NFC East: LaVar Arrington

The NFL has this thing now where they have former players from each team announce second-round and third-round draft picks during the prime-time Friday night airing of those two rounds. Here's who they've got for the NFC East teams:

Philadelphia Eagles: Jeremiah Trotter

Dallas Cowboys: Tony Casillas

New York Giants: Rich Seubert

Washington Redskins: LaVar Arrington

I was going to try a "He should announce himself as the pick!" joke with one of these guys, but none of them screamed that out at me. I don't know. Seubert, I guess?
The winner of the how-to-order-the-Friday-links contest this week is Michael from Nashville, who suggested tying the order to fantasy sports. I went to the ESPN fantasy football page and looked up the points leaders from last year, and the links are hereby provided in order of each team's highest-scoring fantasy player from 2011.

New York Giants (Eli Manning, 273)

Tom Coughlin says "it's probably going to be close" when asked whether Hakeem Nicks will be ready for the regular-season opener. Nicks broke his foot in practice Thursday and is scheduled to have surgery today to insert a screw into it. The Giants' say the estimated recovery time is 12 weeks, which would be the middle of August, and Coughlin said Nicks is confident he can make that. We shall see.

As I wrote Thursday afternoon, if there's a positive to take out of the Nicks news it's that the Giants will be able to give more offseason and preseason reps to wide receivers Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden and Rueben Randle, and extended looks at those players will help them determine which, if any, is best suited to replace free-agent defector Mario Manningham as the No. 3 receiver behind Nicks and Victor Cruz. Hixon says he's feeling good and ready.

Philadelphia Eagles (LeSean McCoy, 270)

The concern with the Eagles is that Michael Vick's history says he's likely to miss at least a game or two due to injury this season. And if he does, there's very little in the way of experience among the backup options behind him. Jeff McLane breaks down the Eagles' backup quarterback situation, which should be Mike Kafka at this point.

As Sal Paolantonio reported the other day, second-year center Jason Kelce will be taking over the responsibility for making the protection calls at the line of scrimmage. The Eagles gave Vick that responsibility last year, and shifting it to Kelce will give Vick less about which to worry, and I think that's probably a good thing.

Dallas Cowboys (Tony Romo, 265)

Jean-Jacques Taylor writes that third-year wide receiver Dez Bryant has had a nice, blissfully quiet offseason and that he's on the verge of greatness. As we discussed many times last year, Bryant is a physical mismatch for almost anyone who tries to cover him, even at the NFL level. It's about committing to his own development and route-running, and once he does that he'll be as good as anyone.

And yeah, two from ESPNDallas.com this morning, as the crew there debates whether the Cowboys can beat the Vegas over/under of 8.5 wins for 2012. I bring this up as a preview to the "Dream/nightmare scenario" posts that are coming from each of our division's teams this morning. So, you know. Look forward to that.

Washington Redskins (Rex Grossman, 141)

In a bit of irony, the Redskins (and the Cowboys) are among the defendants in the NFLPA's collusion case against the league for the spending practices during the uncapped 2010 season. It's ironic because the union says the only way it found out about what it alleges to be collusive behavior was because the league punished those teams for not adhering to the secret agreement regarding 2010 spending. What you should take from this, once and for all, is the fact that the union's collusion case is in no way whatsoever aimed at helping the Redskins and Cowboys getting any relief of those cap punishments. That part of this case is over, they will pay the penalties and that's really it. I promise. No matter how nicely you guys ask.

The Redskins put Robert Griffin III's locker between those of London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo, which LaVar Arrington says could be crucial to the rookie's development. One of the Redskins' strengths as a team is the veteran leadership they have in their locker room, and they'll surely want to put Griffin in the best possible position -- literally as well as figuratively -- to benefit from that.
So I have this idea, since everybody loves draft talk and speculation so much, to go through each team's picks and the history of players taken at those spots. It doesn't mean much, since there's no way to know if the guy your team takes in the sixth round is going to become anything or not, but I thought it'd be fun, so I'm going to do it for each of our division's four teams. We'll go in first-round order, so we'll start with the Redskins, who have seven picks.

