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AP:Arrington: 'I could have handled things a bit better'


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http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-redskins-a rrington&prov=ap&type=lgns

Arrington: 'I could have handled things a bit better'

By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer

November 3, 2005

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- LaVar Arrington said he could have handled his benching better, that the coaches were right about his knee injury, and that his relationship with the Washington Redskins isn't beyond repair. He even confessed he's had to learn how to run all over again.

Instead of crowing about his possible return to the starting lineup, Arrington was in a humble mood Thursday, mixing the excitement over the chance to play his first entire healthy game in nearly two years with the tempered hindsight of the last two months.

``I could have handled things a little bit better in certain instances, but that's neither here nor there,'' Arrington said. ``We're where we're at. We've just got to keep building toward something. And me, if this is the challenge in front of me, that I've got to try and work my way back through the ranks, then rather than trying to be a prima donna and say 'I am who I am, you should give me an opportunity,' I'd rather just work my tail off to try and achieve that.''

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The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker has been working with the starters this week, splitting time with Warrick Holdman. The coaches won't say who will start Sunday night's game against Philadelphia, but Arrington is no longer the bit player he was during the first six games of the season.

``We're just alternating him and Warrick,'' linebackers coach Dale Lindsey said. ``One gives us something the other one doesn't have, so we just are toying with both of them and letting Philadelphia worry about who's going to play.''

Arrington played the second half after Holdman was benched during Sunday's 36-0 loss to the New York Giants. Tiki Barber ran for 206 yards, mostly on Holdman's side of the field. Up to that point in the season, Arrington had been used sparingly -- if at all -- as a pass-rusher or as the extra linebacker when the defense opted for a 3-4 formation.

Because he is perhaps the most popular player on the team, Arrington's absence created the type of distraction usually associated with a quarterback controversy. Arrington fueled the flames by suggesting his days with the team might soon be over.

Now his point of view has come full circle, and he's more optimistic about his future in Washington.

``This team means the world to me,'' said Arrington, the team's top draft pick in 2000. ``People might think that our relationship is gone, but I think it means the world to me to be a part of this thing. That's why I continue to try and work my tail off to get back out there.''

Arrington's change of heart has come after he realized how much he had to work to return from the knee injury that wrecked last season. Initially, he couldn't understand why he wasn't playing when, by the trainer's definition, he was considered healthy. Now, after watching himself on tape, he concedes the coaches were correct when they said something was still missing.

``The more I'm studying film, the better I'm getting, the faster I'm getting,'' Arrington said. ``As much as I would hate to admit that, I'm kind of seeing the differences. I'm realizing you get to a point of health, but then there's a point where you start getting back to who you are.''

Lindsey, who has had six knee operations, knew what Arrington was feeling. It just took a while for Arrington to understand.

``You want everything to be like it was, and it just isn't there right away,'' Lindsey said. ``It might be eventually, down the line. I think that's about where he is now, about like where his knee used to be. I think he's feeling very comfortable with it. We've seen him chase plays across the field, accelerate, and have confidence that you can stick that foot in the ground and take off.''

As basic as it seems, Arrington also realized he had forgotten how to run. No wonder people were beginning to question if he had lost a step.

``I'm watching film and I'm running with my chest up, my head back. ... That's not how you run and catch somebody,'' said Arrington, who has rectified the problem by leaning forward and lowering his head.

Arrington didn't recognize these things when he was in a sour mood a month ago. Now, he feels closer to his old self, a feeling that began to return when he was used frequently in the 4-3 formation in the victory over San Francisco two weeks ago and in the Giants game.

But those were part-time roles. Arrington will truly be back if he's out there from the get-go this Sunday.

``It would mean a whole lot,'' Arrington said, ``to have an opportunity to try and help dictate the pace of a game from the time it starts.''

Just like the old LaVar.

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Its a great thing to see. And for all the people who liked lavar and thought it'd be great to get him back, but also saw what the coaches were saying, take some satisfaction. I'm sure if lavar gets branded as a lavar-hater for saying these things he can take it.

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``The more I'm studying film, the better I'm getting, the faster I'm getting,'' Arrington said. ``As much as I would hate to admit that, I'm kind of seeing the differences. I'm realizing you get to a point of health, but then there's a point where you start getting back to who you are.''

Lindsey, who has had six knee operations, knew what Arrington was feeling. It just took a while for Arrington to understand.

``You want everything to be like it was, and it just isn't there right away,'' Lindsey said. ``It might be eventually, down the line. I think that's about where he is now, about like where his knee used to be. I think he's feeling very comfortable with it. We've seen him chase plays across the field, accelerate, and have confidence that you can stick that foot in the ground and take off.''

says it all right there.

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How many times do we see this? A player injures his knee, and it takes almost 2 full years before they are back to 100%. Like Trotter, he sucked here during his time recuperating from injury, and now he's back in Philly blowing things up.

I used to be friends with Regan Upshaw. He told me the same thing. Once you hurt your knee, you simply don't trust it. Though the injury itself heals in less than a year, it takes almost 2 years before you can play the way you used to. (if you can at all)

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As tends to be the case, the answers to many questions are answered in time and the details of things that have been reported in the past usually surface around the same time. Things are getting clearer now it seems and with any hope, Lavar gives us a show this Sunday. Along with the rest of them this season. :)

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How many times do we see this? A player injures his knee, and it takes almost 2 full years before they are back to 100%. Like Trotter, he sucked here during his time recuperating from injury, and now he's back in Philly blowing things up.

I used to be friends with Regan Upshaw. He told me the same thing. Once you hurt your knee, you simply don't trust it. Though the injury itself heals in less than a year, it takes almost 2 years before you can play the way you used to. (if you can at all)

This must mean we should resign Barrow cause at age 40, he will have a Pro Bowl year. :silly:

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