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Lavar leading by example


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From Redskins.com

Kickoff Countdown:

Arrington Wants to Lead by Example

09/02/2003

By Steve Butchock

Redskins Insider

With the regular season set to begin on Thursday, each day this week Redskins.com will take a look at some of the key players for the 2003 season. Tuesday: LaVar Arrington.

They say there's always one player who epitomizes the heart and soul of a football team. In three seasons, the player who has emerged to fit this description as the Redskins' lifeline is LaVar Arrington.

The Pro Bowl linebacker, famous for his thunderous hits, is of such talent that it may be impossible to put a value on his importance. He has the respect of his teammates. Whether it's veterans or newcomers, everyone invariably looks to him for leadership.

LaVar's profile entering his fourth NFL season seems mountainous, but he concedes it is not bigger than the team's. He manages to keep the recognition in perspective.

On the field, the fourth-year pro from Penn State is known for his big-play capabilities. He's among the nonpareil of the NFL as a hitter. At times, there is concern that his ferocious verve may result in self-inflicted injury and shorten his career. But Arrington believes the only way to play the game is hard, without fear, and this is the way he goes about business.

He thrives in leading by deeds, not words. He shows foes proper respect, but always plays relentlessly. It's this all-out effort for 60 minutes that has embellished respect for him all the more.

"For me, the way I look at it, you emerge by just doing," Arrington said. "Lead by example. That's my whole thing. Nobody respects somebody who just talks and never shows out."

Does he view his big plays as the foundation of his leadership?

"I would like to think so," he replied.

Further, are those leadership qualities rubbing off on his teammates?

"I would imagine. Guys listen. Guys pay attention. That means a lot to me," the 6-3, 253-pounder said.

As much as he seems to enjoy addressing questions about himself, he avoids sounding arrogant. His answers are in the context that are remindful that he is just one piece of the team, albeit a huge part.

Focusing on the 2003 Redskins and their confidence factor, LaVar said, "I don't think this team is lacking any confidence. We're coming into this season with a mission. I don't think anybody wants to get too far ahead of themselves and start predicting this, and that, and saying all kind of other stuff like we have in years past. I just think our guys out here are on the sole mission of just becoming as good as we can possibly become."

The task facing this team is again man-sized, yet not unconquerable. Arrington, his teammates and the coaches all believe they have improved the team's talent, depth and speed to the level that they can be formidable contenders in the NFC East. Certainly this team possesses more of the kind of players preferred by second-year NFL coach Steve Spurrier.

Arrington, who is playing under his fourth coordinator in four seasons as a Redskin, acknowledged that something seemed to be missing in his three previous seasons in Washington. He now seems more optimistic.

"It's too early to tell, but I hope so. I honestly hope that we have found what we have been missing," he said.

George Edwards, the Redskins' new defensive coordinator, worked with LaVar as the linebackers coach a year ago. So the change at defensive coordinator is not really much of a curve ball, which is viewed as a significant plus.

"I don't really look at him as a new coordinator because, for all intents and purposes, he was really the guy that was coaching [me] anyway. I think we'll be fine with George. I think he's proven to the players that he's a guy we can trust. Coming into this year, I think guys are going to do what it takes to make the transition as smooth as possible."

In assessing the present, as well as what might be on the horizon, Arrington said he is a Redskin inside-out, which is very strong symbolism of his loyalty. He also indicated that, just like Darrell Green, that he would like to remain a life-long Redskin.

"I'm part of the beginning," he said. "I have a history here with the Redskins. I have time invested. I love this team. When things start to turn around and we start to bring it back to the tradition of winning, when the guys were bring home Super Bowls, I think it'll mean a whole lot. As they say, `He who invests a lot, they value it more.' I'm waiting for that time."

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Champ does? Like getting smoked by Quincy Carter and Antonio Bryant or whatever scrubs Dallas seems to torch him with?

I can point to 3 different games off the top of my head that Lavar made THE difference. Carolina 2 years ago, Philly 2 years ago, STL last year.

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don't throw stats at me, I've rolled out of bed and driven to a bar every Sunday since I moved to this god forsaken state and watched every snap of Lavar's career and the play on the field does not back up the hype. He was great for half a season under Marty, last year he was a ghost, yet he got double digit sacks, so you can keep the stats, I prefer to believe my own eyes. The real hero of the StL game was Darrell Gardener and Smoot had a heck of a game as well...Champ did his normal thing, but Lavar was a nonfactor until that last play. It was great that he made it but it wasn't the greatest play ever, and frankly I need more than one play here or there before I'm ready to get on my knees and *******off Lavar Arrington. He is not a dominant player, at least not yet, but he gets the royal treatment for superficial reasons that don't make a great football player. He hits hard and he is fast, but if you don't dominate, I don't care how good you might look in a uniform or in a 40 yard dash, you are not the man, and until Lavar dominates, as far as I am concerned he is not the man and no fluff piece from Redskins.com is going to make me feel any different

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Yomar, ya got to chill, 'cause you're bringing too much heat my young brother:cool:

Quote by Yomar:

Lavar Arrington. He is not a dominant player, at least not yet, but he gets the royal treatment for superficial reasons that don't make a great football player. He hits hard and he is fast, but if you don't dominate, I don't care how good you might look in a uniform or in a 40 yard dash, you are not the man, and until Lavar dominates, as far as I am concerned he is not the man and no fluff piece from Redskins.com is going to make me feel any different

Same can be said about Champ. When is the last time he made a dominant play? At least LaVar has made several that all of us can recall.

Champ gets had, same as LaVar. IMHO, Champ is the overrated one. I don't think he's even a top 5 cb. There are two in Miami, one in Seattle, one in Oakland, one in NE and yes even one in Baltimore I would take before paying Champ $.02 over the reported offer on the table by the Skins. At this point, it's a matter of money. I would much rather have LaVar and his 'tude

over Champ and his 'tude + trying to break the Danny's bank on this deal :shoothead

Just one fan's opinion:2cents:

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true, Champ has to step up too, but he has earned best CB in the NFL with his play in my opinion and Lavar is not there when compared to the top LBs, that and most of the posts re: Champ are dogging him and praising Lavar and that ain't right.

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Bailey is the best cover corner in the league, but there is more to the position that he needs to get better at if wants to be considered the best all around corner. First off, his tackling could be better. Not giving up big plays to inferior recievers like Galloway would be nice also. Champ is THE MAN sometimes. He will go out and shut down T.O. or Toomer and have a great game, but then the following week he will look merely above average against lesser recievers.

Also on the big play scale. Lavar has Champ beat. Lavar has literally changed games because of his play. Hell in 2001, Lavar turned around the entire season.

Lavar also could be MUCH BETTER. However you have to consider this is his 4th defensive scheme in 4 years. Bailey has gone through it too, but it seems like the scheme itself has affected the linebacker position more than cornerback, hell last year Champ got to take it easy covering the #2 reciever half the time. Lavar was a beast under Marty and I'd like to think with his new/old role back maybe he will turn back into that player that we saw make plays all over the field.

Champ is one hell of a player but if it came down to Champ/Lavar, I'd have to stick the #1 priority on Lavar.

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