The Redskins have the No. 2 pick in the draft, which as you might expect has produced a number of great players, including 13 Hall of Famers. But in doing this exercise, I learned that the Redskins this year also have the pick (No. 102) that produced both Johnny Unitas and Nick Buoniconti. The Redskins' second pick in this year's draft is No. 69, which is noteworthy because the Redskins likely made the best No. 69 pick of all time when they drafted Hall of Famer Russ Grimm in 1981. Enjoy.

PICK 2 (second pick of first round)

Last five players taken

2011 -- Von Miller, LB, Broncos

2010 -- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions

2009 -- Jason Smith, T, Rams

2008 -- Chris Long, DE, Rams

2007 -- Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions

Redskins' history of No. 2 picks


2000 -- LaVar Arrington

1962 -- Norm Snead

1953 -- Jack Scarbath

Hall of Famers picked No. 2

Marshall Faulk (1994), Eric Dickerson (1983), Lawrence Taylor (1981), Tony Dorsett (1977), Randy White (1975), Tom Mack (1966), Joe Namath (1965, AFL), Bob Brown (1964), Merlin Olsen (1962), Les Richter (1952), Y.A. Tittle (1951), George McAfee (1940), Sid Luckman (1939)

Other notables

Reggie Bush (2006), Julius Peppers (2002), Ryan Leaf (1998), Tony Mandarich (1989), Cornelius Bennett (1987), Archie Manning (1971)

Last quarterback taken No. 2


1999 -- Donovan McNabb, Eagles

PICK 69 (sixth pick, third round)

Last five players taken

2011 -- Rob Housler, TE, Cardinals

2010 -- Jared Veldheer, T, Raiders

2009 -- Jason Williams, LB, Cowboys

2008 -- Jacob Hester, FB, Chargers

2007 -- Buster Davis, LB, Cardinals

Redskins' history of No. 69 pick

1998 -- Skip Hicks

1981 -- Russ Grimm

Hall of Famers picked No. 69

Russ Grimm (1981), Jack Christiansen (1951)

PICK 102 (seventh pick, fourth round)

Last five players taken

2011 --Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns

2010 -- Darryl Sharpton, LB, Texans

2009 -- Donald Washington, DB, Chiefs

2008 -- Jeremy Thompson, DE, Packers

2007 -- Brian Robison, DE, Vikings

Redskins history of No. 102 pick

1996 -- Stephen Davis

1984 -- Jimmy Smith

Hall of Famers taken N0. 102

Nick Buoniconti (1962), Johnny Unitas (1955)

PICK 109 (14th pick, fourth round)

Last five players taken

2011 -- Colin McCarthy, LB, Titans

2010 -- Corey Wootton, DE, Bears

2009 -- T.J. Lang, T, Packers

2008 -- Mike McGlynn, G, Eagles

2007 -- Stephen Nicholas, LB, Falcons

Redskins history of No. 109 pick


2001 -- Sage Rosenfels

1990 -- Rico Labbe

1988 -- Jamie Morris

Hall of Famers taken No. 109

Don Maynard (1957)

PICK 141 (sixth pick, fifth round)

Last five players taken

2011 -- D.J. Williams, TE, Packers

2010 -- Joshua Moore, DB, Bears

2009 -- Kenny McKinley, WR, Broncos

2008 -- Gary Barnidge, TE, Panthers

2007 -- Greg Peterson, DT, Buccaneers

Redskins history of No. 141 pick

1971 -- Conway Hayman

Hall of Famers taken No. 141

None

PICK 173 (third pick, sixth round)

Last five players taken

2011 -- Byron Maxwell, DB, Seahawks

2010 -- Anthony Dixon, RB, 49ers

2009 -- Javon Ringer, RB, Titans

2008 -- Dominique Barber, S, Texans

2007 -- Michael Coe, CB, Colts

Redskins history of No. 173 pick

2006 -- Reed Doughty

1970 -- Roland Merritt

1969 -- John Didion

Hall of Famers picked No. 173

None

PICK 213 (sixth pick, seventh round)

