Washington Redskins’ 2nd year receiver, Leonard Hankerson could see some snaps at the Y-receiver (slot) position in 2012. Hankerson was fully cleared to practice on June 4th after having off-season hip surgery, but the Redskins limited his pre-training camp reps. Hankerson is expected to practice fully in training camp.
Leonard Hankerson says he enjoys playing slot receiver. “In the slot you have more mismatches, get matched up on linebackers and safeties and stuff like that,” Hankerson said after the conclusion of mini-camp. “So I like playing the slot, but I’ll play anywhere they want me to play.”
The receiver played in 4 games last season, with two career starts. Hankerson had his best outing in week 10 against the Miami Dolphins with 8 receptions and 106 yards. Unfortunately, week 10 also concluded his rookie campaign, after receiving a hip injury late in the game.
At 6ft 3, 205 lbs, Hankerson is Washington’s largest receiver and was thought to be in a camp battle for the starting flanker receiver role with free-agent pickup, Josh Morgan. However, someone didn’t send that memo to 12-year vet Santana Moss, who shed 15 lbs this off-season.
Santana came into Washington’s OTA’s and minicamp prepared and determined to prove he’s still capable of being an explosive playmaker for the offense. Moss has the ability to play slot receiver, but he’s made money on the outside for years. While the coaching staff believes Leonard Hankerson can eventually be that “go-to” guy on the outside, Santana has made a huge impression. Redskins’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan even called Santana “possessed” this off-season, after challenging the receiver to play at a lighter weight.
For the Redskins, this is a good problem to have. They’re an offense that averaged 18 points a game in 2011. Yards after the catch were a big part of that with only two of their touchdowns through the air coming on passes caught in the field of play and run into the end zone. That has to change in order for the Redskins to win. With Robert Griffin III in the fold, the potential is there, and veterans like Santana Moss are ready to put in the extra work needed to get the Redskins back to glory.
By Emmanual Benton