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Leon's Seattle Comeback


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Thursday & Long: Leon Washington's Seattle Comeback


6/24/2010 11:15 AM ET By Dan Graziano

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seahawkswashingtonfootball.391586185ffa4a0ba576ad33178afbb6-1277390042.jpgAfter all that's happened, Leon Washington remains a man at peace. The rainy season has abated in Seattle, where his wife is enjoying traffic-free driving (relative to New York/New Jersey, at least) and he spent the early part of the week running around on the Seahawks' practice field with the broken leg he suffered in Week 7 last season "99.9 percent healed." And while he wishes the Jets had given him the new contract he wanted last year instead of trading him to the Seahawks during this year's draft, he's not spewing ill will.

Instead, he's rooting for Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold to get their deals, and planning to watch his former teammates and coaches become cable TV stars this summer on "Hard Knocks."

"They've got a character cast over there," Washington said via phone from the Seahawks' locker room Wednesday. "It's going to be fun watching them. I still follow the Jets, of course. I just hope they take care of a couple of guys -- guys who deserve it."

It's the Seahawks who are taking care of Washington now, and he says it's going great -- especially from a medical standpoint. Washington believes he will be ready when training camp starts next month, and he's preparing to fight new teammates Julius Jones and Justin Forsett for carries in the Seattle backfield in 2010.

"It's competition, and that's something you've got to respect," Washington said. "Coach [Pete] Carroll told us day one, you're all going to compete for the position. And I love that aspect of it."

The Seahawks are something of a mystery team heading into 2010. With Carroll and a new coaching staff in place, they were as active as any team in the league during the draft. One area of focus was the running game, as they made third-day trades for Washington and LenDale White to add depth to their running back pool. They've since sent White packing (and griping about it), leaving Washington to compete with holdovers Forsett and Jones for the job as the No. 1 back in Seattle.

"Justin's probably the quicker guy -- not as big as Leon and Julius, but probably quicker," Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith said in a phone interview from his office. "Julius doesn't have the same quickness, but he's got speed and power for a guy his size, and he's a veteran. He's got that experience. Leon, I would say is a combination of Justin and Julius. He can get you with his quickness, but he can also hit that hole with power."

That's what the Seahawks saw when Washington became available in the spring -- a back who, if he came back healthy from his injury, could be the do-everything guy they used to watch in green and white. Smith said Quinton Ganther, another of the Seattle backs, told him a story about a November 2008 Titans-Jets game in which Ganther played for the Titans and Washington ripped off a 61-yard touchdown run to cap a big day and put away the game.

"Coach," Ganther said to Smith as he recalled the game, "Leon beat us by himself."

[url=http://twitter.com/grazdanny]The only remaining question is whether the metal rod that remains in Washington's leg will be any impediment to his return to that form. It's all sunshine right now as Washington said he feels good running, pointed out that the metal rod means "I can't break that leg again," and may be the only one who was sad to leave that locker room Wednesday and head off to his pre-training camp vacation.

"My adrenaline is there," Washington said. "I'm still waiting to go out and get the ball in my hands and make plays. My main thing is finishing off this story so my two little boys can read about how their dad broke his leg and everybody wrote him off but he still came back and did great tings in the NFL."

That kind of talk makes his coaches smile. They already enjoy being around Washington, and they love to think his positive attitude and his talent will mix with that kind of motivation.

"He's thinking about leaving a legacy, and that's great," Smith said. "He's a special guy, and we've excited to have him. We made a trade for him on a Saturday, and the following Monday he was here and he hasn't missed a day in this building working to get ready. So that shows you what kind of man he is. And if he can come back from this injury, that's just going to be huge for us."

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Funny thing. Leon isn't complaining about the lack of long-term security from the Seahawks who are still letting him play under the one-year tender he signed with the Jets.

The Jets made him an offer that he scoffed at. Seattle has made him no offer at all.

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Funny thing. Leon isn't complaining about the lack of long-term security from the Seahawks who are still letting him play under the one-year tender he signed with the Jets.

The Jets made him an offer that he scoffed at. Seattle has made him no offer at all.

