Leon's Ground Assault Nets FedEx and Diet Pepsi Nominations


The Jets' rookie has 4.9 yards per rush this season

New York Jets rookie running back Leon Washington has been named a finalist for both the FedEx Ground Player of the Week and the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. Washington, a 5'8", 202-pound Florida State product, ran for 129 yards and his first two professional touchdowns on 20 attempts in the Green & White's 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions.

"This feels pretty good. I haven't run over 100 yards in awhile," Washington said. "I don't think I did it my senior year in college. It feels pretty good to come out here and help the team out being the young guy. I am helping the team out the best I can, and I am trying to gain that confidence from the older guys, the coaches and the rest of my teammates."

Washington, a fourth round selection in last April's draft, has accounted for two of the top nine rookie rush games in franchise history. Two weeks ago, Washington ran for 101 yards in a road game at Jacksonville.

"If I can run in-between tackles and they ask me to do that, I will do it," Washington said. "If they tell me to run outside I will do it. Our offensive line did a good job blocking upfront. They were holding in there and did a tremendous job. I just ran hard and played hard today and we came out with a big win."

On Monday, Jets first-year head coach Eric Mangini named Washington the club's Offensive Player of the Week. His 346 rush yards lead the Jets and he's averaging a healthy 4.9 yards per carry. Washington has also totaled 76 receiving yards on five catches.

Fans can vote Washington the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week until 5:00 p.m. Thursday and the FedEx Ground Player of the Week until Thursday at 6:00 p.m. The winners will be announced Thursday evening.

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