuesday, hoping to find an answer in the return game. The 22-year old wideout could have a chance to the justify Chrebet comparison at Philadelphia Sunday afternoon.
In a 10-year NFL career, all with New York, Chrebet caught 580 passes for 7,365 yards and 41 touchdowns. Chrebet is second on the Jets in all-time receptions, and has the rookie record with 66 catches in his first season (1995).
When Williams looks at Chrebet, he sees a player worth emulating.
“Small, little guy who beat the odds and was tough, worked for everything he got,” Williams said. “You know you can respect that. he made plays with the balls in his hands. He was tough, a little too tough… I used to love watching him play. A guy who caught everything.”
Like Chrebet tutored Moss, Moss is constantly teaching Williams, who’s been a boost to the veteran’s game as well.
“He’s one of my guys that if anybody wants to know anything about me or where I’m at at in this age in my game, you can go and ask Nick because he watches it every day he rants and raves about what I can do at this age,” Moss said.
“I appreciate him for that… I think when you have a guy that’s watching you so closely, and you’re not really realizing he’s watching that close, it’s good to be able to have the good remarks from him.
“I remember when I came in, there were guys that I liked growing up, then when I saw them in person I was like, ‘Uh, he’s not the same guy.’ To be able to be the same guy in the sense in his eyes, it feels good.”
Tags: Jersey Boys, New Jersey, new york jets, Nick Williams, Santana Moss, washington redskins, Wayne Chrebet
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