Q&A With: LaVar Arrington

The Redskins linebacker provided insight, as usual, on his new role as well as first-year coordinator George Edwards. And Arrington actually uses the D word. We don't mean Dallas. So find out which one.

Q: What do you think of George Edwards?
A: He's been prepped for this for a while now. He did a great job with the linebacking corps in Dallas and when he was here, it was very obvious he's in tune with what was going on. It won't be much different for him this year, except that if something goes wrong, everyone goes straight to him.


Q: Do you have a sense how you'll be used?
A: I honestly believe this is the first time a defensive coordinator really believes in my abilities. With the way Coach Edwards will use me in this scheme, people will get a chance to see what I'm really made of this year.

Q: Do you think you'll have as many pass rush opportunities?
A: It'll be nice to pass rush as a linebacker, because I am a linebacker. That's understood going in. That was something we wanted to focus on, me getting back to being a linebacker. I feel really comfortable and I didn't make too many mistakes. My adjustment has been pretty smooth. It's encouraging. I'm pumped up about it.


Q: Did you ever feel comfortable playing end?
A: I do what I have to do, whether I'm comfortable or not. You do what you have to do for the team and that's what was being asked of me.

Q: How would you evaluate your season last year?
A: I had a good year. The team had a good year in terms of things that got accomplished. This is the first time we're going into the season with the same system. People will see a difference. When you have a scheme that's been in place for more than one year then guys have an opportunity to compete without wondering all the time, 'Am I right or am I wrong?' Now it's to the point where you're playing because you've been in the system, you know it. A lot of guys made a lot of mental errors last year. There was no one to look to for help because they were learning just like you were learning. It makes it difficult to compete. Look at Philadelphia. Other than this offseason, they had the same team in place for a long time. Look at Tampa Bay. Those guys were all together back when the Bucs uniform was still the old one. It makes a difference. So I had a good year, but I still haven't had the year I know I can have.

Q: What ways can you make more of an impact?
A: Being off the ball I can make more of an impact. It's having an opportunity to analyze a play and not be getting blocked while you analyze it. It makes a difference. I have good game speed so it makes a difference when I'm off the ball and a guy has to travel five or six yards to block me.

Q: Is being named defensive player of the year still your goal?
A: It always is. If I got that last year it wouldn't stop being my goal. I'll still come back for it year after year. If you fall short of striving to be the best, then you're still not doing too bad. I see the potential this team has. I haven't seen this. I really haven't. We have some speedsters on that offense.

Q: Is part of you skeptical about all the optimism, given what's happened the past few years?
A: We haven't brought in this type of talent since I've been here. Those two guards . . . it was a visible difference seeing their recognition. This is being built from the ground up. I'm going to be here when we start reaping the benefits of all this work. The type of team we're building, once it clicks and we start getting it, we're going to build a dynasty. That's what we're here for, to get this dynasty started so you can remember us forever.



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