Player Profile: Leon Washington

Will everyone’s favorite emergency fantasy football reserve once again be Leon Washington?

I love the way you get me first downs

Seahawks fans the region over were pretty excited on the draft weekend with first rounders Russell Okung and Earl Thomas, and with the awesome find that was Golden Tate later in the 2nd round.  But what really got the rest of the country to pay attention were the trades for veteran running backs LenDale White and Leon Washington.

Most people know that LunchPail was released not too long after being acquired (the real victory in that trade with the Titans is sure to be defensive tackle Vickerson), and I don’t think that hurt our overall A-grade for the draft weekend one bit.  Because we still have Leon Washington, and by all accounts he’s returning ahead of schedule from his nasty broken leg.

Anyone forced to endure the 2009 season knows one irrefutable truth:  that team lacked playmakers.  No one on defense, no one on special teams … the best you can give me is Nate Burleson but even then, it’s not like other teams are specifically game-planning to stop Nate Burleson.  He’s a nice complementary player, sure.  But he’s not what I – or many outside of the Burleson family – would call a playmaker.

It would seem that’s been rectified somewhat in 2010 with a guy like Tate and a guy like Washington.

Leon Washington has never been a #1 back since being drafted in the 4th round in 2006.  But, as a 3rd down back and a return man, he’s about as good as it gets (like a Darren Sproles type).  For his career, Washington has averaged 4.8 yards per carry, and his reception totals have improved every season until last year’s freakish injury.  Culminating in 2008 with 47 catches for 355 yards and 2 TDs (which says nothing of that season’s 448 yards rushing – a whopping 5.9 per carry – and 6 TDs).  THEN, go ahead and tack on a 26 yards per kickoff return average (where he broke 4 TDs over the ’07 and ’08 seasons), and I’d say that’s the making of a playmaker right down to the letter.

What are my expectations for Washington this year?  To be honest, if we get what he was able to produce when he’s been healthy, it’ll be a boon for the entire organization.  I’m just happy to have him on the team.  Between Washington and Forsett, we could really have the makings of an explosive backfield that everyone in Seattle can be proud of.

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