This is where I think everybody is wrong about Leon. He is betting on himself. He bet that he could beat the Jets offer. The injury kept him from having the opportunity to do that. I'm sure that he understands that no team will pay him long term big money until he proves he is recovered. He isn't whining about it, he is just going out there and betting that he can earn a big money deal.

IMO, Leon was a victim of twitter. His agent and wife bitched and he looked greedy. I wish him the best.

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Keels was his third agent. I think Leon was driving the negotiations. It was his decision. Seriously, otherwise he would have knifed Keels by now.

Leon is all heart. 100%. No room there for the brain.

all the more reason to dump keels. part of an agent's job is to protect you from yourself.

the jets offered him something like 4 mill per, which would've made leon the highest paid 3rd down back in the league and he held out for everydown back money. whether that was at keels' urging or keels failed to impart realistic expectations to his client, he bears responsibility.

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i don't root for people too dumb/stubborn to help themselves.

lol, ok...I dont even know what that means.

As per Leon, the Jets didnt come close to offering 4 mill per.

Its hard to understand fans who criticize NFL players holding out for more money, especially running backs. Leon just happened to be ridicuously unlucky. To blame him for what happened is retarded.

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lol, ok...I dont even know what that means.

As per Leon, the Jets didnt come close to offering 4 mill per.

Its hard to understand fans who criticize NFL players holding out for more money, especially running backs. Leon just happened to be ridicuously unlucky. To blame him for what happened is retarded.

almost as retarded as someone being wounded over a differing opinion

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Keels was his third agent. I think Leon was driving the negotiations. It was his decision. Seriously, otherwise he would have knifed Keels by now.

Leon is all heart. 100%. No room there for the brain.

This may be true, but do you have a problem with Leon thinking he was worth more money? I don't. If he thinks he was worth $6M per, more power to him. My issue was with the bull**** whining and "GET PAID!" bull****. That seemed like it was coming from twitter and unlike Clowney it wasn't even his tweeting, it was his wife and Keels.

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Yeah, Im clearly wounded.

I suppose you wont be rooting for Revis this season?

ya, i hope revis breaks his leg and the jets go 0-16.

don't be so emotional, you're embarassing yourself

n0-m3xKdP9k

Edited by jgb
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Seahawks RB Leon Washington eager to resume dynamic role

ddillon.gif

Dennis Dillon



Friday, Jun. 25, 2010 - 2:30 p.m. ET

RENTON, Wash. — It was a simple zone running play. Jets running back Leon Washington took the handoff and got held up in traffic. Then Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly fell across the back of his right leg, and Washington's world suddenly became complicated.

He heard a pop and thought he had torn his ACL. But when he felt his leg dangling, he suspected he had broken his leg — a diagnosis doctors confirmed in the X-ray room at the Oakland Coliseum last Oct. 25.

"You think about a broken leg and you automatically think about Joe Theismann," Washington said, referring to the former Redskins quarterback whose NFL career ended during a 1985 Monday night game when a sack by Lawrence Taylor resulted in a grotesque compound leg fracture.

Washington suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula. He was rushed to a hospital, where a metal rod was inserted in his leg during surgery that ended about the same time the Jets-Raiders game did. Then he began the long rehab process.

Washington's story took another twist on April 24, the final day of the NFL draft, when the Jets traded him to Seattle. So in addition to trying to come back from a career-threatening injury, Washington now finds himself three time zones from New York on a new team and in a new conference.

"The positive out of this is I had a chance to sit back and look at football from a different perspective," Washington said Wednesday after the Seahawks concluded a two-day minicamp that wrapped up their offseason. "How fortunate we are to play this game. It's my fifth year, and I feel like I was just a rookie a few days ago. That's how fast it goes.

"Also, I feel like I'm in better shape than I've ever been in, because I've been in a training mode since last October."

Washington's rehab here has included lifting weights, pushing sleds and running up and down the 45-degree hill that borders the Seahawks' practice field. Sometimes, he has placed cones on the hill and cut side to side.

Washington caught the attention of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll last season when Carroll watched Mark Sanchez, his former quarterback at USC, play for the Jets.

"I love the way he plays the game," Carroll said of Washington. "I got to see him and thought he was a dynamic player—running, catching, returns. If he's able to add to our offense, I think that's a big plus for us."

