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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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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 6, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Joe Barry news conference 12:40; Practice 1:05; Jay Gruden and Sean McVay news conferences and open locker room after practice approx. 3:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 16; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 24

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Baker (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), G Lauvao (groin)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle
Wednesday injury report

QB Kirk Cousins—It’s on his shoulders. Not just this game but the entire playoff run. He can’t have an off day, not even one like the Arizona game where he was off for just part of the game. Cousins doesn’t have to be perfect on every throw but for this team to win he has to be very good every quarter.

OT Trent Williams—Back from his four-game suspension, Williams can’t miss a beat in returning to his All-Pro form. Any mistake, much less any sacks allowed, will open him up to further criticism that he left the team in a bad spot. 

WR DeSean Jackson—The dynamic here has become more intriguing since media reports of mutual interest between Jackson and his former team have emerged. Jackson has done his thing the last two games, catching passes for long gains. But if he is going to be of value down the stretch (and of value to any other team next year) he is going to need to get his hands on some shorter and intermediate passes as well.

OLB Preston Smith—He was a regular on this list until he came up big against the Vikings. But he has since disappeared again and needs to come on strong for the team’s stretch run.

ILB Will Compton—He has been coming under fire lately for ineffective play, including missed tackles and being out of position on occasion. The Redskins need him to raise the level of his game if they are going to land in the postseason.

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Reed catches a pass. Staying away from contact. #Redskins

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.