Washington calls record-tying touchdown ‘bittersweet’
By Brady Henderson
Leon Washington used what seems like an appropriate word to describe his thoughts on tying an NFL record during a disappointing loss.
“It was bittersweet yesterday,” Washington told “Bob and Groz” on Monday, a day after the Seahawks lost 24-21 to the Dolphins on a last-second field goal.
Leon Washington shares the NFL record for most kickoff return scores. (AP)
“Ended up getting the TD record but we didn’t win the football game. We’ve got to get back on track; that’s the main focus. But it was good to see our special teams unit go out there and execute and get a touchdown. That was definitely a positive.”
Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter on Sunday. It was the eighth time in his career he’s returned a kickoff for a score, tying him with Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs for most all-time.
“Coming into the season I knew I was behind Joshua Cribbs. My goal is to be the all-time leading returner in TDs, so I was definitely aware of it, and that’s something I expressed to [special teams coach Brian Schneider] and some of the leaders on special teams,” Washington said.
“Guys [have been] so desperately trying to get me into the end zone over the last few years, and we have done a really good job of doing it. So just hats off to those guys.”
Sunday’s touchdown came at a critical moment for the Seahawks. Miami had just tied the score at 14 when Washington helped Seattle reclaim the lead.
Washington caught Dan Carpenter’s kickoff with a running start at the 2-yard line, about 5 yards left of the hash marks. He veered left toward a giant hole at about the 12-yard line then cut back to the right near the 22, following a block from Jermaine Kearse. A head fake left Carpenter grabbing for air and gave Washington a clear path to the end zone.
“We take pride in the design of the play,” Washington said. “It was executed to the tee.”
Washington’s touchdown was his first return score – either on a punt or a kickoff – since 2010. He was already having a strong season returning kickoffs even without a touchdown to show for it. The Seahawks have the NFL’s third-best average on kickoff returns at 28.9, a tenth of a yard off the league lead.