During his first few years in the league, former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington looked like one of the NFL’s most promising young defensive players. By the age of 25 he had been chosen to three Pro Bowls and had signed an eight-year contract extension, and he appeared on his way to becoming a Redskins legend.
But when Joe Gibbs became the coach, things started to change. Arrington and Gibbs didn’t see eye to eye, and Arrington wasn’t a good fit in the defense of assistant head coach Gregg Williams. By the age of 27 Arrington was out of Washington, and by 28 he was out of the NFL.
Arrington is now retired, and he seems to blame Gibbs for the way his career headed south. He also suggests that if Gibbs really cared about his team, he wouldn’t have quit after the 2007 season.
I called Joe Gibbs a coward for leaving,” Arrington said, per the Washington Times. “You came in, you made some money for your NASCAR team. No one else is going to say that. I’m sure more people thought I was a [jerk] for saying that. Joe wouldn’t call me because he knows. There are a lot of people who know the truth about what went down with me and the Redskins.”
Arrington is now the owner of a sports-themed restaurant that tries to attract Redskins fans, and as Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post notes, a lot of those Redskins fans probably won’t be too happy to hear that Arrington is calling Gibbs a coward.


  1. This perpetual underachiever was paid Ray Lewis money and then promptly got hurt and deservedly cut. He was notorious for not playing with whatever the scheme of the year was and he led the league in 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalties. For someone who was never a team-oriented player, he’s not the type of person who should be criticizing a Hall of Fame Super Bowl champion like Gibbs. That’s not to say Gibbs’ second stint wasn’t without plenty of head scratching decisions and mixed results, but LaVar did as much damage to the Redskins franchise over the years he was with the team as any player could do.

  2. HAhhahhah..
    if Lavar wasn’t asking for top 10 salaries, his career may have unfolded differently..
    He had his chances, he is a very very rich man, so if he really wanted to play, I bet some teams after the’07 season would have paid him the minimum.. but since he didn’t grap such option, I assume he didn’t want to play for peanuts..

  3. Considering that DC considers Gibbs a living god I don’t think this will work out great for his restaurant.

  4. You are right Lavar…I think you are a jerk.
    While you are at it, why don’t you blame Joe Gibbs for your failures elsewhere you tool munch.

  5. What a LoSer amd what a waste of athletic ability. This guy freelanced on the field too much, didn’t stay disciplined within the scheme. When confronted with it, he didn’t get with the program. He sulked. He pouted.
    Then he knocks Joe Gibbs. Anyone who has followed Gibbs’ Hall of Fame career knows that he has more honor in his thumbnail than LaVar has in his 260 pounds. Gibbs would never knowingly hurt the Redskins or their fans. Maybe he’d lost some nerve from the first go-round, but the man led the franchise to four Super Bowl appearances.
    LaVar needs to keep his mouth shut before he loses what little goodwill he has among the D.C. community. Gibbs will always be a Chief in the Redskin nation.

  6. Arrington is not intelligent. He could have owned and ridden a motorcycle after his playing career was over. Yet he had to and paid the price for doing so. Winslow and Rothlisburger are simply lucky that they got away with it and healed enough to continue playing. Gibbs a coward? Not hardly.

  7. “You came in, you made some money for your NASCAR team. No one else is going to say that. “
    Actually, a lot of people said that. They were wrong and LaVar’s wrong, too. Gibbs did an admirable, though not great, job in his second term.
    But he’s right about one thing. It was pathetic the way they treated some of their players. Arrington, Pierce, Ramsey, Coles all have a right to be unhappy with the way they were treated.

