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Mt. Arrington Erupts

Mt. Arrington Erupts

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

Just when you thought it was safe, Mt. Arrington erupts again. A couple of months after he finally got off the bench and onto the field, Arrington is at the center of the storm once again. Last time, it was not all his doing as it was the coaches who decided that he should ride the pine. This time, however, the eruption was of Arrington’s own making, created by his own words.

In an article by David Elfin in the Washington Times, Arrington says that this is likely to be his last season in Washington.

He says he would be cut even if he hadn't missed most of last season because of injuries -- injuries that lingered and made him a spare part for much of the first half of this season.

"Obviously, using me sparingly or not at all is a very clear message," says Arrington, who did not play despite suiting up for an Oct. 9 loss to the Denver Broncos. "I'm not wanted here. I believe in my heart that the Redskins faithful love me as Ravens fans love Ray Lewis or Packers fans love Brett Favre. Some individuals hate it that there are more of my jerseys in the stands than anyone else's."
Arrington said that his imminent departure had to do with a laundry list of issues including the dispute over $6.5 million in a contract extension he signed in 2003 and his attitude towards the game.

Arrington says his refusal to give his entire life to football also hurt his standing with coaches. "Causing a fumble to win a game or getting an interception to change a season, that's not the extent of my life," he says. "It never has been. I always see myself as a person first. Maybe coaches get upset that I don't take myself or this game too seriously and they do. Maybe they get upset because I see it as a game and nothing more than a game."
Well, LaVar, when you get paid tens of millions of dollars to play that game, others are entitled to expect that you take it seriously.

Certainly Joe Gibbs does. After practice on Wednesday he refused to comment on the story, saying that he’d just heard about it. He did say that he didn’t even want to think about the situation:

“Right now, for anyone in this organization – or, I would hope, in the entire town – to be focused on anything but Philadelphia is ridiculous. We’re getting ready to play the most important game that a lot of our players have played – in a place where it’s extremely tough to play and in a place where [the home team] just took the Giants into overtime. If we lose the game, we aren’t going anywhere, so my mindset is on one thing: Philadelphia. I’m not thinking about anything else but that.”

This was not like the incident this past April when two reporters stumbled across Arrington in the halls at Redskins Park and, facing another surgery on his knee, he took some emotional shots at the organization. It wasn’t a case where some reporter stuck a microphone in Arrington’s face as he was coming off the practice field or in the locker room after a tough loss. The interview that was the basis for the article took place at Arrington’s house near Annapolis. Either Arrington called up Elfin invited him to come up and talk or Elfin asked Arrington if he could drop by.

In either case, Arrington knew exactly what he was doing. That is what makes this particularly galling.

According to my colleague John Keim, Arrington went to Gibbs with the old “misinterpreted” line. If you believe that you probably flew in Santa sleigh last week. There is no reporter who covers the Redskins who is more respected than David Elfin. He is as good as they come; there’s no doubt that he has everything on tape and that he and his editors made sure that what he wrote fairly and accurately represented what he said.

The Redskins would have to take a net cap hit of some $7 million to cut Arrington. There seems to be little doubt that they will do so. It looks like good riddance.

Through everything that has gone on with Arrington, I’ve always had respect for him as a stand-up guy who often wore his emotions on his sleeve. That has changed. It’s hard to have much respect for a guy who chooses to play games off the field while there are still some very important ones happening on the field.

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

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

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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