Before Saturday's pre-season game, most Jets' fans had no idea who Chauncey Washington was and considered him an afterthought with regards to making the team's roster. Then against Carolina, Washington forced a fumble on a big special teams play and rattled off several nice runs in the second half of the 9-3 win. Now, it appears that Washington could be making a late bid for the Jets' roster.
Washington comes to the Jets after being a seventh round pick by Jacksonville in the 2008 NFL Draft. In high school, Washington was one of the most highly recruited running back athletes in the nation, selecting USC where he was actually one of the first players to verbal in their recruiting class. He played his freshman year then sat out the next two years due to academic issues. He would lose his scholarship but with hard work off the field, he Washington rejoined the team to show glimpses of his potential. Washington always seemed to be stuck behind a NFL talent at running back, whether it be Reggie Bush or LenDale White until his senior year when he battled injuries yet still did enough to be named honorable mention All-Pac-10.
And now in the NFL, Washington needs to prove himself all over again.
"It's going well so far, it's been a good ride here so far," Washington told GreenAndWhiteReport.com. "The coaches have just told me to keep working hard, so that's what I'm going to do."
Washington said that he believes his versatility will help him land a spot with the Jets. While he hasn't played on special teams since his freshman year with the Trojans, he feels that the unit might be a good fit for him. On Saturday night, he made a big play in the second half to force a fumble on a punt. It was simply outside containment by Washington but it led to the turnover.
While it was a good performance against the Panthers, Washington also admits that his work isn't done. His own fumble running the ball ruined any otherwise solid performance.
"The first thing Rex [Ryan] and the coaches here teach is holding onto the ball, he teaches ball security," Washington said. "You can't give up the football and I won't again."
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012