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This is a photo of Robert Saleh of the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team. This image reflects the San Francisco 49ers active roster as of Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (AP Photo)

Leon Washington

Special Teams Assistant

College: Florida State

Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.

Experience: 5 years


LEON WASHINGTON returns for his second season as a special teams assistant after initially joining the New York Jets as part of Robert Saleh's first staff in 2021. For Washington, he returned to the Jets last season as a coach after four years as a player (2006-09).

In the 2022 Senior Bowl, Washington was elevated to special teams coordinator as part of a staff that won 20-10.

In his first season with the Jets (2021), Washington joined Special Teams Coordinator Brant Boyer and fellow Special Teams Assistant Michael Ghobrial, as the group oversaw a special teams unit that finished second in the league in DVOA according to The Jets were the only team in the league to finish in the top five in both kickoff and punt return average last season, as wide receiver/return specialist Braxton Berrios was selected as an All Pro after he led the NFL in kickoff return average and finished second in punt return average.

Special teams captain Justin Hardee, one of the NFL's leading special teams tacklers since entering the league in 2017 posted a single-season best 12 tackles in his first season with the Jets. Despite using three different kickers and three different punters, the Jets finished strong in both areas as Braden Mann posted a 43.0 net punting average, fifth best in the league, over the last four games and Eddy PiƱeiro, signed in Week 14, connected on all eight FG attempts as a Jet.

Prior to returning to the Jets, Washington began his coaching career with Detroit as part of the William Clay Ford Minority Coaching Assistantship program, assisting with offense and special teams the first season and the offense the second year. Before the Lions, he was a Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship intern during training camp with Atlanta (2018) and Jacksonville (2016).

A former fourth-round selection by the Jets (2006), he appeared in 126 games played over nine seasons for the Jets, Seattle, New England and Tennessee. A two-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler (2008 & 2012), Washington's eight kickoff return touchdowns are tied for the most in NFL history while he also ranks in the top 10 in kickoff return yards (7,553). On offense, he totaled 3,557 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns. In four years at Florida State, he finished with 2,522 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns.

Washington has three sons, Leon, Nolen and Noel, and a daughter, Lily.


New York Jets | 2021-Present

Special Teams Assistant - 2021-Present

Detroit Lions | 2019-20

WCF Minority Coaching Assistantship - 2020

WCF Minority Coaching Assistantship/Offense & Special Teams - 2019

Atlanta Falcons | 2018

Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship - 2018

Jacksonville Jaguars | 2016

Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship - 2016


Tennessee Titans (Running Back) - 2013-14

New England Patriots (Running Back) - 2013

Seattle Seahawks (Running Back) - 2010-12

New York Jets (Running Back) - 2006-09

Florida State (Running Back) - 2002-05