Tom Coughlin likes to say that the season is a marathon, not a sprint. Thank goodness for that. If…
Arrington: No Love Lost
Q: What do you think you're going to be thinking when you see those guys and you see that helmet and they're the bad guys on Sunday?
A: Like I said, maybe I'd think more about it if we were undefeated at this point, but the fact of the matter is that we're 1-2 right now. The main focus is that we need to get back on track. That's the main focus. This is a division opponent and it's important, no matter how we do it, we need to win this game.
Q: Are you surprised? Your linebackers coach basically said you didn't know what you were doing.
A: Like I said, I'm not even going to justify it. I'm not even going to shed any light on it. It is what it is, and I think that it's one of those things where when people show themselves enough then people see what it is for what it is. I don't even have to try and defend myself (against) comments or remarks like that. I'm here, I'm happy. Like I said, it's important that this team gets back to winning. That's our main focus. That shows itself. That speaks for itself. That speaks all by itself. I don't even have to start a war of words. It's not even worth it.
RE: Dale Lindsay's comments that he did not understand the Redskins' offense
A: I don't think it is. I don't think there is any type of T.O. spin to this whatsoever. Not at all. Nor will it become anything of that, unless somebody tries to paint it that way. People tried to paint it that way when I was there last year. I'm a team guy. I try my best to be a team guy and I don't cause confusion like that. I've said things in the past, but that was because things were said and they were repeatedly said over and over again, so at some point you have to say something that represents who you are. That's the only reason why some things were stated while I was there, but by no means have I done anything to try to create controversy or confusion. I think it was more so attacks toward me, just like now. And I'm in New York. So, like I said, that speaks volumes all by itself. I can only imagine what they look like when the say that – But it doesn't matter. I had some great years there. I have great memories there, but now it's time to make great memories here in New York. That's my main focus. I'm not trying to have any word wars with anything.
Q: It's one thing to come from the coaching staff, but when Shawn Springs says something, does that surprise you?
A: Like I said, it's not worth justifying. One way or the other, there has to be a reason why someone like Shawn Springs would make that comment. People are going to believe what they want to believe. Some people may believe that, all right, well, maybe it's true because it came from a player. In most frames of minds, that's a brilliant game plan: make a statement, have a player validate it, and then it's believable and then you go from there. But, you know, am I surprised? No. I'm a New York Giant, not a Washington Redskin, so what does it matter? It's a game. We have a game to play. We have a game to win. This isn't a personal battle. I'm not going to get caught up in any personal battles. I sat up and I had so many calls last night after the statements were made, and Shawn Springs, all he really did for himself is show himself to the Redskins fans. That's stupid, to even make a comment like that, to be honest. He showed himself, and he has to deal with that, not me. I'm here and I want to win. I feel like I'm on a very talented team. I'm just ready to get back on track. I'm ready to get out there. My health has been feeling very, very good lately. I'm just excited about the opportunity to get back on track and, ironically enough, it's with the Redskins coming to town.
Q: Calls from whom?
A: A whole bunch of family members, a whole bunch of people I know from Washington, Virginia, Maryland area. They were telling me, ‘kick their tails', talking trash and stuff like that. For two seconds I got bothered by it. I had some very interesting thoughts about it and thought about saying it today, but it's not worth it. It's really not. I spent four years battling my tail off for that team and I have no regrets about it. I have no regrets about the way the fans feel about me and the way I feel about them. To sit there and throw that all away over some remarks – it's not even worth it.
Q: Did you say four years?
A: Yeah, four years.
Q: What happened to the last two?
A: I said four years.
Q: Have you heard from any Redskins teammates?
A: I don't talk to them. I have some close friends and one of them I keep in contact with. We text (message) more than anything else, but I really don't talk to the guys. It's the season. I don't have mixed feelings about, oh, should I have stayed there or should I be there or anything like that. I'm all in, so I don't even keep in contact with those guys.
Q: Were you close with Shawn Springs?
A: Obviously we must not be that close. You get some guys, they feel like they know a whole lot of things and maybe he was one of those guys who feels like he knows a whole lot. I don't know. It's interesting to me. I don't even know that he's even playing, so why would you make a snide remark and you're not even having anything to do with the outcome of the game? Like I said, it just shows itself. You throw a statement out there, you have a coach throw a statement out there. You get a company guy to sit there and co-sign it, and what do you get? People believe it.
