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Arrington Blowing off Steam

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Arrington Blowing off Steam

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 pointIn 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.

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Need to Know: Five pre-training camp questions for Jay Gruden

Need to Know: Five pre-training camp questions for Jay Gruden

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 26, one day before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 206 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 46 days.

Today’s schedule: Players report to training camp for physicals and conditioning test. Jay Gruden news conference 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 15
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 24
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 38

Five pre-camp questions for Jay Gruden

RICHMOND—The media portion of training camp gets underway on Wednesday as Jay Gruden holds his pre-camp presser at 2 pm at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center (that’s probably the last time I’ll use the full name of the facility).

Here are some questions we will ask of Gruden as he enters his fourth season as the Redskins head coach.

Will Kirk Cousins’ contract situation be a distraction? This must be asked, even though we know that the answer will be no. Yes, Cousins handled a similar situation just fine last year. But a quarterback playing on a second franchise tag is unprecedented. Certainly, Gruden has to guard against things getting out of hand if the season starts to turn sour.

In his fourth training camp, what is he doing now that he wishes he would have done in 2014? One very visible change has been a reduction in the amount of contact that takes place on the field. Will this continue to decline or, give the issues the team had tackling last year, will it ramp up? What used to be the morning practice and afternoon walkthrough were flipped a couple of years ago. Has there been any thought to changing it back?

How has the adjustment process to having so many new coaches gone so far? The Redskins have new coordinators on both sides of the ball and several new position coaches. As happens when any group of co-workers gets added to a workplace, there is an adjustment period. In the NFL, the coaches have to get up to speed with each other in a hurry.

Will Gruden use the season-ending loss to the Giants as a motivational/learning tool or just bury it in the past? It’s a fine line between learning from past mistakes and dwelling on them. While Cousin should make sure that he doesn’t throw another late-game interception like the one he threw in that game, he can’t have it spook him to the point where he can’t pull the trigger on a pass late in a close game. How Gruden handles the 2016 finale could have a major effect on how 2017 unfolds.

After having one of the highest pass ratios in the league, will Gruden look to run the ball more often? Last year, Sean McVay called passes on 62.4 percent of the Redskins’ snaps. The Redskins drafted a fourth-round running back in Samaje Perine and they may team him with starter Rob Kelley and call to keep the ball on the ground a few more times per game.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

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