Returning kicks a misadventure for Bombers rookie
By JIM BENDER, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Demond Washington during practice in Winnipeg Saturday October 06, 2012. (QMI Agency/BRIAN DONOGH)
WINNIPEG - Returning kicks for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers has often been an adventure for rookie Demond Washington this season. Sometimes, a misadventure.
Washington has shown that he can become a kick returner extraordinaire. That is, if he can get over his tendency to bobble the ball away.
Washington, 25, leads the Bombers with three lost fumbles out of the team-leading six balls he has mishandled.
“It’s football, everything’s not gonna be great,” Washington said Saturday. “You’re gonna have flaws, you’re gonna have mistakes.
“If I’m the only guy in the league fumbling … that’s just a play in football. You go out there and mistakes are gonna happen. I fumbled it twice this year and that happens to everybody.”
Actually, it’s three times, according to CFL stats, which also show that Winnipeg leads the league with 13 fumbles lost. Only three other players have fumbled the ball away more, but each one handles it much more often than Washington. Toronto’s Chad Owens leads that parade by losing all six that he’s dropped.
Washington has also had a tough time fielding the ball at times, particularly on punts.
“When I first got here, it was an adjustment,” admitted the 5-foot-9, 182-pound Auburn product. “I mean, everything was different. But, you adjust to it and the easiest way to adjust to it is just to go out there and get ready to play.”
But when he does latch on to the pigskin, look out. Washington is currently fourth in the CFL with 52 punt returns for 546 yards and two touchdowns (second to the five scored by Hamilton’s Chris Williams). Washington is also second in kickoff returns with 53 for 1,135 yards. His combined yardage of 1,681 is fourth in the CFL.
“I just go out there and try to score each week,” said Washington, who has also filled in admirably in the secondary when called upon.