Q: Do you really think that was the strategy or the game plan?
A: Why not? You don't think that those people knew that that was going to be the topic of conversation this whole week? I don't understand – I don't know if you guys understand the type of person I was in Washington and hopefully I have an opportunity to build that type of rapport with those fans and the community here, if given the opportunity. There, I built quite a rapport with the people there and that was going to be a big deal. That was something that was going to be a big deal, and to justify things – you throw something out there that's further justified – I mean, they're not the best team in the NFL right now. They're not 4-0. I'm sure there's a lot of fans who sit there and say, "We should have never gotten rid of LaVar.' I'm sure there's some who say, ‘We should have.' I haven't made too many big plays this year, so people are saying what they're going to say, but the bottom line is I'm getting healthy. This is the best I've felt since, I don't know, for awhile, and I think it showed a little bit in last week's game – well, the week before. I had a week to get even more healthy and another week to practice for this game. That's my thing, and I don't have to sit there and try to make personal attacks on them. There's no reason to.
Q: You said you're getting healthy. You're playing against a team that you have a reason to play well against. Do you look at this game like this could be your breakout game?
A: I hope so. I sure hope so. I'm a patient guy, so as long as I'm steadily improving, that's my main focus. That's my main concern, is to steadily improve, not get tangled up with word wars. I'm sure that's just another way of getting people to watch the game or want to be interested. I'm not getting involved with that. It's not worth it.
Q: Coach Coughlin spoke with you earlier this week about them coming up?
A: We've had our sit-down talks and I told them the little bit that I know about the Washington Redskins. It was like a two minute conversation. But what I didn't know, I do have your playbook. So if I didn't understand it, I'm sure Coach Coughlin can decipher it.
Q: You still have the playbook?
A: Sure I do.
Q: Aren't you supposed to turn that in?
A: I'm gone now. Arrington property now. New York Giant property now. And I understand some things. I won't disclose that, but it's not very much. They don't have anything to worry about. I don't know anything, so it's good. We're good. I told Coach Coughlin today and yesterday that I really didn't know anything, so you guys have to either talk to Antonio (Pierce) or do the best that you can, and we'll go from there.
Q: Did Coach Coughlin warn you to not get too crazy about this whole thing?
A: I don't think he needed to. I think he knows he didn't need to. I'm a professional. I'm not a child. I'm not going to get caught up in all of this. That's the bottom line.
Q: On game day are you going to have cordial greetings for any of the –
A: No. No. Not until after the game is over, maybe, but not before the game … It's such a platform. It's a platform to get caught up, it's a platform for everybody to hear what I want to say, but it's not worth it … I don't know. I can't say for sure. Like I said, if we were undefeated, I think I would have more a focal point on it being the Redskins, but we need to win. We're getting blasted, and it doesn't matter who we're playing this week. We've getting blasted – ‘lack of ‘D'', ‘Tim Lewis should go', ‘LaVar should go', ‘why are we getting him', ‘our offense sucks, what's Eli Manning doing'. We've been getting blasted, so it doesn't matter who we're playing. We put pressure on ourselves regardless of who we're playing … Whatever. That's what you're supposed to say, but honestly, I feel more pressure to get on track and perform so that the Giants fans have something to cheer about rather than sitting there trying to prove something about who we're playing against. It's more pressure to perform right now than it is anything else. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise, because I honestly do not have a serious focal point toward trying to get back at the Redskins. At this point, they happen to be the team that we have to – We have to win this game. In my opinion, we have to win. We have to get back on track.
Q: Looking at what Antonio did in this game last year, he seemed to have something to prove or be playing with extra motivation.