Last five players taken

2011 -- Brandyn Thompson, DB, Redskins

2010 -- Willie Young, DE, Lions

2009 -- Paul Fanaika, G, Eagles

2008 --Chauncey Washington, RB Jaguars

2007 -- Chase Pittman, DE, Browns

Redskins history of No. 213 pick

2011 -- Brandyn Thompson

1986 -- Kurt Gouveia

Hall of Famers picked No. 213

None
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- We are all up bright and early this morning for the first of two "coaches breakfasts" at the NFL owners meetings. Pretty cool deal, actually. Today, all of the AFC coaches sit at tables for an hour and you can sit with them and ask them anything you want. The NFC coaches do it tomorrow. So, in my capacity as NFC East blogger, I will of course be working those tables tomorrow for information and insight from Jason Garrett, Tom Coughlin, Andy Reid and Mike Shanahan. But I'm going to today's session, too, to do some work on another project and because you never know what you might learn.

I don't know if they'll have links there. I do know you have them here.

Dallas Cowboys

After saying he'd talk with reporters Monday about the salary cap penalty issue, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declined to do so and in fact stayed very much out of sight all day. (I mean, I was looking for the guy from 8 am until 10 pm, and I saw him once, and he was in a room I wasn't allowed to enter.) It sounds as though the Cowboys and the Redskins will both keep quiet on this, though you should stay tuned because you never know with Jerry, right?

Wanna hear what Tony Romo thinks about Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow? Here you go. What? Hey, at least it's not about Romo playing golf. I know you guys just love it when I give you the Romo golf updates...

New York Giants

Giants general manager Jerry Reese spoke with Sirius XM Radio about several issues, including the team's ongoing hunt for a middle linebacker and the idea of "slow-playing" free agency. I'm amazed that I still get questions from Giants fans about why they haven't done much in free agency. They don't have much cap room, first of all. And second of all, this is how they usually handle free agency, and it seems to be working well for them, no?

Former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith signed with the Rams, which could be an Eagles link because he "played" for them last year and could be a Cowboys link because some Cowboys fans were wondering if their team might sign him to replace Laurent Robinson but is ultimately a Giants link because Smith was much more a Giant than he ever was an Eagle or certainly a Cowboy.

Philadelphia Eagles

Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly is doing a periodic draft diary for Philly.com, and Sheil Kapadia has the latest installment. We don't know if the Eagles will end up picking Kuechly in the first round, but he's a guy who would fit nicely there, and he's someone who's been on the minds of Eagles fans, so there you go -- a little look into the pre-draft process through his eyes.

Jeff McLane explains why he thinks the Eagles could use one of their first three draft picks on a quarterback.

Washington Redskins

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said that commissioner Roger Goodell has the "full support" of the league's other owners on the matter of the salary cap penalties against the Redskins and Cowboys. Of course, Kraft also said Goodell was "in the best position to speak to that," and a few hours later Goodell refused to do so. So, you know. Whatever.

My old friend LaVar Arrington thinks this is a case of two NFL owners bucking the "old-school" approach the others are so determined to preserve. And in truth, this does feel more and more like a vindictive personal issue among the owners involved. That's probably why the league doesn't want anyone talking about it anymore. If the arbitrator assigned to the case thinks there's some kind of personal motivation behind the penalties, that might make him more likely to overturn them.
Tuesday is a big day on the ESPN.com NFL page. To make sure you have the energy to power your way through it, let's make sure you get your links.

New York Giants

Injured defensive end Justin Tuck says he's "confident" he'll play in the Giants' next game, which is the week after next against the Dolphins. Tuck has endured a lot of frustration connected with his neck injury, including missed games and surprise criticism from former teammate Antonio Pierce. He desperately wants to play, and while the Giants are getting strong defensive end play from Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul in his absence, there's no denying they're a better defense when he's in there.

