- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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First-year Patriots running back Leon Washington was a guest on Jacksonville's 1010 XL Radio in Jacksonville on Friday, for the purposes of promoting his charitable foundation's upcoming weekend (June 28-30) in his native Jacksonville.
Washington shared thoughts on what the last four weeks of practices have been like with the Patriots.
"It went pretty good. We were out there working hard, being competitive on the football field. We all know about the 'Patriots Way'-- when we go out there, we want to [be all] business and do things the right way," he told host Rick Ballou, who is a native New Englander.
"Obviously, when you have leaders like Tom Brady on offense and Vince Wilfork on defense, it's not too hard for other guys to fall in line. I'm trying to find my niche on the team and go out there and help the team win football games. It's been [awesome] thus far. Guys are competitive. They work hard. It's been a great environment."
It was noted to Washington that he's played in big games over his career, and now he's in an environment where that's the expectation. His thoughts?
"It's something they're accustomed to doing," he answered. "Obviously, look at the last decade -- they won multiple Super Bowls. They know how to go and win. That's the past and Coach Belichick talks about it all the time -- the past is the past, but now we're focused on the present. It's going to be a tough road, every [day] in the NFL is totally different. If you look at their track record and their history, you know they do things the right way. It's just awesome to go out and compete with those guys and see how hard they work on the football field. You can definitely see why they win so many games."
Washington, who was primarily a special-teamer in Seattle, was asked if he might be in a position where he could compete for playing time on offense.
"We don't want to get into specific roles, you know how that goes. But I'll tell you what, I'm going to go out there in training camp and compete and try to show myself on the football field. I think that's what it's ultimately going to be about," he said. "It's being the ultimate team player. That's what the 'Patriots Way' has always been about, guys coming in, being selfless, and trying to help the team win football games. I know I can carry the ball out of the backfield, I know I can catch out of the backfield, and I'm also a returner, so I look forward to going out there and helping this team winning football games any way I can.
"You look at guys like Troy Brown -- he played offense, defense and special teams. You look at guys like Kevin Faulk, he did a lot of different things. So I want to go out there and make myself multiple and help this team win football games."
On Tim Tebow joining the Patriots, Washington said: "He's had a pleasant arrival. We, at the Patriots, we welcome anybody who comes in and tries to help us win a football game. You can definitely see his work ethic within the week he's been there. He's one of the first guys in the building and one of the last guys out of the building. He works hard, he's smart, and he's a talented football player. He's one of those guys, you can definitely tell that he wants to be great. It's good to be working with him."
Washington called the area a "professional sports town" and joked "I have to kind of get used to the hockey thing."
"I was on Twitter talking about the Miami Heat game and they kind of got mad at me because I wasn't talking about the Bruins. I'm going to get used to the New England way, especially with the Boston Bruins," he said, later adding that he attended a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
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