Q&A with: LaVar Arrington

Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington had the biggest play of the game Sunday: a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown. He also proved a point: he's a tough guy. Arrington left the game in the first quarter with a mild concussion, but later returned and continued his stellar play of the past three games.

Q: Was there any hesistancy on your part to go back into the game?

A: My vision was going in my left eye and it was shimmering. It was pretty messed up. I didn't know if I could come back. My eye is messed up. Then it's just the fear of not being able to come back and contribute, knowing that we needed to keep playing hard. The game wasn't out of hand and I was just trying to clear my head as much as I could. I just laid there, not knowing how long I laid there. They told me to go lay in the dark. I didn't realize how long I laid in the dark I was out of it so much. When I came out I started feeling better and then they told me the second quarter was almost over. I was like, I understand what you guys are saying to me, I know where I'm at, I know my name and I started running plays through my head. I said I need to get back out on the sideline.

Q: Are you surprised how effective you were given all that?

A: I think so. I didn't know how I'd be able to react or if I got hit what would happen. After you get an injury, the guys sit there and prey on your injury so guys come after you harder than before. There's a lot of different things that go into play when you come back in from sustaining an injury, especially if they know it's a head injury. I think I dispelled any thoughts of me not being able to perform in terms of other teams so they started understanding that I was all right.

Q: Did you ever sit back and say it's crazy I tried that?

A: Yeah it's always crazy coming back and trying. I guess that's the risk you take if you can't go and no one's saying anything. If I can go and do some things it's like, 'Wow, how did he do it.' I didn't do it for that, but looking on the outside in, if I'm looking at someone else doing half the crap I'm doing I'd probably say, Does he have a death wish or something? I'm a competitor and I just want to win. I'm tired of people thinking the Redskins are washed up and we can't win games. I guess the headline today was, 'Can't lose them all'. I'll do everything in my power to gain the respect back for us and I'm sure there's a lot of guys who feel the same way.

Q: Is it scary not to remember a lot of that game?

A: I've had times when I've knocked myself out. The way I play ball I sometimes knock myself out. It's funny because you remember things you need to remember. I remembered all my plays and I remembered where I needed to be. It's weird, I guess it's more instinctive than anything else. But it's scary when you can't remember and you sit there trying to remember but you can't. But I've been through it before and it will come back to you after a while. When I was knocked out in Philly last year I didn't remember the whole day. Once I started coming back people were like, 'You're talking like nothing happened. It seemed like you were all right.' I was like, I don't know, I don't remember. But once time starts going past slowly but surely it comes back to you.

Q: Ever see stars when you get hit?

A: It's pretty neat sometimes. The neatest thing is, maybe it's sick or something but I hear echoes sometimes. I get hit or make a hit and half the time I ding myself so you never even know. I'm a defensive guy so I'm not supposed to let you guys or the offensive guy know it anyway. But I ding myself and sometimes I hear an echo: doom, doom, doom, doom, doom. It's like you're in a big room or something. But you get used to it. The day I can't take it anymore or it starts being detrimental, then you walk away from this sport. I'm not anywhere near that I hope.

Q: Does it make you appreciate what quarterbacks go through when you make them hear echoes?

A: No. I've got issues about the whole quarterbacks. Anytime I get a chance to make them pay. . . They're just making them bigger targets by making them do what they're doing.

Q: Did everyone feel a little better Monday?

A: Sunday was a real pick me up for the fact that we put good games together. It's just a few things that were missing and we felt the same way last game and we put together a one-quarter game and we were able to win a game. That's a testimony to how good this team could be if we get it all together and if we're clicking all together. We won a game in the fourth quarter. If we put it together like that for a whole game, who knows what we would do.


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