Monday, September 24, 2007

LaVar Arrington appeared at FedEx Field yesterday.

For the first time since 1999, however, Arrington did not arrive as a member of the roster of either the Washington Redskins or the New York Giants.

The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker appeared on Comcast SportsNet’s pregame show three months after he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident not far from the stadium.

“I can’t say that I miss [football],” said Arrington, 29, who was released by the Giants in February after his lone season in New York was cut short by a ruptured Achilles tendon four months earlier. “I miss the games but not the rest of it. I’m loving life. I’m a husband, a father and a businessman.”

Arrington and his wife, Trishia, are the parents of 21-month-old daughter Marlee and four-month-old twins LaVar and Laila. His restaurant, Sideline, is due to open in Landover in December.

“It happened too fast to be scary,” Arrington said of his accident June 18. “I don’t remember it. I woke up in the hospital. I feel really good. I had lost 30 pounds. Now it’s 25. I’m 240. That’s what I weighed in college. Can you tell?”

Arrington, chosen by the Redskins out of Penn State with the second pick of the 2000 draft, still is a huge fan favorite in Washington. People cheered Arrington, his mini-dreadlocks tied in a ponytail, before and after the TV appearance, urging him to make a comeback with the Redskins.

But that won’t happen. Arrington was released by the Redskins in February 2006, in part because of his poor relationship with position coach Dale Lindsey and in part because of a lingering dispute with owner Dan Snyder over a bonus in a 2003 contract extension.

“It was weird coming here because of my relationship with the dude who owns the stadium,” said Arrington, who gave up his luxury suite at FedEx Field and thus left the premises before the game even started. “But I love the fans. I love Washington. My life is here.”

The George and Danny Show

Redskins owner Dan Snyder granted a rare interview to Comcast SportsNet, which aired after last night’s loss to the Giants. Former WRC (Channel 4) sports director George Michael performed the interview on Comcast”s behalf. It was pretaped and lasted about nine minutes.

Some excerpts:

Michael: Did you know how hard it was going to be to win in the NFL? Did you have any idea?

Snyder: Not really. You realize when you’re in it that this is going to be more difficult than you thought it was going to be. So you work harder.

Michael: What’s the biggest disappointment so far?

Snyder: I think last season was really disappointing. Our expectations were so high. … Fans’ expectations, within the organization we really felt we had some momentum and we lost some of that.”

Michael: Did you think that when you got [Joe Gibbs], Super Bowls would be right around the corner?

Snyder: I think you don’t necessarily say, “Super Bowls are right around the corner.”

Michael: The [heck] you don’t! You do! I know I did. I was making Super Bowl plans.

Snyder: It’s all about winning.

McIntosh, Moss hurting

Linebacker Rocky McIntosh was in and out of the lineup after suffering a shoulder burner. Receiver Santana Moss strained a groin but had big catches early and late.

“At the start of the year when we frowned and thought this open date was coming too early, it’s coming at the right time because we’ve got some bumps and bruises,” said assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams. “Rehab’s going to be just as critical as working on some of the situational football things on the practice field.”

Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin bruised an ankle but returned. Defensive end Phillip Daniels, who missed the previous week with a sprained right foot, aggravated the injury but returned later to bat down a pass. Cornerback Fred Smoot missed a second straight game with a tender hamstring. So did reserve safety Vernon Fox (groin).

No longer streaking

Shaun Suisham missed his first field goal attempt with the Redskins on Dec. 3 against Atlanta. He had made 13 in a row until he was wide left from 39 yards in the first quarter yesterday.

“I hit it well, but you can’t make them all, I guess,” said Suisham, who nailed a 47-yarder at the halftime gun. “Start a new one now.”

Retro look

To celebrate their 75th anniversary, the Redskins wore their 1970 and 1971 gold helmets with an encircled letter “R,” along with white jerseys with three burgundy stripes and two gold ones and gold pants.

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