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Rookie Recap: Darnell Washington

Darnell Washington's numbers aren't anything that make your eyes pop out of your head from his rookie season, with seven receptions for 61 yards for the tight end who was selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. 

But numbers don't always tell the story. 

When he was in the lineup, Washington was used more in a blocking role, doing the 'dirty work' for the offense. 

It's work he readily accepts, but he also welcomes the opportunity to see his role grow in 2024.  

"Everyone wants to be involved. Everyone wants a piece of the pie," said Washington. "Some people's pieces are bigger. I don't complain about anything. 

"I love doing the dirty work and whoever decides that part, if they want me to do more of the dirty work, I am all for it. I am 110 percent in. I value my role. I embrace it. If I keep getting to do it, it's a blessing."

Washington said doing that dirty work is something that drives him, and he doesn't do it for the recognition, he does it for the love of the game. 
"It's actually fun," said Washington. "Sometimes people notice it, sometimes they don't. If it's a big run, big play, sometimes they value it, sometimes they don't. 

"It's just what I do. If I make a key block, I cherish that moment. I just keep to myself and don't worry about other's opinions or thoughts. I just stick to myself." 

Washington was part of an overall rookie class that drew praise from Coach Mike Tomlin at the end of the season for the contributions they made. 

"I thought we got quality production from them," said Tomlin of the rookie class. "In many instances, they didn't wilt, which was good. We were thoughtful about their participation in most instances early on in an effort so they could be available for us down the stretch. That played out relatively well, to be quite honest with you.

"I'm excited about the group. Guys in that group, I think they got bright futures ahead of them and excited about being a component of their development."

Take a look at photographs of Steelers tight ends from the 2023 season


Longest Receptions    
12 vs. New England Patriots, Dec 07, 2023
10 at Cincinnati Bengals, Nov 26, 2023
10 at Houston Texans, Oct 01, 2023
8 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Dec 23, 2023
...1 more at 8.