By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 9, 2006
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Oct. 8 -- After a week in which he traded barbs with members of the Washington Redskins organization, linebacker LaVar Arrington had a relatively quiet game Sunday, but was in a celebratory mood nonetheless. Arrington made one big play in his first game against his former employer, batting down a pass, and was part of a defense that shut down the Redskins in a 19-3 victory at Giants Stadium.
Another former Redskin, middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, had a stellar outing, dragging tailback Clinton Portis for a loss on several occasions, while New York return specialist Chad Morton, yet another former Redskin, had a 35-yard kickoff return that helped set up New York's first field goal. Of course, all the pregame attention focused on Arrington, the former first-round pick and face of the franchise who essentially bought his way into free agency in the offseason, ending a nasty final two years with the team.
Arrington, selected by Washington second overall in 2000, has had a slow start to this season, and the Giants' defense was suffering through its first t hree games. But Pierce keyed their resurgence Sunday, helping to snuff out several plays early in the game and keeping the defense solid throughout.
"We came out and showed our resiliency," Arrington said.
To the surprise of no one, Arrington was on the cover of today's game program. During the week he went back and forth with Dale Lindsey, Washington's linebackers coach, who said Arrington never grasped the Redskins' defense. Arrington said he stole a playbook from Washington, and refuted Lindsey's claims.
"It's the first time I've talked trash all year," Arrington said. "And that's usually a huge part of my game."