Renowned New England Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears spoke with the media yesterday, and he spoke extensively about two incoming running backs on the Patriots squad in return specialist Leon Washington and former 1,000-yard rusher LeGarrette Blount, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I already touched on what Fears said about Blount, so I will turn to his assessment of Washington.
Fears said of the former Seattle Seahawks ace returner, via WEEI, “He’s going to have an opportunity to show his stuff. Hey, everybody is going to determine that out there by what they do. Not by what I say, but what they do. And if they’re getting it done, they’ll be the guys who are playing. I’ve been impressed with him playing and coaching against him. I really have. So we’re kind of excited to have him here and looking forward to see what he’ll do with us. I really am.
It certainly does sound like Fears, entering his 17th season with the Patriots as a coach, is excited to have Washington on board, as he called the speedster a “great guy”. Washington doesn’t figure to have a big role in a crowded backfield, but his job as a return specialist is plenty important for the Patriots. This team hasn’t had a good returner for a while, and Washington fills a big void that they needed to be filled. We’ll see if Fears and the Pats can find ways to use Washington effectively on the offense, but a strong season on returns is more than enough to vindicate signing Washington, in my eyes.
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