Sept. 11, 2001 was a Tuesday, the usual off day for NFL players. But receiver Santana Moss, then with the New York Jets as was guard Randy Thomas, was driving to rehab his injured knee when the Twin Towers were destroyed by terrorists.
“I was on my way to work,” Moss recalled. “People were just stopped on the Belt [Parkway], looking across the water. From where I lived, you could see the Twin Towers in the mist. It was like crazy, man. Our hotel [the night before home games] was next to Ground Zero. It was a shock. We couldn’t stop talking about it.”
The Redskins were equally affected by the attack on the Pentagon.
“I remember how quiet it was at practice the next couple of weeks,” remembered snapper Ethan Albright, along with offensive tackle Chris Samuels and cornerback Fred Smoot, the only players with Washington then and now. “There are always planes flying overhead and all of a sudden there weren’t any. It was eerie. [Then-coach] Marty Schottenheimer took us to see the Pentagon and the smoke was still coming out. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
— David Elfin