Sunday's matchup with the Jets will be the first time Washington will square off against his former team since he was traded to Seattle in 2010.
"It's like almost three years removed from there, right? It's a long time," Washington said. "Maybe the first year when I got here it would have been a little different but honestly we're focused on us. We've got where we need to go and they're in our way."
The Jets sent Washington to the Seahawks following the 2009 season as Washington was coming off a gruesome broken leg suffered midseason. On the final day of the 2010 NFL draft, the Jets drafted running back Joe McKnight and traded Washington to Seattle for a fifth-round draft pick.
In his first season with Seattle, Washington returned three kickoffs for touchdowns as the Seahawks special teams unit became among the best in the league. With the new kickoff rules implemented a season ago, Washington has had fewer opportunities to impact a game. Kickoffs being moved up to the 35-yard line have led to more touchbacks and fewer return opportunities.
"We keep looking at it, and the ball is getting kicked too deep," head coach Pete Carroll said. "...We're trying to be really patient with it because we know he is going to do fine. We just need him to get some regular shots."
Washington tried to create an extra opportunity last week against the Minnesota Vikings by bringing a punt return out from two yards deep in the Seahawks end zone.
"A lot of players will do it because a lot of time players are slowing down when they're thinking the ball is going into the end zone. I saw it on film a few times and thought one of these days I'll have an opportunity to do it," Washington said. "I wish I hit it for a touchdown and it wouldn't be that big of a deal."
Washington managed to get the return out to the 22-yard line, but it's a risk Carroll would rather Washington not take.
"That's going to happen sometimes where you get backed up and on a bomb kick you can take advantage of a long kick in that situation. He's an experienced player and he made it work, but that's not the way we choose to do it," Carroll said.
Despite the limited opportunities, Washington is averaging a career-best 29.1 yards a kick return through nine games. With the weather getting colder, kicks will travel less distance, giving the Seahawks more opportunities late in the season.
Washington saw the Seahawks' return game come together last year as the calendar turned to November and December. He expects the same jump in productivity to happen this season.
"We're right on target," Washington said. "We feel like we're executing very well in practice and we've just got to take advantage of opportunities we get in the game."