Senior Bowl: Washington Wrecking Ball

Talented TCU middle linebacker Daryl Washington is making his presence felt in Mobile. Washington showed why he was one of the nation's leading tacklers during the first day of Senior Bowl practice.

LeGarrette Blount, let me introduce you to Daryl Washington.

Washington, TCU's tackling machine of a middle linebacker, spent much of Monday's Senior Bowl practice here in Mobile, Ala., darting into the backfield. If this keeps up, Blount and the North's other running backs will be thrilled to take on the South squad on Saturday afternoon.

"Pretty good day, pretty good day," Washington said with a smile.

That might be an understatement, but for Washington, it probably was just "pretty good." As the unsung sidekick to All-American Jerry Hughes, Washington piled up 109 tackles -- including 11 for losses -- and three interceptions, and was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation's best linebacker.

It's been about three weeks since Washington's last game -- TCU's 17-10 loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. He showed no signs of rust in a helmets-and-shorts practice. He stood out immediately as one of the smoothest linebackers in agility drills. Twice during the 11-on-11 work that ended practice, Washington knifed into the backfield to stop Blount for significant losses.

"I was just reading. I was just in the right position; put myself in the right position to make plays," Washington said. "I'm just trying to play the best I can, show the scouts and my teammates and my coaches what I can do. Just trying to make plays, run around and have fun."

Washington caught the attention of scouts at practice. During Washington's second trip into the backfield to stop Blount, one scout was overheard saying, "There's 41 (Washington's number) again."

Among the teams Washington had talked to by Monday afternoon were the Packers, Buccaneers, Patriots and Panthers.

"They like my versatility, my athletic ability, the way I run, my style of play. They just like my personality," he said.

Asked whether he had a preference of inside linebacker or outside linebacker, Washington's answer spoke to his personality and love for the game.

"Just don't take me off the field, is what I would say."


Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com.


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