Although he is only 5-8, Washington is a multiple threat with the ball in his hands. He was selected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner in 2008, his third year in the NFL, and led the league in combined yards (2,332) that season.

"Like all good running backs in this league, he can make the first guy miss," CBS analyst Solomon Wilcots said. "He's been great on special teams and catching the ball out of the backfield, running screens and quick flare-outs. That's kind of what you want. You don't really want to use him as an inside runner."

The Seahawks likely will use Washington as a third-down back early this season, then gradually integrate him into the running game with Julius Jones, Justin Forsett and Quinton Ganther. Washington believes he can be a big contributor if he's utilized right.

"I don't see myself carrying the ball 30 times a game," he said, "but give me 12 to 15 carries and eight or nine catches, and I can have the same production as a lead back."

With both Jones (renewing his wedding vows) and Forsett (on his honeymoon) missing from this week's minicamp, it would have been an opportune time for Washington to get some work. But even though X-rays on Tuesday showed his leg has just about completely healed, he was held out of team work and participated only in individual drills.

The Seahawks likely will continue to take a cautious approach with Washington when training camp opens on July 31. "My time will come," Washington said. "And when I get the opportunity, I'll take advantage of it."

Running game will stay in committee

The Seahawks don't have a prototypical feature back on their current roster. Unless they trade for one — say, Marshawn Lynch —they'll operate with a running backs by committee approach in 2010. "We played a lot of running backs the last nine years (at USC)," Seahawks first-year coach Pete Carroll said. "I have no problem with mixing guys and going with who's hot."

These players could comprise the committee:

Julius Jones. The former Cowboy needs to step up his performance after two mostly disappointing seasons in Seattle.

Justin Forsett. He rushed for 619 yards and four TDs last season—impressive for a former seventh-round draft pick.

Quinton Ganther. Maybe reuniting with running backs coach Sherman Smith, who coached Ganther in Tennessee and Washington, will light a fire for Ganther.

Leon Washington. If he is fully recovered from a broken leg, Washington can be a multi-dimensional back.

Louis Rankin. He has good size (6-1, 205) but not much experience.

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

Edited by flgreen
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I separate players' performance on the field from their contract demands.

Leon left it all on the field and that's why Jets fans love him, by and large.

As far as the Jets getting rid of him, I think it's a case of the Jets not thinking he's going to be ready this season so they replaced him with Tomlinson.

If the Jets get two good third down back years from LaDainian and the Seahawks get three or more of those from Leon, it will be the move which "benefits both teams".

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I separate players' performance on the field from their contract demands.

Leon left it all on the field and that's why Jets fans love him, by and large.

As far as the Jets getting rid of him, I think it's a case of the Jets not thinking he's going to be ready this season so they replaced him with Tomlinson.

If the Jets get two good third down back years from LaDainian and the Seahawks get three or more of those from Leon, it will be the move which "benefits both teams".

I thought the Jets replaced Jones with Tomlinson and McKnight for LW.

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I thought the Jets replaced Jones with Tomlinson and McKnight for LW.

C'mon, it's not so exact. Greene takes Jones role (bulk of carries + can't catch a cold). Tomlinson takes Leon's role (3rd down, give the starter a rest, catches out of the backfield). McKnight takes Greene's role at the start of 2009 (wildcard with talent) and hopefully he is ready to take over for Tomlinson sooner rather than later. McKnight also may provide some flexibility if he can play the slot (meaning he'll take Woodhead's spot too)

*McKnight, Wilson and some of the others are able to cover the return game without Leon. Tomlinson gives you nothing there.

Edited by #27TheDominator
Forgot the return game.
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  • 10 years later...
9 hours ago, Integrity28 said:

Look at his profile, it’s all he does. It’s amazing.

Its not the amount of neg reps, its the posts he neg reps.  Seemingly no mind or reason to it.  Out of nowhere, for no apparent reason you can get Gooched. 

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39 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

Its not the amount of neg reps, its the posts he neg reps.  Seemingly no mind or reason to it.  Out of nowhere, for no apparent reason you can get Gooched. 

Gooch. It’s a verb.

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