The Giants are hoping to get a lot of people back from injury when they return from their bye week. The list, according to Tom Canavan, includes right guard Chris Snee, running back Brandon Jacobs, receiver Ramses Barden and rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara. Now, the first two, sure. But Barden? We'll believe he's a factor once he's finally on the field and contributing. And while everybody's been excited about Amukamara since draft day, it's worth remembering that he's still a rookie who had one NFL practice before his injury and will be playing, I believe, with screws in his surgically repaired foot. His presence could help snap some people (Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant in particular) back into their more appropriate roles, but I think expectations for Amukamara should be a little more tempered than they seem to be at this point.

Washington Redskins

The play of the Redskins' offensive line has been a major reason for their success this year, and with left guard Kory Lichtensteiger out for the year and left tackle Trent Williams likely out a few weeks, they have some shuffling to do. As coach Mike Shanahan pointed out, the Lichtensteiger injury is especially tough, since he was playing "at a very high level," and I'm interested to see what impact this has on the Redskins' run game the rest of the way.

LaVar Arrington has some advice for Rex Grossman if he does get another shot at the Redskins' starting quarterback job. LaVar thinks Grossman should stop making predictions and let his play on the field do the talking for him. Of course, having watched him play Sunday, I wonder if maybe that's what Grossman was afraid of doing all along.

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer's got a source saying Felix Jones could miss 2-to-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain. This would be a tough to overcome for a Cowboys team struggling to find its offensive identity. Jones' preseason performance was a real reason for optimism as the Cowboys' season began last month, but he's been unable to build off of it, and for the time being the run game looks to be in the hands of Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray.

And Calvin Watkins engages in some speculation about players the Cowboys could potentially bring in to address their injury-wracked offensive line situation, including former Cowboy Montrae Holland and former Eagle Nick Cole. Again, speculation by Calvin, as he admits, but things do seem to be getting a bit thin up front. Again.

Philadelphia Eagles

Because Sheil Kapadia is Sheil Kapadia, he took a detailed look at each of the 12 run plays the Redskins ran against the Eagles on Sunday and identified what the Eagles did, play by play, to stop the run. The upshot is that they didn't use as much "Wide 9" on the defensive line as they'd been using all season. The Eagles' coaches have explained that they tightened their line formations because they believed that to be the best way to combat the Redskins' zone-blocking run scheme. If you're an Eagles fan, it's got to be nice to know the coaches are willing to be flexible and not too stubborn to tinker with their philosophy when the situation calls for it.

And Jeff McLane muses on whether the Eagles could make a move in advance of Tuesday's trade deadline. Jeff points out the Eagles' obvious depth at cornerback, and surely they could trade from that group to address an area of need such as linebacker. And he mentions the depth on the defensive line as well, especially considering the possibility that it could get Brandon Graham back at some point after the bye. So we'll see. The Eagles could deal from strength if they were so inclined.

You know the Tuesday drill. We'll do our chat at noon ET. We'll have Power Rankings. We'll have Stock Watch. We'll have various other goodies sprinkled throughout the day. So keep coming back. We'll make it worth your while. I promise.
Good morning, friends. I was away for a couple of days. Osi and Shady still fighting? That might be a good Fired-Up Friday topic this week: Which two NFC East players would you most like to see fight, either on Twitter or in real life? "Twitter gangster." That's still making me laugh.

Anyway, new week, new links:

Dallas Cowboys

We're not the only ones who like to do the rankings/comparisons thing during this lockout-imposed downtime. The DCFanatics blog was mulling the relative rankings of Chargers QB Philip Rivers and the Cowboys' Tony Romo in the NFL Network's player-voted top 100 and tweeted receiver Patrick Crayton (who's played with both) to ask him who's the better team leader. Crayton's response was what you'd expect, since he's a current teammate of Rivers' and since this isn't really a close call. I've said a few times here that I put Romo in or right on the edge of the top 10 QBs in the league. But Rivers is top five, and right now I don't see any comparison. Good for DCF, though, for thinking to ask someone with firsthand knowledge.

