Despite wearing the same no. 56, Newsday’s Bob Glauber predicts that Giants fans expecting LaVar Arrington to be “the second coming of Lawrence Taylor” will be sorely disappointed.
Redskins coaches had grown weary of Arrington’s incessant habit of playing outside the scheme, and head coach Joe Gibbs had repeated conversations about the problem. While Arrington did show some willingness to play within defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ scheme as the season went along, it still wasn’t enough to convince the Redskins to keep their former first-round pick.
Arrington’s free-lancing mentality goes back beyond that, to the point where you wonder if he’ll ever really change. Even at Penn State, he infuriated coaches by making decisions on his own to rush the passer, even if the scheme called for him to drop back into coverage. While he often made spectacular plays, he also left others out of position because of his decisions. The same thing happened repeatedly with the Redskins.
Arrington will certainly be on a tight leash with Tom Coughlin as his head coach and Tim Lewis as defensive coordinator. But the Giants’ best hope for making him turn into a more productive, more reliable player, may lie with middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, Arrington’s former Redskins teammate. Pierce lobbied hard for the Giants to sign Arrington, and the team listened. Now it’s Pierce’s job to make sure Arrington does what he’s supposed to do, play-in and play-out.
A tall order indeed. You can’t ignore Arrington’s track record