Versatility in pro football doesn’t seem to count much in an age when rosters allow for so many specialists, but Leon Washington is an extra-specialist. Last year, he was second on the Jets in yards rushing with 448, but was the team leader in yards per rush, 5.9, and scored six TDs in just 76 carries. He was also the passing game’s leading dump-off guy, gaining 355 yards with 47 catches and two more TDs. (This gives him 108 receptions in just three seasons with the Jets, a heck of a total for a running back.) But it wasn’t as a running back that Washington made first-team All-Pro. The stumpy five-foot-eight, 210 ball handler returned 29 punts for 303 yards and 48 kickoffs for 1,231 more, making him the Jets’ all-around top ground-gainer. He even blocked for Thomas Jones when he was running the ball. He did everything for the Jets but pass, and he probably could have done that at least as well as Brett Favre.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 21, 2009