And while we're on the topic of the NFL Network's list, Nick Eatman muses on the idea that the Cowboys' most-talented player might not even be on it.

New York Giants

The Osi Umenyiora stuff still had some legs Friday night and into Saturday, and Ralph Vacchiano drew an interesting comparison to past Giants malcontent Jeremy Shockey while raising the specter of a Umenyiora holdout. I'm interested (as Ralph apparently is) to see how far Umenyiora wants to push this. Because when things have flared up with him in recent years, they've been able to talk to him and mellow him out before it became a real problem. Right now, his GM and his coaches can't talk to him. So all he can do is stew and talk to the media. By the time there's anything resembling a Giants training camp, this could be a pretty serious brush fire.

If you still care at all about Tiki Barber, you can apparently catch an interview with him Tuesday night on "Real Sports" on HBO. You'll have to tell me how it was. "He now needs football more than it needs him?" No kidding.

Philadelphia Eagles

Mark Eckel says the key to the Eagles' 2011 season will be the offensive line. Specifically, he says the season will be determined by new line coach Howard Mudd and guard Todd Herremans. And he wonders if the Eagles would be better off moving Herremans to right tackle, where uncertainty surrounds the Winston Justice/King Dunlap combo. I got nothing on this. Your thoughts?

And a Michael Vick autograph signing in New Jersey brought into focus once again two the unavoidable truth about Vick: There are people who will never forgive him for what he did, and people who just don't care anymore because he's so good at football. I'm not big into extremes either way, and this I guess is kind of why. There's more nuance to the Vick story than most people want to bother with. Most people, it seems, aren't really into nuance.

Washington Redskins

Bruce Allen says he'd trade for Donovan McNabb again. This seems foolish to me, and not just because McNabb is already on the team. (bah-dum-bump!) Seriously, though, I don't see what's so bad about saying, "Hey, it looked like a good move at the time and it didn't work out." Guess maybe they need to maintain some shred of leverage in negotiations when the lockout ends and they need to trade him, but I don't think they're kidding anybody.

I got a kick out of the idea that LaVar Arrington devoted a portion of his DC-area radio show last week to disputing his placement on Redskins.com's list of the top five Redskins draft picks of the 2000s. Here is the writer's defense of that ranking, which seems very logical. I just happen to like LaVar a great deal personally and wish I'd been listening when he was arguing for his right to the top spot.

Enjoy these tasty morning morsels to get a new week off to the right kind of start here on the NFC East blog, and I promise I'll be back soon with much, much more.

Sunday Beastlines: Redskins edition

September, 12, 2010
9/12/10
2:07
PM ET
Here are a few stories that grabbed my attention today:

Portis and Arrington at it again

May, 6, 2010
5/06/10
9:59
AM ET
Just when you thought it was safe, Redskins running back Clinton Portis has taken another shot at former linebacker LaVar Arrington. And this time he may have crossed the line.

While discussing his relationship with the late Sean Taylor, Portis decided to call out Arrington for his actions at the funeral. The Washington Post has the full transcript and you can also read Arrington's response via Twitter.
"I lost a lot of respect for LaVar at that moment, speaking at Sean's funeral," said Portis during an interview with 106.7 The Fan in Washington. "To get up, I really thought that was, um, I don't know what you call that. LaVar ain't know Sean like that. For the people who did, seeing how LaVar was going to portray -- I remember me and Sean was going to jump LaVar, you know, for throwing pie at Sean's face his rookie year and trying to haze Sean and be the tough guy. He felt like it was a joke. We didn't like that [expletive]. For all the attention LaVar claim and that him and Sean was cool -- they wasn't cool. Sean ain't [expletive] with LaVar. Sometime, people should stop ... I don't think you should do that. If you cool with somebody or you know somebody, you knew 'em. Don't go and portray. Set out an image like this is your buddy, this is your pal -- like you all hung, when you all really didn't. I don't think that's fair, man."

