Leon Washington feeling blessed by second chance

Published on August 3, 2010 by     

Leon Washington isn’t all the way back, not quite yet, but it was clear watching him Monday evening that he has come a long way since his 2009 season ended with a potentially career-threatening injury.

And it wasn’t the ease with which he ran during his limited work in the Seahawks’ afternoon practice session that told the story. It was the carefree smile on his face as he goofed around with his two sons, Leon Jr. and Noel after the practice had concluded.

This wasn’t a player concerned about a comeback. When four-year-old Leon Jr. chased after his dad wearing way-too-big gloves, half-blinded by his father’s giant helmet, Washington wasn’t a man wondering how his surgically repaired right will hold up when he eventually takes his first hit. No, Washington looked content with his new team, with the way his leg is recovering from a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula, and with where his NFL career is headed after five seasons with the New York Jets.

“Man, just the smell of football, I missed that so much,” he said. “This is truly a blessing. I had a lot of support along the way. My wife, so much love along the way. Ever since I got injured she’s been wonderful. My kids have been so much motivation for me.”

Washington still has a little ways to go. It’s been a long road back since he suffered the injury in the seventh game of last season. He isn’t quite 100 percent, and he will always have a metal rod in his right leg: “At least I know I can’t break that leg again,” he jokes.

So far in training camp, he has only done individual drills and returned a few kickoffs, but has been held out of team activities to avoid contact. But after the Jets decided that the running back was expendable — the Seahawks gave up only a fifth-round pick for Washington, a Pro Bowler as a kick returner, and the Jets’ seventh round pick — he is brimming with excitement about his second chance in the NFL.

“The Seahawks brought me in and trusted me,” Washington said. “This show isn’t over, the best is yet to come. I’m still working, I still have faith that I’m a really good football player, so I just can’t wait to get out there and get that first tackle in.”

The Seahawks’ interests in Washington came about in an unusual way. While still the coach at USC, Pete Carroll began following the Jets last season because former Trojan Mark Sanchez was their starting quarterback. And it was during those games that Carroll became infatuated with Washington, though obviously without having any idea he could end up coaching him.

“I was watching every game, hanging on every aspect of it, and Leon was tearing it up,” Carroll said. “I wasn’t of course thinking anything at the time, but I just thought he was a really big factor. In fact when he got hurt, I thought that was really going to be a big blow for their team … To get him on our team felt like really something special. Hopefully he’ll be able to add quite a bit for us.”

Washington, who began his career with the Jets as a fourth-round pick in 2006, was an explosive play maker before the injury — he returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2007 and averaged over five yards-per-carry in each of his past two full seasons — and he firmly believes he will return to that form this year. In fact, as a player who has mostly been known as a third-down back during his career, Washington thinks he’s ready to handle an even bigger role. Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith agrees that Washington is capable of carrying a bigger load.

“Sure he can,” Smith said. “People label him as that … But no, he’s not just a change-of-pace back. He can be a first-down back and get in there and get it done, so I’m not labeling him.”

Even though Washington grew up in Florida and went to Florida State before moving to New York, he has fully embraced life in the Northwest. A big outdoors enthusiast, Washington was on his way to go fishing with Seahawks tight end, Chris Baker, his former teammate in New York, when he found out he had been traded to the Seahawks.

“I love it,” he said of his new home. “I’m a huge nature guy. The mountains, freakin’ bald eagles, fishing, my boys are going to love it. I can’t wait to get a chance to go hiking and all of that. I love it.”

And it is abundantly clear after watching Washington and his family for even a few minutes that his sons and wife, Charity, are a big reason for his positive outlook. Of course, a player who nonchalantly told his team doctor, “Hey, I think I broke my leg,” while on all fours, moments after a season-ending hit, wasn’t about to let on to his wife that he might have been worried about his future.

“Leon is a very strong man,” Charity said. “I took it a lot harder than he did. When he came out of surgery, I was the one crying. He had to comfort me.”

With a second chance and a new team, Washington is just looking for a chance to prove to himself that he can be even better than he was before. Charity, however, says she has a bit more of a vindictive streak than her husband.

“He just wants to show he can play again,” she said with a grin. “I’m the one who wants him to show the Jets that they made a big mistake.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

Schneider knows what he’s looking for in new Seahawks

Given this is the sixth time John Schneider has sat with media for a casual pre-draft conversation, he’s ...
Tuesday Round Up  Bruce Irvin and Jimmy Graham squash their  beef  in Hawaii   Seattle Seahawks

Bruce Irvin and Jimmy Graham squash their “beef” in Hawaii

Irvin, Graham Squash The Beef Prior to the team taking off to Hawaii for player-organized offseason workouts this past ...
d51b7967cd7fce1bfa7a4df85436c60b_crop_north

Report: Michael Bennett wants trade to Atlanta, new contract

Maybe there’s a reason Greg Hardy’s taking a trip to Seattle. Apparently, one of their pass-rushers wants out, which ...
GrahamJohnDavidMercerUSAToday

Seahawks trading Center Max Unger for TE supreme Jimmy Graham

The Seahawks just made the biggest splash of the brand-new league year. New Orleans has agreed to send superstar ...
richard-sherman-reaction-to-malcolm-butler-interception

Another Season in the Books – By: Richard Sherman

POSTED BY: RICHARD SHERMAN 2014 was a wild but great year. It was a tremendous growing year for me ...
150306-lynch-660

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks sign two-year extension

The Seattle Seahawks plan to keep Marshawn Lynch around for the long haul.The team announced Friday that Lynch ...
150306-miller-600

Zach Miller released by Seattle Seahawks

Veteran tight end Zach Miller is looking for a new job after four years in Seattle. The Seahawks announced ...
tempSB29_EYEONTHEHAWKS_GAME_BLOG_18--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Post Football Therapy: Seattle Seahawks

It was in the bag, Seahawks fans. You were one yard away from back-to-back Super Bowl titles and ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz