Eight years after leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers, Nate Washington finally will see some quarterback continuity again with the New England Patriots.
Washington has been targeted by 17 different quarterbacks in his 11 NFL seasons, with the most coming from Ben Roethlisberger, Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck and Vince Young.
He’s excited to begin playing next to Patriots legendary quarterback Tom Brady.
“Me and Tom’s relationship is just a mutual respect,” Washington said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. “I’ve spoken to him after games, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with him. The one thing that I’m most excited about is playing alongside a guy that has a tremendous amount of passion for what he does. Growing up in this league, you understand everybody is not built that way.”
Washington doesn’t look at it as a negative that he’s played with so many quarterbacks. He actually thinks it’s made him a better and more focused player.
“Surprisingly, I think that’s helped me tremendously,” Washington said. “People tend to talk about continuity between a quarterback and a wide receiver so much, knowing the guy. But there’s also a requirement to do your job, be in the place you’re supposed to be in at the time you’re supposed to be there. With so many changes with the guy behind center for me, it’s given me the opportunity to make sure I’m doing my part being in the right place at the right time.”
Washington also has been targeted by Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Kerry Collins, Zach Mettenberger, Charlie Batch, Charlie Whitehurst, Ryan Mallett, Byron Leftwich, Rusty Smith, Brandon Weeden, T.J. Yates, Tommy Maddox and Jordan Palmer.
The receiver has 457 career receptions on 873 targets for 6,937 yards with 44 touchdowns.
Washington will compete for a roster spot with other Patriots receivers Aaron Dobson, DeAndre Carter and Chris Harper. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin and Matthew Slater are likely to make the team at this juncture. The Patriots also could select a wideout in the 2016 NFL Draft to compete for a role.
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Dec 27, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans receiver Nate Washington (85) celebrates after a touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. The Texans won 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports