Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday he has made progress in two of the three offseason personnel issues he faces.
Gibbs said he and linebacker LaVar Arrington met and "have a good agreement, and a good feeling" after the linebacker complained publicly Monday about how the team treated him after he injured his knee last season. Gibbs also said he has spoken "numerous times" with newly acquired wide receiver Santana Moss, who has skipped voluntary workouts while seeking to renegotiate his contract.
Joe Gibbs said he and linebacker LaVar Arrington met and "have a good agreement, and a good feeling."
(John McDonnell - The Washington Post)
But Gibbs said safety Sean Taylor, who also has skipped the workouts while seeking to renegotiate the contract he signed as a rookie last summer, has not returned the coach's telephone calls. Gibbs said that, unlike Moss, he has no indication whether Taylor is on any sort of regimen.
Gibbs said such distractions are commonplace in the NFL these days.
"I'd be willing to say if you stacked us up with all of the other teams in the league," Gibbs said, "that we're on the low side for having problems. I think you look at that and say that's just part of today's football."
Gibbs met yesterday with Arrington, director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer and James Andrews, who performed Arrington's two surgeries, to clarify the player's medical condition and ensure that all parties agreed on how to proceed with rehabilitation.
On Monday, Arrington expressed concern over how the team has handled his injury and questioned a decision not to disclose a second surgery last Wednesday on his right knee, but Gibbs said that, after speaking to Arrington, the three-time Pro Bowl player agreed that the staff has taken every precaution with his knee since his initial surgery Sept. 23.
As Arrington left Redskins Park yesterday, he was asked if he stood by his comments from Monday and responded: "You all already got your comment. . . . You all don't need me; you all say things and do things the way you all want to do it. . . . The truth is in front of you. . . . You all don't need a quote from me; you already have it."
When asked if he felt better after talking to Gibbs, Arrington said: "I'm happy about trying to get my knee together and that's my main focus. . . . You all want to depict me as a bad guy. I'm hurt. It is what it is."
After speaking with Arrington on Monday night, Gibbs said he anticipated Arrington would take a conciliatory tone yesterday. During his news conference, a few hours before Arrington spoke to the media, Gibbs said he was surprised by Arrington's comments Monday. "I think he knows every single thing that happened last year, and the way we were cautious about it," Gibbs said. "I think just frustration set in because he has been hurt for so long."
Arrington met privately with Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense; took part in a meeting with the defensive team; and met privately with Gibbs. Gibbs said he was enthused by his chat with Arrington and the prospects for Arrington's recovery, and admitted that while Arrington's interaction with the media yesterday was "not good," he is confident there is no rift with coaches.
"I think between he and I, we have a good agreement, and a good feeling about it," Gibbs said late yesterday afternoon, well after Arrington had returned home.
Gibbs also refuted Arrington's claim that the team was pushing back the settlement of a grievance over a $6.5 million bonus in his contract and said the team is ready to present its case whenever a hearing is held. "Certainly, we haven't been the ones who pushed it back," Gibbs said.
Arrington remains on crutches and will not be able to run for at least two months, but Gibbs said the medical staff is confident he will be ready for training camp in July.