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Arrington Blowing off Steam

Apr 12, 2005, 12:11 PM EDT


Arrington didn’t seem to be too angry about being
forced to play against San Francisco in December

There’s a certain danger in examining the words of a 26 year old man who wears his emotions on his sleeve. It’s especially dangerous when that player has just had knee surgery for the second time in seven months. But as the whole thing has created quite an uproar so let’s parse some of his statements as quoted in the Washington Post:

Why is it that nobody is really speaking about how hard and the sacrifices I put forth to try to get back out there? They’re so quick to talk about what we do wrong.

The first part is just silly. Is Joe Gibbs supposed to call a press conference to praise Arrington to do what he gets paid millions to do, spend the offseason getting prepared to play in the fall? And the second part is just wrong, at least in public. This coaching staff does not criticize the players to the press.

To me it kind of [stinks]; it [stinks], because it’s not like I have a relationship built with [the coaches] anyway, because they’re new and then I get hurt and every year it’s always someone new [as a head coach].

This sounds almost hysterical. First of all, maybe there would not have been so many new coaches had Arrington done what previous coaches had asked him to do. Arrington wouldn’t play within the defensive scheme as Kurt Schottenheimer wanted him to do and he gave a lot of resistance to playing from a three-point stance as Marvin Lewis wanted him to do. Actions such as that help keep the coaching revolving door turning.

On top of that, wasn’t Arrington one of the players who didn’t return phone calls to Gibbs when the coach was rehired back in January of ’04? Certainly, his enthusiasm for the return of the legendary coach was very limited. Last time I checked it takes two to build a relationship.

Does that mean it’s right the way it’s being handled? . . . It makes you wonder, man, what’s their agenda?

Their agenda is to win football games, not to coddle players and massage their egos.

When asked if he’d discussed his feelings about the situation with Gibbs, Arrington said:

I don’t really care, to be honest. I just care about getting healthy and trying to be able to play. I don’t really care what anybody thinks at this point

In other words, no, I’m blasting away with both barrels publicly without talking to the coach first.

I’m taking as much time as I need, and if that means they’re upset and want to get rid of me, then so be it. But I’m not coming back before my knee is better. I tried it their way, and it got me on crutches again. Now I’m going to try it the way that Dr. Andrews and the rest of the medical staff want me to do, and that’s the bottom line.

Now this is a pretty serious charge here. Arrington is saying that the Redskins forced him to do things against the advice of his doctor and that they would get rid of him if he didn’t go along. It would naive to think that such things don’t happen, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Here are Arrington’s own words from Redskins.com on December 8:

I felt pretty good out there,” he said. “I still have to get a little more comfortable out there. I fee relatively new right now, as funny as that may sound. . .Guys are still fighting and continuing to get things done–I want to be a part of it. I don’t want sit back and watch when I’m healthy. So if I’m healthy and I’m not on Injured Reserve, I’d like an opportunity to go out there and play. That’s the way I feel.

So, that’s the way he felt then. Yesterday, it was this:

I worked my [butt] off to get back on the field and for what? Three [late-season] games? There wasn’t no playoffs on the line. There wasn’t no Super Bowls, and I still worked my [butt] off to play in those three games.

If Arrington is waiting for a brass band to lead the ticker tape parade to celebrate him busting his [butt] so that he can perform the job he gets paid millions of dollars to do, he will be sorely disappointed.

For his part, Gibbs said the following:

Being the guy he is and the competitor he is, he wanted to play, But I told him, long-term, what’s important to us is you, your health. Not just you as a player, but as a person.

Certainly, Gibbs is putting the best face on this from the team’s point of view. If the NFL was truly concerned about the long-term health of its players it probably would have to shut down entirely as virtually nobody who plays for any length of time escapes without some degree of long-term damage to his body. Still, at least as far as last December is concerned, it does appear that Arrington was feeling well and quite eager to take the field.

Lost in the he said, he said exchange between Gibbs and Arrington is the important aspect of the story, the fact that Arrington had the surgery. Unanswered here is a key question: was the procedure necessary because he played in December or because he pushed himself too hard trying to rehab in time for minicamp or was it because there was some stuff in there that wasn’t found in the initial operation? This is the information that really matters, but we don’t get that.

