clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

More Touches for Leon

Peter King speculates Leon Washington could see over 300 touches this year based on what Rex Ryan's telling him.

I think the one player I'm really looking forward to seeing under a new coach is all-purpose back Leon Washington of the Jets, whose head man, Rex Ryan, is certain to use Washington more liberally than he was used a year ago. I wouldn't be surprised to see Washington -- assuming he reports to camp on time, seeing that he's in a contract dispute with the team right now -- touch the ball 300 times this year. Last year, he had 76 rushes and 47 receptions, to go along with punt- and kick-return duties (77 returns total). He touched it 200 times last year, 123 from scrimmage.

That number from scrimmage has to get to 200, whatever the Jets choose to do in the return game; Washington is simply too explosive to let him touch the ball 7.7 times per game from scrimmage. "I hate defending against players like that,'' Ryan said last week. "He had six touchdowns on 73 carries last year. That number has to go up -- drastically. And it will.''

Getting the ball into the hands of your most explosive player, there's a crazy thought. One of the reasons Eric Mangini is in Cleveland now is he never had it. You have to imagine one of the reasons Jim Leonhard is taking over on punt returns is the coaching staff wants Leon fresh for a much bigger role in the offense.