If you listen to the entire interview, Portis wasn't even asked about Arrington. The former linebacker's name was mentioned in passing during the interview and Portis decided to take aim. Just a very odd rant.

LaVar gives Osi an attitude adjustment

December, 8, 2009
12/08/09
5:00
PM ET
Of all the things I didn't expect to hear Sunday evening, the fact that former Redskins and Giants linebacker LaVar Arrington reached out to Osi Umenyiora to offer advice on how to handle his demotion ranked near the top. After all, Arrington hasn't exactly been a shrinking violet when it comes to his criticism of Dan Snyder over how he was treated with the Redskins.

But sure enough, Arrington saw the scowl on Umenyiora's face during the Giants loss to the Broncos and felt compelled to call his former Giants teammate Sunday morning. Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger caught up with Arrington via phone Tuesday.

"The one thing that really might have hit home was when I told him, ‘It’s easy to follow a leader when a leader is on top and everything is perfect,’" said Arrington, now a radio personality in Washington D.C. "'But when you’re going through what you’re going through right now, this is the time you actually really earn the respect and that type of loyalty where guys will die for you.’”

Pretty heady stuff. And it sounds like Umenyiora took Arrington's advice with the way he's handled this situation.

Skins insider dishes on Snyder, Cerrato

October, 2, 2009
10/02/09
11:53
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


If you grew up anywhere near Washington D.C., you're familiar with longtime TV personality George Michael, who also had a nationally syndicated show called "The George Michael Sports Machine." Growing up in the Dallas area, I remember staying up late on Sundays to watch Michael's sports highlights show on NBC.

Michael's known as a huge Redskins homer and a good friend of the team's owner, Dan Snyder. And that's what makes the interview he did with Washington Post columnist Mike Wise so fascinating. Michael was brutally honest about Snyder, Vinny Cerrato and coach Jim Zorn. Dan Steinberg from the Post provides some of the highlights:

Asked whether Cerrato is a capable talent evaluator, here's what Michael said: "Oh, there's no ifs buts or ands. I mean, I know that for a fact, I know that from other people around the league. Here's the problem Mike -- and God, I can't believe I'm telling all this truth -- Vinny Cerrato is a ZERO when it comes to public relations and building relationships with people in the world. I'm sorry. My Good God. He doesn't ask why don't people like me, but you've got to go out and you've got to do things. ... I feel bad that Cerrato has not gone out and tried to build these relationships."

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington has criticized Snyder for the way he used to glare at the players after losses and then hug them after wins. Here's Michael's take on that statement:

"He never went into the locker room and glared when Joe Gibbs was the coach," Michael said of Snyder. "That did not happen with Joe Gibbs. Because Gibbs went before the public after that loss to the Buffalo Bills and said, 'I lost this game.' Now coach, that's a load of horse manure. He did not lose the game. It sticks with me every day of my life, but that's the kind of man Joe Gibbs was. Another coach was yelling in his ear, 'Call another timeout, call another timeout.' He called the second timeout. ... To take the heat, to take the heat off of the guys who screwed up on the field, to take the heat off the safety. ... Gibbs goes before the public and says, 'I Lost This Game.' "

Michael was particularly critical of Zorn for telling reporters after the loss to the Lions that his team was showing improvement.

"But I must tell you this, after you lose to the Detroit Lions -- and I do personally love this guy Jim Zorn, he's a great guy -- you cannot go before the public and say we're making improvements. Dear God, if you're making improvement and losing to the 0-19 Lions, my [expletive] is grass and you're the lawnmower. We're in trouble, baby."

Pretty interesting stuff from a guy who's spent a lot of time with Snyder over the years.

Should Snyder get most of the blame?