There is danger in making too much out of this. In the halls of Redskins Park, a couple of reporters happen upon Arrington, who is on crutches and feeling very down. In answer to a question like “How’s it going, LaVar?”, the reporters get a notebook full.

This doesn’t mean, however, that all is well at Redskins Park. There certainly is some hangover from the only constant being change in coaches, staff, and players. The long-term effects of that chaos might take a lot longer to work their way out than many of us thought.

  1. mbarnes202 - Apr 12, 2005 at 10:47 AM

    Yeah,
    The media does what it always does and makes a controversy when there probably is none. What I took out of the article was that Arrington is exceedingly frustrated with the set back, and more so with the fact that they came during rehab for the Redskins. I put zero stock in Lavarr’s more outlandish comments, and I don’t think they’re meant to be taken literally. But CBS Sportsline’s tag is “Arrington rips ‘Skins for non-support” and ESPN’s is similar. In a two-page article, CBS Sportsline could not find the room to put Lavarr’s most important quote, in the Post article: “I’m here and I still love the Redskins, that’s the bottom line”
    Instead, what I worry about (although Tyer vehemently denied the possibility) is that LaVarr’s season is in jeopardy. With our LB depth (or lack thereof), that would be a problem. Here’s hoping Barrow comes back, and Allen, Clemons, Barnes, and Smith all pick up the slack.

  2. mbarnes202 - Apr 12, 2005 at 10:47 AM

    Yeah,
    The media does what it always does and makes a controversy when there probably is none. What I took out of the article was that Arrington is exceedingly frustrated with the set back, and more so with the fact that they came during rehab for the Redskins. I put zero stock in Lavarr’s more outlandish comments, and I don’t think they’re meant to be taken literally. But CBS Sportsline’s tag is “Arrington rips ‘Skins for non-support” and ESPN’s is similar. In a two-page article, CBS Sportsline could not find the room to put Lavarr’s most important quote, in the Post article: “I’m here and I still love the Redskins, that’s the bottom line”
    Instead, what I worry about (although Tyer vehemently denied the possibility) is that LaVarr’s season is in jeopardy. With our LB depth (or lack thereof), that would be a problem. Here’s hoping Barrow comes back, and Allen, Clemons, Barnes, and Smith all pick up the slack.

  3. mbarnes202 - Apr 12, 2005 at 2:47 PM

    Yeah,
    The media does what it always does and makes a controversy when there probably is none. What I took out of the article was that Arrington is exceedingly frustrated with the set back, and more so with the fact that they came during rehab for the Redskins. I put zero stock in Lavarr’s more outlandish comments, and I don’t think they’re meant to be taken literally. But CBS Sportsline’s tag is “Arrington rips ‘Skins for non-support” and ESPN’s is similar. In a two-page article, CBS Sportsline could not find the room to put Lavarr’s most important quote, in the Post article: “I’m here and I still love the Redskins, that’s the bottom line”
    Instead, what I worry about (although Tyer vehemently denied the possibility) is that LaVarr’s season is in jeopardy. With our LB depth (or lack thereof), that would be a problem. Here’s hoping Barrow comes back, and Allen, Clemons, Barnes, and Smith all pick up the slack.

  4. Rich Tandler - Apr 12, 2005 at 11:03 AM

    Good point, mbarnes. The real nut of the story is the fact that he had surgery, not what he had to say about it. The question is, was the surgery necessary because he played in December, or because he was pushing his rehab too hard to get back in time for minicamp or was it just some junk leftover that was missed after the initial surgery?

    Those questions, of course, go unanswered.

  5. Rich Tandler - Apr 12, 2005 at 11:03 AM

    Good point, mbarnes. The real nut of the story is the fact that he had surgery, not what he had to say about it. The question is, was the surgery necessary because he played in December, or because he was pushing his rehab too hard to get back in time for minicamp or was it just some junk leftover that was missed after the initial surgery?

    Those questions, of course, go unanswered.

