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Team prepares for ‘wild man’ LaVar
LaVar Arrington hasn’t been to Redskin Park since last season ended, but he was the focus of attention there yesterday.
Arrington, for six seasons the public face of the franchise, is very much on the minds of the Washington Redskins this week as they prepare to face his new team, the New York Giants, on the road on Sunday.
“LaVar will be out there trying to prove a point, saying, ‘Y’all kind of threw me away and thought it was over for me, so I’m going to try to hurt everybody,’” cornerback Shawn Springs said of Arrington, who was a three-time Pro Bowl pick while in Washington. “I know what his attitude is like: ‘I’m going to go out there, try to be a wild man and mess everybody up.’”
Arrington and his old Redskins defensive coaches, Gregg Williams and Dale Lindsey, didn’t get along. “I’m sure they’ll have flowers and candy for each other,” linebacker Marcus Washington said.
Asked how much Arrington could help the Giants prepare for the Redskins, Lindsey quipped, “None. He didn’t know anything when he was here. What makes you think he’ll know something up there?”
Arrington’s replacement, Warrick Holdman, sounded a cautionary note. Holdman made little impact in his debut for the Redskins last year against his old team, the Chicago Bears.
“You can’t try to make every tackle, try to blow up everybody,” Holdman said. “You’ve got to do your job.”
Kicker John Hall, who left the New York Jets for a lucrative contract with the Redskins in 2003, couldn’t wait for that year’s opener against his former team.
“I had no hard feelings against anybody, and I still wanted to stick it to them,” Hall said. “LaVar’s a great guy. He had a good career here. It’s sad the way things ended. Just knowing you’re going to play in that game, the whole week it seems like you get more energy during practice.”
Joe Salave’a, who missed the past two games because of a strained right calf, practiced yesterday. Salave’a had practiced last Wednesday and Thursday, then sat out Friday’s workout and Sunday’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Coach Joe Gibbs, however, expects the veteran defensive tackle to start on Sunday against the Giants.
“Hopefully by the end of the week, there won’t be too much of a discussion about it,” Salave’a said. “My pride is injured a little bit, not being able to get out there with the guys. But from a health standpoint, [it was] probably the best thing.”
Right guard Randy Thomas (hamstring) and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip) each missed some practice work but are listed as probable for the Giants game.
Springs again missed practice, as he has for all but five minutes since undergoing abdominal surgery on Aug. 15. Springs badly strained his right groin during his Sept. 20 return to practice, and he’s unlikely to play on Sunday.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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