- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2002

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington believes he can be this season's NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
"I'm going all-out for it. I'm not afraid to admit that," Arrington said after yesterday's offseason practice. "That's what I'm looking for. That's a personal goal of mine. I think that's a realistic goal."
Arrington, who turns 24 next month, is coming off his first Pro Bowl season after improving dramatically from an uneven rookie year. The 2000 draft's second pick overall thinks he will make a similarly large jump this season.
"I know for a fact that people will see a difference in my game this year because I'm knowledgeable about what's going on," Arrington said. "I'm seeing [opponents] tendencies a whole lot better. My film study is a whole lot better. I feel my game developing."
The scheme of new coordinator Marvin Lewis also is exciting him. Arrington is being used to rush the passer more frequently, often from a defensive end position on third down. Generally he seems to be getting back to the creativity he showed at Penn State.
"It's pretty nice to hear people say I'm freelancing again," he said with a laugh, recalling the criticism he often heard at State College.
This year's first-round pick, quarterback Patrick Ramsey, should start practicing tomorrow. He and other early selections were returning from a meeting in California for rookies. All but five other rookies joined practice, including fifth-round tight end Robert Royal and seventh-round defensive end Greg Scott.
Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter was among the few veteran absences. Defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson worked out for the first time since practices began a week ago.
Jody Foldesy


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