A familiar face is returning to Florham Park. The Jets have hired Leon Washington to fill a special teams assistant role.
Leon Washington is back, this time as a coach.
According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets have hired the former Gang Green running back and return specialist as a special teams assistant. The 38-year-old was with the team from 2006-09 after the organization selected him in round four (pick No. 117 overall) of the 2006 draft out of Florida State.
The #Jets have hired former RB/KR Leon Washington as a special teams assistant. Spent last season with #Lions as part of team’s minority coaching assistantship program. Worked with Falcons and Jaguars under similar programs.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) February 10, 2021
— New York Jets (@nyjets) February 10, 2021
Washington earned a Pro Bowl bid and was also a first-team All-Pro with the Jets in 2008. He led the league with 2,332 all-purpose yards that season and racked up 1,231 yards on 48 total kick returns.
He additionally spent time with Seattle, New England, and Tennessee during his nine-year career.
Washington will be joining a staff led by a new head coach in Robert Saleh and new coordinators in Mike LaFleur (offensive) and Jeff Ulbrich (defensive). An overwhelming alteration involving the coaching staff needed to be made following Adam Gase’s disastrous two-year tenure (2019-20).
The new coaching hires are expected to be building blocks towards improvement in and around the organization. New York greatly needs to develop after a horrific two-win 2020 campaign and tenth consecutive non-playoff finish.
Regardless of who plays quarterback in Florham Park — whether it’s Sam Darnold, Deshaun Watson, or a rookie drafted with the No. 2 overall pick — all three major facets of the team will need to efficiently grow in 2021. Fans are extremely impatient, and every decision moving forward will be of sheer importance.