  8. One of the most absurd things I’ve heard in a while. Both LA and Gibbs are somewhat legends in the area, but Gibbs is the bigger one. After going through the tragedy of Sean Taylor’s death, combined with his own diabetes and a very sick grandchild, can anyone really fault Gibbs for deciding to step aside? I would have enjoyed seeing Joe help keep the team moving in the right direction, and he might have been the best man to lead the players through such a tragedy. But I, in no way, feel his departure was because of cowardice. Just plain absurd.
    As for Arrington, I can see some of the blame for his career turning downward on Gibbs and the staff. He had tremedous talent and potential, and I don’t know if we’ll ever learn the real truth about the questions around his knee injury and the contract dispute. So Gibbs may have had something to do with LA leaving Washington, but I’m pretty sure Gibbs didn’t have anything to do with LA driving his motorcycle off the road and essentially ending what career he had left.
    I loved watching LA and I wish things had turned out a lot better for him in his time in D.C. But blaming Gibbs, especially by calling him a coward, is pretty superficial and makes him out to be an ass. It had sounded, up to this point, that he was a better businessman than this. What’s next, calling Art Monk soft and Darrell Green overrated?
    I’d rather focus on Coach Z and the current team.

  9. Yeah, what an idiot. I was told by some friends that worked for the skins that coaches would have to give him a mini DVD player on trips to games so he could learn the game plan and defense, that he was the only one they did this for. He couldn’t or wouldn’t learn it during practice. I guess that’s why he was out of position all the time.

  10. Thanks Lavar. Great to hear from you. You’re out of the NFL at 28 and it’s all Joe Gibbs’s fault?

  11. I am not a Skins fan, Not a Gibbs fan, and definitely not an Arrington fan. That being said, Gibbs took a sad Steve Spurrier team and turned them into a Playoff Contending Zorn Team. . . I don’t like the guy, but I have to respect him as a coach. Gibbs did what he did. He made a promise and then left on his terms. Did he improve the team? Yes. Did he have some fun? Yes. Tragedy struck him and his team and they still fought through it. They got to the playoffs and even know they lost, Gibbs set them up for a long time. If I am correct and I believe I am, Gibbs stayed on the team as an adviser to Daniel Snyder. Am I right on that one?

  12. I’ll be honest. I did not even read the article. I saw the headline, clicked, and scrolled down to post almost immediately.
    I really just want to say: Now that is news!
    Give it to him, LaVar.
    Don’t pull any punches now, Coach Gibbs.

  13. Joe in Raleigh says:
    November 11th, 2008 at 10:59 am
    But he’s right about one thing. It was pathetic the way they treated some of their players. Arrington, Pierce, Ramsey, Coles all have a right to be unhappy with the way they were treated.
    Arrington didn’t play within the scheme was out of position all the time. Ramsey threw interceptions like they were going out of style, held the ball too long and got killed. Pierce got a big money deal, skins took a gamble and lost on that one. Coles didn’t want to play in a run first team, he came to the skins to play for pass happy Spurrier. He only caught one touchdown in 2004 and was unhappy. I’m happy we got Moss instead and I’m sure he’s just as happy!

  14. It floors me to hear Redskins fans criticize Arrington. The dude was a fearless monster that could change a game in an instant. He never took plays off or mailed it in. He played hurt and he played angry. On those awful Turner/Marty/Spurrier teams, he was the only reason to watch. When Marvin Lewis moved him to DE, he led the team in sacks. When Warren Sapp wanted to dance around during warm-ups, Arrington offered to rip his head off.
    It’s unbelievable how many “fans” bought the company line about “freelancing” and “unintelligent.” People forget what a force this guy was. Was he a pain in the ass at times? Of course — the great ones always are. People forget.
    He’s got a right to be pissed about the way the team did him.

  15. gibbs left the 2nd time because he was stressed out as ****. He was HC of an NFL team that expects big things who had it’s best player murdered,and to top it off his grandson was fighting leukemia .

  16. I used to really like Lavar. I thought he was a great player for the Redskins during some dismal seasons and did some good things in the community as well.
    However, he’s an idiot. If there is a “kiss of death” to true Redskins fans it would be to call Joe Gibbs a coward. His comments are a good insight into the mind of a selfish, spoiled, overpaid underachiever.
    Good luck with the restaurant dumb ass. It should be packed with Redskins fans now.

  17. Pierce shares some of the blame for leaving the Skins. Coles didn’t like his role in the offense. Ramsey was actually given a shot by Gibbs and failed.
    Look to the players on the team now. Zorn deserves credit for this year’s record, but Gibbs deserves his share for assembling a team built around high character guys. Apart from Ramsey, your list has none.