  6. Rich Tandler - Apr 12, 2005 at 3:03 PM

    Good point, mbarnes. The real nut of the story is the fact that he had surgery, not what he had to say about it. The question is, was the surgery necessary because he played in December, or because he was pushing his rehab too hard to get back in time for minicamp or was it just some junk leftover that was missed after the initial surgery?

    Those questions, of course, go unanswered.

  7. Rich Tandler - Apr 12, 2005 at 11:13 AM

    In fact, mbarnes, I went back in and edited the story to include the issue of the injury itself. Thanks!

  8. Rich Tandler - Apr 12, 2005 at 11:13 AM

    In fact, mbarnes, I went back in and edited the story to include the issue of the injury itself. Thanks!

  9. Rich Tandler - Apr 12, 2005 at 3:13 PM

    In fact, mbarnes, I went back in and edited the story to include the issue of the injury itself. Thanks!

  10. oneampoet - Apr 12, 2005 at 12:26 PM

    As sad as I am to say this, I’m starting to sick of LaVar and his mouth.

    He needs to just shut-up and play ball and stop complaining about his contract that he and his agent weren’t smart enough to read and stop complaining about having to be a football player.

    And what’s up with Taylor, one year and he already wants a new contract?

    I tell you what, Gibbs is a Saint to deal with these primadonnas. Suck it up ladies take your millionjs and just play some ball.

  11. oneampoet - Apr 12, 2005 at 12:26 PM

    As sad as I am to say this, I’m starting to sick of LaVar and his mouth.

    He needs to just shut-up and play ball and stop complaining about his contract that he and his agent weren’t smart enough to read and stop complaining about having to be a football player.

    And what’s up with Taylor, one year and he already wants a new contract?

    I tell you what, Gibbs is a Saint to deal with these primadonnas. Suck it up ladies take your millionjs and just play some ball.

  12. oneampoet - Apr 12, 2005 at 4:26 PM

    As sad as I am to say this, I’m starting to sick of LaVar and his mouth.

    He needs to just shut-up and play ball and stop complaining about his contract that he and his agent weren’t smart enough to read and stop complaining about having to be a football player.

    And what’s up with Taylor, one year and he already wants a new contract?

    I tell you what, Gibbs is a Saint to deal with these primadonnas. Suck it up ladies take your millionjs and just play some ball.

  13. Doug - Apr 12, 2005 at 1:33 PM

    It is apparent to me that Joe Gibbs’ biggest project as Team President is to get these ego-maniacal millionaires to concentrate on playing football. If anyone, can do it, Joe can, but I don’t envy him the task.

  14. Doug - Apr 12, 2005 at 1:33 PM

    It is apparent to me that Joe Gibbs’ biggest project as Team President is to get these ego-maniacal millionaires to concentrate on playing football. If anyone, can do it, Joe can, but I don’t envy him the task.

  15. Doug - Apr 12, 2005 at 5:33 PM

    It is apparent to me that Joe Gibbs’ biggest project as Team President is to get these ego-maniacal millionaires to concentrate on playing football. If anyone, can do it, Joe can, but I don’t envy him the task.

  16. Marquez12 - Apr 12, 2005 at 1:54 PM

    Lavar Arrington is the 2nd Best Linebacker on the Redskins (Behind Marcus).

    I keep waiting for Arrington to become Lawrence Taylor. It is never going to happen. He thinks that he is better than he is.

    Shut up and play you whiney millionaire. Get healthy and get on the field if you want attention.

    He makes me sick.

  17. Marquez12 - Apr 12, 2005 at 1:54 PM

    Lavar Arrington is the 2nd Best Linebacker on the Redskins (Behind Marcus).

    I keep waiting for Arrington to become Lawrence Taylor. It is never going to happen. He thinks that he is better than he is.

    Shut up and play you whiney millionaire. Get healthy and get on the field if you want attention.

    He makes me sick.

  18. Marquez12 - Apr 12, 2005 at 5:54 PM

    Lavar Arrington is the 2nd Best Linebacker on the Redskins (Behind Marcus).

    I keep waiting for Arrington to become Lawrence Taylor. It is never going to happen. He thinks that he is better than he is.

    Shut up and play you whiney millionaire. Get healthy and get on the field if you want attention.

    He makes me sick.

