April 25, 2006

Giants’ Arrington relishes facing former team Washington

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Giants linebacker LaVar
Arrington said on Tuesday he was excited about joining Big Blue
and looking forward to going up against his former team, NFC
East rivals the Washington Redskins.

"I'm real excited just having the opportunity to have a new
beginning," Arrington, 27, told reporters during an interview
session at Giants Stadium. "I think this is a great situation."

Arrington, a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker who chose to
become a free agent after coming back from a knee injury and
clashing with Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, signed a 7-year,
incentive-laden $49 million contract Friday with the Giants.

The former Penn State star, the second overall selection in
the 2000 NFL draft, used to play division rival Giants twice a
year while with the Skins. Now Arrington will get two games to
show the Redskins what he can do.

"I had a lot of battles with a lot of these guys in this
locker room and there is a mutual respect," the 6-foot-3,
253-pound Arrington said.

He joins a Giants team that won the NFC East last season
but was embarrassed 23-0 by the visiting Carolina Panthers in
the NFC wild card game after injuries decimated their
linebacking corps.

Arrington said he did not want to look back and brood over
bad feelings he might have had with the Redskins' management.

"I think it is a dead issue. I think that I am so excited
about being a Giant now and being in this city and being able
to bring what I am going to bring to this organization. That is
what I'm focused on."

The bruising big hitter, who will be reunited with his
former Washington linebacking mate Antonio Pierce, said he was
looking forward to getting on the field against the Skins.

"It will be fun," he said. "I think my best football is
ahead of me.

"Any team is going to be fun to play against. But
obviously, playing against your old team, your former team,
that has a little bit more meaning, personally."