  18. Joe in Raleigh – When Warren Sapp wanted to dance around during warm-ups, Arrington offered to rip his head off.
    Yeah he did because he was the so called leader of the team. Sapp also called him out, can’t exactly remember what he called him. Something like “Mr. Can’t get right” as in cant figure out the defense or his playbook. Trotter after he left also eluded to Arrington as being rather dumb or lazy. Saying if he would just study or learn the scheme that he would be unstoppable. LaVar was a beast by raw athletic talent but in this league that only takes you so far and as we know now he’s out of the NFL at a young age.

  19. Joe in Raleigh:
    “He’s got a right to be pissed about the way the team did him.”
    I’m with you on some level. He was absolutely fun to watch, and a true playmaker. And things certainly did not work out how most fans wish they would have. I agree that too many fans buy into the “freelancing” notion. And as I said above, he might have a point and be upset with the way the team handled his situation.
    But calling Joe Gibbs a coward? He’s wrong. And blaming his career’s downaward spiral on Gibbs and the staff? Wrong again.

  20. @Joe in Raleigh
    Clap, clap, clap. You nailed it.
    Who cares if he freelanced a bit, he was a great player. Troy Polamalu freelances a lot, and he’s a perennial pro-bowler.
    I’d like to see how many of these Arrington bashing Redskin fans once owner his jersey or cheered every time he made a great play. I’m guessing most of them, he’s all your team had when he was on it.

  21. When he signed with the Giants, he was a shell of the player he was in his early career (due to knee injuries). In 6 games with the giants, he had 14 tackles and 1 sack.
    Then he ruptured his achilles tendon – ending his Giants tenure, and later wrecked his motorcycle.
    How any of this has to due with Gibbs, I don’t understand.
    Why be so bitter? You made big bucks – and if invested properly, will never need to hod a “real job ” again.
    Let it go….

  22. Lavar Whiffington is the last person in the world that should be calling someone else a coward. Watched him on a home renovation show doing work for some charity… the weather turned bad and the area was put on a tornado watch, he hauled ass like his hair was on fire.

  23. Thank god the Packers dodged a bullet when he Arrington turned down their money. Gibbs did more for the Redskins in one season than LaVar ever did in his career.
    Way to get the clientele in there Lavar, that was a savvy business decision.

  24. Arrington is a classic underachiever, notorious for deviating from the scheme.
    he preferred his stellar stats under Spurrir, when the Redskins were going no where. Way to be a class act, Levar.
    Not to mention dummy of the year because most of your potential patrons revere Gibbs regardless.

  25. I like Joe, I liked Lavar when he was here. One has to question Lavar’s mental state. For we all know that you can blame anyone you want but, you always are responsible for your own actions. How can he blame others for the way he handled himself there. He could have sucked up his pride, studied and be ready to play when opportunity presented itself. He is still a young man, and didn’t John Elway play with a ligament missing in his knee his whole career. I know its not the same injury but if the desire was still there, there are teams that need decent players. If he really wanted to play, he would do whatever it takes to get on the field. Plenty of guys have played in other leagues and made a transition back. But that would require him to have to buy into the team concept. And someone that likes to freelance to me means, you are not buying into the team concept, and having trust in your teammates. I mean you don’t ever see a seagull frozen on the bow of a ship ever feeling sorry for itself. AND TO CALL JOE A COWARD, coward is taking buyout, to get out instead of sticking out and proving you belong on the team.

  26. Here’s a credible source(Arrington) to give us the REAL unbiased story LOL Sour grapes? No one will sign you? Blame Gibbs.

  27. If Lavar Arrington is still capable of playing, then why doesn’t he play for another team? Perhaps the situation in Washington is indeed Gibbs’ fault, and Gibbs deserves alllllll the credit in the world for his Super Bowls — but does need to take the blame for his abysmal job in his return, and for turning Arrington from a Pro Bowler to a retiree.
    So what am I trying to say? Blame Gibbs. Blame Arrington. They all stink.
    Go Bears!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!