Our third stop "Around the AFC East" today lands us in the Meadowlands, where Jetfighter got giddy when I mentioned the Jets' two-headed backfield of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington:
Buffalo Rumblings: Leon Washington proved to be useful as a rookie, but with Thomas Jones in town Washington is looking up on the depth chart. How do you think Brian Schottenheimer will utilize Washington's skills as a backup RB in his second season?
Jetfighter, NY Landing Strip: "This is something that I feel Leon does not have to worry about. I expect TJ to receive about 15-20 touches, and "Neon" Leon to receive 5-10. Leon is a gadget , a playmaker, and a player who can change the game in an instant. He will be used very similar to Reggie Bush in New Orleans.
For a running back he has very good hands, so expect to see him lined up in double RB sets coming out of the backfield into the flats. You will also find him lined up as receiver on screen plays. Think back to the 80 yard screen play in the rain on Christmas Day in Miami, I think you will get a picture of his capabilities. He is a team player and he will accept his role in the offense, even if his numbers are low. Don't forget, it's only his second year in the league, so his numbers will be very similar to the one's he put up last year."
While I tend to disagree with any comparisons made between Leon Washington and Reggie Bush other than the words "male football player", I think Jetfighter has accurately described the role Washington will see this year. He'll be the Jets' version of Marshawn Lynch, just not as prominently featured. I also expect to see Washington returning punts - and when you factor in his open-field elusiveness, it could be a scary proposition. Washington would give the AFC East four of the scariest punt returners in the NFL (Roscoe Parrish, Washington, Ted Ginn and Wes Welker). It's not fun to play special teams against anybody in this division, and Washington I think will make his mark on the Jets in that department for the '07 season.
We have one more installment for this Friday's version of "Around the AFC East", and it's the recap post. That will be coming later on this evening after the day's festivities wrap up. If any of you have a question that you'd like to see featured in "Around the AFC East" next week, drop me a line at BuffaloRumblings@gmail.com and I'll do my best to get your questions answered.