Even though he will not play in Sunday's Week 6 game against the Bears in Chicago, LaVar Arrington's frame of mind is the type the Redskins need.
"Whether it's ugly or pretty, it doesn't matter as long as we get the win," Arrington said. "That's what we're looking for and pushing for."
The fifth-year linebacker out of Penn State said last week's effort versus Baltimore, even though it resulted in a 17-10 setback, showed some positive signs.
"What we produced in the first half--a 10-0 lead--let's try and produce that type of intensity and effort in the second half," Arrington said. "Those are the things we're focusing on, just trying to be stable and consistent."
Sidelined since Week 2 with a knee injury, Arrington has been doing everything possible in hopes of helping to rally his team out of its current four-game losing streak.
In 2001, his second year in the league, Arrington's 67-yard interception and return for a touchdown led the Redskins past Carolina 17-14 in overtime. That effort ended a five-game losing streak and started the Redskins to five straight wins and a push for the playoffs.
The fifth win in that streak may have been the most impressive. It was a 13-3 decision over Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium.
After that win in South Philly, Arrington said the Redskins resembled a "sleeping giant" that had been awakened.
Certainly, he'd like to see that same sleeping giant emerge from its doldrums this week in Chicago--whether he's able to play or not.
On the comparison to Marty Schottenheimer's 2001 season and this year, Arrington says: "I think it's two totally different teams. What you draw from that is you just don't give up on it. You keep plugging away. It doesn't matter what your personnel is, it doesn't matter how bad it may get. You just keep plugging away."
Arrington wanted to be on the field last Sunday night against Ray Lewis and company and had hoped to be able to give it a go against another of the NFL's top linebackers, Brian Urlacher, this Sunday.
But coaches want Arrington at full health--and since the Redskins have a bye next week, it gives him another two weeks to fully recuperate before the Oct. 31 matchup against the Green Bay Packers at FedExField.
In each of his four previous seasons, Arrington has seemed to come up with a play that turns a game around. Consider the interception against Chris Weinke and the Panthers in 2001 or the game-saving forced fumble versus Kurt Warner and the Rams in 2002.
He's yet to chime in, in 2004. But you know it's coming.