Daryl Washington’s speed helped him harass Eagles quarterback Michael Vick all game Sunday. It was the reason he notched a pair of sacks. But nowhere was Washington’s speed more apparent than the final play of the first half not as a defender, but a blocker.
Safety James Sanders scooped up the fumble at his own 7-yard line and had a convoy (as you can see in the video below). But Eagles running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy had the angle, and there was no way Sanders was going to score — and he had to score, since time for the half expired on the play — without some help.
“As I saw McCoy, I’m thinking, ‘This could be a big play,’ ” Washington said. “So I hustled my butt. I’m tired. But it’s a hustle play.”
Washington ran a 4.51 at his pro day before he was drafted, but you watch the video, it looked like he was running faster than that. “I had people texting me that I was running like a corner,” Washington said with a smile. “I take pride in my speed.”
Washington raced up as if he was blasted out of a chute. No discredit to linebacker Paris Lenon or defensive linemen Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell, who both tried to keep up with Sanders, but Washington ended up necessary.
“I saw Paris and a couple guys, but I didn’t see D-Wash,” Sanders said. “I was trying to slow up a little bit to see if Paris and those other guys could get McCoy out of the way. Then I saw 58 flying out of nowhere. I thought, ‘I’ll follow this stallion to the end zone.’ He went ahead and threw Shady out of the way and made it a lot easier for me.
“I knew it was a matter of time to get that last guy out of the way.”
(All I could think about was the Oregon kid I had seen on ESPN who also had a convoy on an interception but his teammates provided an epic fail. Thank goodness Washington was more on top of the situation.)
“James had four or five guys who could make the block, but I thought, ‘If I can get there before them …,’ ” Washington said. “You need the one guy to make the block. I knew it’d be a huge play. Just killed their whole spirit.”
Here’s what was really impressive. The Cards’ defense had been on the field for an intense 73-yard, 11-play drive just before the fumble. Exhaustion was setting in. “I ain’t going to lie, I was really tired on that play,” Lenon said. “I’m like for real. That (play) was great.” Washington felt it, but knew he needed to make one final push. The locker room awaited one way or the other.
“I thought, ‘Thank God it’s halftime,’ ” Washington said. ” ‘I’m not running in. I’m not jogging. I’m walking.’ “
Tags: Daryl Washington, James Sanders, Paris Lenon
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