Running back Dwayne Washington has big goals in mind as he enters his third season with the New Orleans Saints. The Lakewood, Calif., native has been a core contributor on special teams and is always looking to compete for reps at running back. In 2019, he played in all 16 games, carrying eight times for 60 yards (7.5 avg.) and catching a six-yard pass, while recording three coverage stops and deflecting a punt early in the first quarter of a Dec. 16 Monday night win over Indianapolis as the Saints went 13-3 and won the NFC South for the third consecutive season.
After long talks with family, Washington decided New Orleans would be the best fit for him in 2020 and signed with the team this week.
"It's just something about this squad that just made me want to come back," Washington said Friday, April 17. "It's a special program, it's something that I would like to be a part of. I feel like the Saints are on to something and I want to be a part of it. Just coming back trying to be a part of a Super Bowl team. That's always the main goal, to take it all the way."
In 2019, the Saints were named the best special teams unit in the NFL by a noted rankings site. Washington said his role on special teams was a big part of his decision to return.
"Special teams is also a big part of the game. Just having that heart and then that motive for special teams," he said. "I just think that kind of shows like the true love of the game. It's not just offense and defense. I take pride in special teams. I think it's something that not too many guys can play. ... So just being one of those guys that are very good at it, I kind of take full force and connection to it."
Special teams have always been a strong suit for Washington, even dating to high school.
"As a running back, I think it's pretty dope that I'm pretty talented at special teams and kind of taking all of the fundamentals that I do during the offseason that can kind of make me great when the season arrives," he said. "... So I just do anything that'll help winning these 16 games so we can keep on going. That's always my motive."