October, 1, 2009
10/01/09
11:12
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins didn't pull any punches this morning when she went after Redskins owner Dan Snyder. She thinks the organization's failures fall squarely on the shoulders of Snyder, a man who can be hard to reach when the team's struggling.
"For a decade now, Daniel Snyder has made an utter mess of the team, and yet he seldom, if ever, takes responsibility for it," writes Jenkins. "He operates from behind a phalanx of security, proxies and media managers, routinely declining to comment and be accountable. He wants all the fun when they win and none of the blame when they lose. The most damning anecdote I've heard yet about Snyder came this week from his former player-confidante LaVar Arrington, who described how Snyder would stand outside the locker room and shake hands with players when they won, but glared and declined to offer a hand when they lost."
Jenkins would like for Snyder to be more accountable for his actions, but it's not like the guy's going to change. He worships Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but he doesn't share Jones' charisma and desire to be the center of attention. Snyder can actually be somewhat engaging in one-on-one conversations, but those are few and far between. To actually think that Snyder would change his approach at this point seems pretty naive to me.

Friday Beastlines: McDermott takes over Eagles D

July, 24, 2009
7/24/09
2:16
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com staff

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Sean McDermott signed a new two-year contract on Thursday and will officially be announced as the team's defensive coordinator on Saturday.
  • The strength in the Eagles' defensive line lies in its numbers, writes PhillyNews.com's Rich Hoffman.
  • Receiver Jeremy Maclin talked about some of the differences he's noticed between college and the pros so far. 
Washington Redskins

The most damaging egos in sports

March, 15, 2009
3/15/09
5:35
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The folks at Real Clear Sports blog put together a top 10 list of the "most damaging egos in sports." Some of you might be surprised to see three current or former members of the Dallas Cowboys organization on the list.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former wide receivers Terrell Owens and Keyshawn Johnson were all included. It's not shocking to see T.O. and Jones on the list, but making Johnson a top-five choice is ridiculous. If his ego was so damaging when he was with the Jets, I'm not sure why Bill Parcells was so eager to sign him in 2004. What happened in Tampa was simply a stare-down contest between Johnson and Jon Gruden.

You'd be hard-pressed to find any of Johnson's ex-teammates who would accuse him of having a "damaging ego." Is there anyone else who should've been included on the list from the NFC East? Does LaVar Arrington deserve honorable mention? Jeremy Shockey? Freddie Mitchell? Hollywood Henderson? Duane Thomas?

Let me hear from you. Hat tip to the JJT blog.

From our sour grapes department

November, 11, 2008
11/11/08
6:44
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Thanks for your patience today while I was flying home from the mothership in Bristol. In trying to play catch up, the NFC Beast came across this LaVar Arrington story in the Washington Times.

Arrington was kind enough to wait until Cowboys week to publicly rip his former coach, Joe Gibbs, and Redskins owner Dan Snyder. The former Redskins linebacker left the organization in Feb. 2006, and apparently he's been needing to get some things off his chest.

"I called Joe Gibbs a coward for leaving," Arrington told the 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."

LaVar, maybe no one else is willing to say it because they don't want to sound like a complete idiot. Gibbs said he was walking away from football after the 2007 season, in part, because he wanted to spend more time with his sick grandson. Call me gullible, but I'm going to take Gibbs' word on this one. I think Sean Taylor's death and the subsequent playoff run had a draining effect on him, and he didn't have the energy anymore. And that's why "coward" is the last word I'd use to describe him.

I feel bad for Arrington that his promising career was cut short by an injury. But to say those types of things about one of the most respected men in the history of the league is gutless.

But Arrington didn't stop there. He's also upset that Snyder didn't make enough small talk with him at a team event.

"I think Dan Snyder is scared to death of me," said Arrington. "He won't look at me. I tried to shake his hand at a luncheon. He shook my hand and was like, 'How you doing, LaVar?' and kept moving. I'm probably the only person that's ever stood up to him and never backed down."

Folks, let's take a moment to praise this brave, brave man for not backing down to Snyder. What a joke.

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