Cleared to play in the Friday's preseason game against Pittsburgh, linebacker LaVar Arrington spoke with Redskins.com on Wednesday after practice. The Redskins' three-time Pro Bowl linebacker says he's ready to return to the gridiron after missing most of last season with a knee injury.
Q: Lavar, how will it feel for you to be back on the field?
A: "It will be fun getting back in front of fans. I can't wait."
Q: Are you excited to see what you can do on the field in game conditions?
A" "I just want to get my feet wet. Whatever happens is going to happen. I just want to go out there and try to play the smartest, best game I can play."
Q: Since it's a preseason game, will you hold yourself back a little?
A: "I'm going to just play the game. I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself. I want to make sure I'm able to laugh at myself if I do something good or if I do something bad."
Q: How close do you feel to being in the kind of shape that you want to be in?
A: "You have to play football to get into football shape. I've done everything I can possibly do off the field, as far as running and conditioning and lifting. I've been doing pretty well. We'll see what happens."
Q: Do you feel any limitations at all with your knee?
A: "I feel good. As far as conditioning, I was a little fatigued today after three days of pads. That's kind of a big load to take on for practice. But for the most part, I feel all right."
Q: Do you feel glad to be a part of playing again?
A: "It was hard being a leader and a focal point for so long, and then it kind of abruptly stopped. It's nice to be back in the mix. It's also kind of nice not have 'The player' pressure on me anymore. That pressure is on other guys this year. That'll give me an opportunity to just go ahead and play. Let the other people have that kind of attention."
Q: [Linebackers coach] Dale Lindsey has complimented you on your attention to detail in practice this week. Have you increased your mental focus since you've been away for so long?
A: "My teammates and my coaches have really invested a lot in me and each other. It's a cool deal. I think Coach Lindsey is giving us all an opportunity to be successful. Guys like Marcus Washington and Chris Clemons have raised the bar. Warrick Holdman is playing really hard. It's a healthy competition out here."
Q: Are you looking forward to playing with Marcus Washington for a full season?
A: "He's an interesting fellow--he keeps it moving. I thought I was an energetic guy until I met Marcus Washington. It'll be pretty good to see what that's like [to play with Washington]. I haven't had the opportunity to really go through a season with guys like him. Hopefully I can come in and play a part with him."
Q: Are you nervous at all coming up for this Friday's game?
A: "I have a little bit of anxiety. It's all new again. You have to do it all over again, at the highest level. It's going to be interesting."
Q: Are you glad to be back playing at FedExField again?
A: "Yeah, because I made a comeback at the end of last year and both games were away. I struggled in two games that were away from here. Now it's an opportunity to get back. I saw so many No. 56 jerseys in the stands, I just wished there was one on the field. I might have to put my head up in the air to keep the tears from rolling down. I might get a little emotional. It's been a long road back."