Washington wants to look the part

Posted by Darren Urban on August 6, 2011 – 7:28 am

It was out of necessity, but inside linebacker Daryl Washington started as a rookie last season right away, pairing with Paris Lenon (pictured below, with No. 58 Washington) when Gerald Hayes couldn’t start the season. And by the end of the year, when Hayes fell out of favor, Washington and Lenon again were the starters.

Washington has speed. That you cannot miss. In one play earlier in camp during an 11-on-11 drill, there was a sweep to the right side. Washington, coming from the backside, was amazingly in the backfield in a flash in what would have been a tackle for loss. Drafted to ostensibly be the replacement for the departed Karlos Dansby, Washington’s physical gifts were evident.

But he certainly isn’t as big as Dansby was. That’s one of the reasons Washington felt — even though the offseason was spent away from the team facilities because of the lockout — he needed to bulk up at least a little. It’s noticeable too in the upper body, even though his playing weight has only gone from about 227 pounds last year to 230 this season.

“I put on some muscle,” Washington said. “That was the expectation for myself, actually looking like a linebacker and not just playing the linebacker position.”

(As a side note, one of the bigger concerns from the lockout was how the second-year guys — the ones who went through an offseason as rookies in 2010 — would handle themselves on their own. Most came back not only in shape, but physically built up from last year. Washington, Max Komar, Stephen Williams, Andre Roberts, O’Brien Schofield.)

For now, Washington and Lenon are running with the first unit, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see free-agent signee Stewart Bradley find his way into the strongside ILB spot (formally Hayes’ spot) and allow Lenon to become a rotational player backing up both Bradley and Washington. Washington just needs to make a normal progression from his rookie season, and changing his body was part of that. Last year, Washington said he was “too lean” and needed to gain strength. So that’s what he did.

“People have been noticing,” Washington said, “so that’s a good thing.”

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Posted in Blog | 34 Comments »

34 Responses to “Washington wants to look the part”

  1. By steffenz21 on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    3 lbs in 7 months? Sheesh, I could put that on with 1 good drinking weekend! In all seriousness, I question his commitment, he had 1 thing to do, all off-season…

  2. By rwestrum on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Seriously steffenz21? Who cares about how much weight he put on? As the article says, he’s clearly bigger and is in as good, if not better, shape than he was last season. To question his commitment is ridiculous.

  3. By Jesse Robles on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    He is fast,like this guy a lot. He will be better than Dansby, LETS GO RED SEA!!

  4. By trigidy22 on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Dwash is a monster!

  5. By Chris B on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    steffen- putting on muscle weight is a lot harder than getting fat.

    It was good meeting you yesterday. You’re taller than I expected. If that intership ever opens up, give me a call. Have a great weekend.

  6. By piknroll on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    steffenz21 – U R an idiot. 3 lbs doesn’t account for the fat lbs he lost and the lean muscle he added. Beanie Wells did the same thing, but on a different body type. Go back to your pizza, dufus.

  7. By steve on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    muscle weighs more than your beer gut dude….stefenz21

  8. By steffenz21 on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Calm down. What fat did he have to lose?? 3 lbs of muscle in 7 months, from a professional, is questionable at best..

  9. By johnjohn1105 on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    I expect great progress from DWashington and Schofield. If that doesn’t happen, then the Cards defense is going to struggle. We have speed with Washington and Schofield and we have veteran leadership from porter and Bradley. I heard that Bradley has the talents and ability to be as good as Brian Urlacher. The issue he has is that he can’t stay healthy. We shall see.

    Go #Birdgang!

  10. By diehardfan on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for all your hard work and for the continuous stream of info. It seems as if there have been more video updates this year compared to previous training camps. Is this intentional, or am I just imagining this? Either way, us die-hards appreciate it. Does the crew have another podcast scheduled?

  11. By mike hadzinski on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    darren is it me or does D.Wash look like a young joey porter there?

  12. By aFanThatsWantsREVENGE on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    At Steffenz. Dude Relaxed Lets Repeat rwestrum: As the article says, he’s clearly bigger and is in as good, if not better, shape than he was last season. To question his commitment is ridiculous.

  13. By Darren Urban on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Diehardfan —

    RE: Videos/podcast

    There has been an effort to up the video output. And we want to do another podcast but it might be a little while — we are only up here Monday and Tuesday next week.

  14. By Darren Urban on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Hadzinski —

    RE: Washington/Porter

    I have to say, I don’t see it.

