LB wants team to take losing harder

Updated: October 22, 2003, 4:03 PM ET
Associated Press

ASHBURN, Va. -- His voice rising in anger, Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington on Wednesday criticized teammates for not taking the team's losing streak seriously enough.

"The guys that are laughing and joking and hollering like this doesn't mean anything, they need to reevaluate why they play ball," the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker said.

Arrington said he confronted teammates whose attitudes he didn't like on the team bus following Sunday's 24-7 loss at Buffalo, the Redskins' third straight defeat. He said he did it with an attitude of "love me or hate me, I want to win."

"If I'm playing my heart out and guys are laughing and joking and we just lost? You do the math," Arrington said. "I'm ready to run the game back. I'm not laughing and joking about that. I'm not laughing and joking about life after I lose a game.

"There should be a time after a game when you really sit back and reflect what happened out there on that field, and I don't know how you can sit and joke and laugh and play and have a good time if you're thinking about what happened during a loss."

Arrington did not name specific players.

"I think some guys are playing well and some guys aren't," he said. "We all know who we are, and we've got to step it up. All of us can step it up, but some guys can care a little bit more about how our season is going."

Arrington has been outspoken all season, most notably when he said he was going to "get" Warren Sapp if the Tampa Bay defensive tackle interfered with the Redskins stretch routine before a game. Last week, Arrington criticized himself for acting "too loose" and said he would take the lead in getting the team more focused.

The Redskins players' commitment have been under question all week.

Coach Steve Spurrier questioned the effort immediately after the loss to the Bills, but he recanted most of his remarks the next day. Many players have said this week that it's not effort that has been lacking, but rather the discipline to play assignments properly and avoid penalties.

Arrington has been as guilty as most. He is among the team leaders in penalties and has an untimely knack for getting caught out of position on misdirection plays.

But he said discipline is not the issue.

"I'm doing the best I possibly can do," Arrington said. "I can do some things better, though. I'm playing good football. I don't see how I'm not. We're disciplined. All this stuff being made about being not disciplined is not true."

Cornerback Champ Bailey said he wasn't on Arrington's bus after the game, but he added that postgame behavior after a loss needs to be taken into perspective.

"I don't think people take it lightly," Bailey said. "Everybody has a different way of dealing with things. Everybody not going to just sit around and mope. It's all in the personality. You've got to know your players. If you know your teammate, you'll know when a guy's upset about something."

"Talk is cheap, man. You can talk all you want to, results is what counts," Bailey said. "If you don't come out with a win, it doesn't matter. I think talking's overrated. I've had guys give speeches 30 minutes long before a game and get blown out. It gets some people motivated, but if you can't motivate yourself, you're in the wrong business."

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press