- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2006

They have yet to take the field together, but the Redskins’ revamped receiving corps of Pro Bowl holdover Santana Moss and the newly acquired duo of Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd already have sparked hefty comparisons.

Lloyd sees the three-headed receiving corps as the successor to the “Greatest Show On Turf” that spurred St. Louis to Super Bowls in 1999 and 2001. Randle El, who won a Super Bowl with Pittsburgh last month, was so excited that he yelled “Yeah, baby” during Lloyd’s introductory press conference, which followed his own yesterday.

“Happier days ahead,” receivers coach Stan Hixon said of his newfound riches.

But will be there enough balls to keep the three wideouts happy?

“That was an issue,” said Randle El, who averaged just 41 catches during his four years with the run-focused Steelers. “I sat down with [offensive coordinator Al] Saunders. I wanted to hear that I’m involved. It’s not about greed. It’s about being able to help your team as much as you can if you have the talent and the ability to do that.”

Lloyd, an aspiring rap artist, was less bashful about his abilities than Randle El, a devout Christian.

“That’s three superb receivers if I do say so myself,” said Lloyd, who caught 91 passes for 1,298 yards (14.3-yard average) and 11 touchdowns during the past two seasons in San Francisco’s horrid offense. “I make plays that most guys don’t. I dive. I do about anything to get the ball.”

Gibbs said when the Redskins were evaluating players heading into free agency, Lloyd’s talent was impossible to miss and made them determined to try to acquire him.

“Brandon’s one-handed spectacular catches, I don’t know if I’ve seen a receiver make those kind of grabs,” said new Redskins safety Adam Archuleta, who faced Lloyd twice a year the past three seasons while with St. Louis. “He has exceptional hands. He was the one [49ers player] that we had to keep an eye on at all times.”

All eyes were on Randle El as the quarterback at Indiana, where he became the only Division I player to pass for 6,000 yards and run for 3,000. Despite a part-time role in Pittsburgh until he became a starter in 2005, the 26-year-old Randle El still scared opposing teams.

“Antwaan is a player who can do a lot of things [besides catch passes],” Gibbs said. “He can run. He can throw. He can run back punts and kickoffs. Two years ago when we played Pittsburgh, we kept punting the ball and he kept getting it, and we couldn’t get him down [six returns for 111 yards]. Our deal is to get him the ball.”

Despite his gaudy financial deal, Randle El said signing with the Redskins wasn’t all about the money.

“There are a lot of places I could’ve gone, but I was welcome here,” he said. “Free agency started at 12:01 [a.m. Saturday]. I got a call at 12:05 from Coach Gibbs. He asked to speak to my wife. She was kind of blown back from that. From that point on, they kept putting plusses on the chart in showing me they really wanted me to be here. They really made me feel that I was first on their list.”

Redskins tight end coach Rennie Simmons called new tight end Christian Fauria, who started for New England’s three Super Bowl champions, “an exceptional blocker.” Simmons sees Fauria and Mike Sellers sharing the blocking role. Fauria, 34, split time the past couple seasons in New England with Daniel Graham and Ben Watson.

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