  15. By cardinalchris on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Not sure how we let Dansby walk away… 230 is 30 pounds too small for ILB. I don’t care how fast he is. He needs size to take on blocks to stuff running plays. He gets moved way too easily. Like him more as an OLB. I don’t see DWash holding that position unless he can add at least another 15 to 20 pounds.

  16. By MFCEO on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    I like pizza

  17. By Stephen on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Redistributing muscle on a body is very hard work, maintaining the weight/power ratio is hard work and I commend the second year boys that have continued to work at their craft!

    Want to second the comment re. the web site. Just excellent for those of us unable to get up to Flag. I am unfamiliar with other club’s sites, but I cannot imagine a stronger effort, a more diverse or more enjoyable place to come and participate in all things Red.

    Spend way too much time looking for updates and enjoy every minute. Well done Darren and all those that make the Cardinals a REAL part of the NFL.

    “Give us a stadium and we will compete”

    Yep, we compete!

  18. By Cards4Life on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    DWash and Obrian schofield have mad potenial cant forget this is only there second season give them time to grow

  19. By cactus jeff on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Does Ryan Williams show a burst? He ran a 4.6 at the combine, any signs of him looking a step slow at his position, or did the cards get a steal in the draft?

  20. By Darren Urban on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff —

    RE: R Williams

    I have been impressed in that area, but it’s early.

  21. By AZ_CARDFAN on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply


    It would be awesome if you could live stream the RED-WHITE practice with you and Wolf announcing. Maybe next year?? As always thanks Darren for the updates.

  22. By Mike Ellingboe on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply


    230 is 30 lbs too small for ILB? Lewis and Seau played at 250, Timmons and Farrior are 240. The only ILB I can think of in the 260 range was Trotter. As long as we get improved play from Williams, Washington will be fine. I’d much rather have a lightning quick 230 lb version of him than a fattened up 240.

  23. By MIKE-G on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    –Nice to see Washington gain some muscle–we need him to fight off blocks and make some plays. Hey Darren –Do you think the coaches are still confident in Rashad Johnson from that safety position??? We need him to show more!! Hopefully he can break out and make some impact!!! It is his 3rd year!!

  24. By Rich on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    not hearing much about the ILB we drafted. Name begins with an S. How’s he looking?

  25. By Darren Urban on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Rich —

    RE: Sturdivant

    It’s early. Haven’t noticed him much.

  26. By darthcard on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    He was a rookie. On some plays he just took himself out of plays. And then that speed and playmaking ability came out. Im excited to watch him. When his instincts are polished his special talent speed will make us all go yesssss.

  27. By Peter in Canada on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    steffenz21 is like some women i know who think size matters.

    Strength is what really counts.

  28. By Dan on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    I hope we get Matt Roth…………STUD. Bring in Cotchery as well.

  29. By fightingbird on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    If skelton wins the starting position will the trade for Kolb be considered a screw up in the orginization. Darren what do you think and do you think skelton really has a chance to win the starting position and has Kolb already got the start but its his to lose and the other QBs are fighting for 2nd,3rd string.

  30. By Darren Urban on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    fightingbird —

    RE: Kolb

    Kolb will be the starter. And frankly, he looks the best right now.

  31. By Scott H on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    cardinalchris –

    RE: Dansby

    I don’t think we let Dansby walk away. Dansby wanted one thing – he wanted to get paid and he was going wherever that was going to happen. As a player, I loved the guy and wish he was still here ( along with MANY, MANY other ex-Cardinals at this point! ) but it wasn’t gonna happen. Maybe it could have happened if there was one single ounce of loyalty on Dansby’s part, but there wasn’t.

  32. By Kris on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    All this talk about muscle weighing more than fat is nonsense….guys, a freaking pound weighs a freaking pound! only time its different is if ur weighing gold to buy or sell it….one fat pound equals one muscle pound. Muscle is more dense then fat, so thats the distinction to be made, not the weight

  33. By Jzoully on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Dansby is gone, and Daryl Washington is not the next Dansby, and to put that on his shoulders is asking too much. He is a better player, his size is just right for his body type, and the quickness shows he is the player that we drafted to replace Dansby. I believe that we have built the uttmost best linebacker core we have had EVER. By the way, if there is one person that I can compare Daryl to is London Fletcher because he isn’t as tall but has natural ability

  34. By Eazy E on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    He’s probably not a 240, 250 lbs guy. Excellent speed and coverage ability. He’ll get the shedding blockers down even better from his rookie year with more experience. Bradley should also have to beat out Lenon because he played very well for us last year.

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