  19. Andrew - Apr 12, 2005 at 2:25 PM

    I have an idea hows about you all stop attacking LaVar. He was in a very stressful situation in having another surgery on his knee and said some things that he didn’t really mean. He was just venting

  20. Andrew - Apr 12, 2005 at 2:25 PM

    I have an idea hows about you all stop attacking LaVar. He was in a very stressful situation in having another surgery on his knee and said some things that he didn’t really mean. He was just venting

  21. Andrew - Apr 12, 2005 at 6:25 PM

    I have an idea hows about you all stop attacking LaVar. He was in a very stressful situation in having another surgery on his knee and said some things that he didn’t really mean. He was just venting

  22. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2005 at 7:44 PM

    Yeh, but we are in the very stressful situation of spending valuable time and money on the Redskins just to see Lavar be out of position year after year, argue with the coaches (ask Marvin Lewis) and then to make it worse, he opens his big mouth and spouts a bunch of B.S. I really like Lavar, but he’s no Ray Lewis and he’s no Marcus Washington, and he’s no LT, and to be honest, I don’t know anyone who thinks that Lavar has really lived up to his potential yet. In my opinion, he hasn’t yet earned the right to open his mouth like that. He’s been a good linebacker, but we all thought he would be a game changer, something he clearly has not been.

  23. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2005 at 7:44 PM

    Yeh, but we are in the very stressful situation of spending valuable time and money on the Redskins just to see Lavar be out of position year after year, argue with the coaches (ask Marvin Lewis) and then to make it worse, he opens his big mouth and spouts a bunch of B.S. I really like Lavar, but he’s no Ray Lewis and he’s no Marcus Washington, and he’s no LT, and to be honest, I don’t know anyone who thinks that Lavar has really lived up to his potential yet. In my opinion, he hasn’t yet earned the right to open his mouth like that. He’s been a good linebacker, but we all thought he would be a game changer, something he clearly has not been.

  24. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2005 at 11:44 PM

    Yeh, but we are in the very stressful situation of spending valuable time and money on the Redskins just to see Lavar be out of position year after year, argue with the coaches (ask Marvin Lewis) and then to make it worse, he opens his big mouth and spouts a bunch of B.S. I really like Lavar, but he’s no Ray Lewis and he’s no Marcus Washington, and he’s no LT, and to be honest, I don’t know anyone who thinks that Lavar has really lived up to his potential yet. In my opinion, he hasn’t yet earned the right to open his mouth like that. He’s been a good linebacker, but we all thought he would be a game changer, something he clearly has not been.

  25. oneampoet - Apr 13, 2005 at 1:57 PM

    If he was just venting how come teh next day when given the opportunity to recant after meeting with Gibbs he says,

    “I said what I said. Y’all don’t need a quote,Y’all already got what you need. The truth is in front of you.”

    That doesn’t sound like an apology to me!

    Hey Rich, any chance we can trade LaVar, it didn’t look like we needed him anyways last year.

  26. oneampoet - Apr 13, 2005 at 1:57 PM

    If he was just venting how come teh next day when given the opportunity to recant after meeting with Gibbs he says,

    “I said what I said. Y’all don’t need a quote,Y’all already got what you need. The truth is in front of you.”

    That doesn’t sound like an apology to me!

    Hey Rich, any chance we can trade LaVar, it didn’t look like we needed him anyways last year.

  27. oneampoet - Apr 13, 2005 at 5:57 PM

    If he was just venting how come teh next day when given the opportunity to recant after meeting with Gibbs he says,

    “I said what I said. Y’all don’t need a quote,Y’all already got what you need. The truth is in front of you.”

    That doesn’t sound like an apology to me!

    Hey Rich, any chance we can trade LaVar, it didn’t look like we needed him anyways last year.

  28. Rich Tandler - Apr 14, 2005 at 9:17 AM

    Zero chance, poet. A little thing called a $12 million cap hit.

  29. Rich Tandler - Apr 14, 2005 at 9:17 AM

    Zero chance, poet. A little thing called a $12 million cap hit.

  30. Rich Tandler - Apr 14, 2005 at 1:17 PM

    Zero chance, poet. A little thing called a $12 million cap hit.

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