A: Antonio's situation is different from mine, though. I gave money back to get out of a horrible situation. They did not want to pay Antonio what he was worth, so it's two different situations. It's not a situation where, "oh, we got rid of him because he wasn't good enough.' I don't know what would have happened if I didn't give money back. I don't know. But I know that that wasn't where I needed to be and it wasn't a great situation at all to be in that place. My situation is not that – I'm not bitter over that. I'm here to play a game. I'm here to win football games. I'm not concerned with all of that other stuff that they're trying to create by just so many circus acts that people try to create out of there. I'm not going to get involved in that. I'm not juggling any balls, I'm not throwing any horrible words at anybody. I'm just not going to get involved with that. I wish them the best, except on Sundays when they're playing against us. That's it. Bottom line.
Q: Joe Gibbs yesterday on the conference call was extremely complimentary of you, and in fact himself said that ‘I have to learn from things that happened.' Do you buy it?
A: I don't, but whatever. It doesn't matter. I don't care. I could care less. He's extremely complimentary, and he has another coach sitting there saying I didn't know anything. Hello? You do the math. You do the math. You show yourself enough that people will see you. That's the bottom line. Bottom line. But I really could care less. That's not my coach now. If Coach Coughlin feels a certain way, then that's something that me and Coach Coughlin have to address, but that's not the case here. If Coach Lewis feels a certain way, that's something me and Coach Lewis have to address. I don't have to address those people. They're nothing to me except our opponent for this week. The last time I checked Joe Gibbs or Dale Lindsay, they're not putting on any pads and coming out and having anything to do with that game physically, so it doesn't mean anything to me what they say.
Q: Coach Gibbs did say he has remorse for how the last couple of years went. He said, "I wish I would have done things differently.'
A: I could care less. I could care less. He's Joe Gibbs, man. If he wanted something to be different, it would have been different. Am I wrong? Is that an accurate statement? Yeah, I would say that -- He's a part of the trinity, some people would say. If he wanted something to be different, it would have been different. But there's no need looking back on that – It is what it is. I could care less. Joe Gibbs could call me the worst person in the world, or he could call me the best person in the world. It doesn't matter. Who is he? He's just a coach of another team that we're playing. That's what he is.
Q: Do you wish you would have done anything differently those two years?
A: No. Get the hell out. I'm sorry it took two years to get out.
Q: Do you have to rein your emotions in on Sunday, or can you kind of ride them?
A: Oh, I'm going to ride them. I'm going to ride them. I've been feeling my emotions since – and this is the honest-to-god truth – I've been feeling my emotions ever since I've been feeling like the fans here feel like, ‘maybe we shouldn't have brought him here.' That's the emotion I'm riding on. Not the emotion of, ‘I need to prove something to the Redskins.' I'm riding on the emotion that I need to establish who I am within this organization, within this community. That's what I'm riding, and I'm high on it right now, believe me. I'm high on it. But it's not what people are trying to predict. It's not riding the emotion of playing against my former team. In essence, I had two years to get over being a Redskin. I had two years. Two. That's a long time. This is nothing new to me. It might be new to you guys, but it's not new to me. I've moved on. I moved on -- before I had even left out those doors, I'd moved on.
Q: How much did Joe Gibbs matter or affect –
A: I already told you. You heard me.
Q: I know, but you're alluding, you're not telling me.
A: It doesn't matter what the man thinks at this point. I'm not running back to get a job from him. I don't see myself ever going to get a job off of him in the future, so what does he mean to me? Nothing. He means nothing. So what his opinions are or –
Q: He meant something the last two years, though.
A: No, he didn't. You're not listening. It didn't mean anything to me, because I was getting over being a Redskin the last two years. Because of the way things were done, the way things were handled, I was getting over being a Redskin.
Q: Did you play your hardest the last two years?
A: Of course. When I play I –
Q: You said you played hard for them for four years.
A: No, I said I enjoyed four years. I am not on trial, thank you. I will not go to jail if you sit there and try to find something. I play hard every time I go on the field. Every time. I don't ever cheat my fans. Other things, other aspects, that's different, but I will never not play hard. I carry my name on the field every time I go out there. That means something. I'm not going to embarrass myself. Or my family.
Q: How big of a cheering section do you expect to have on Sunday?
A: There will be a few people there. And I'm sure it won't be just from my tickets. I'm sure there will be a few people there.
Q: Wearing blue?
A: Wearing blue. And white and red, or whatever they have there.
Q: It's burgundy.
A: It is what it is.