One of the NFL's most underrated, unheralded and entertaining defenders was, poof, gone in a puff of smoke.
It also appeared to be a damaging blow to a Cardinals team that had designs on competing in the debilitatingly tough NFC West.
"Everybody wants to talk about the two inside 'backers: You know, we led the National Football League in the linebacker coming free last year," Arians told NFL Media's Kimberly Jones on Wednesday. "That really didn't have anything to do with the guys' ability -- that was a great coaching job by Todd Bowles and that's going to continue and I feel very good about that. We're obviously going to lose a good player in Daryl, and you can't make up for that speed, but we're going to play as hard as we can and do the things our players do best."
Man, that was some "fire up the troops" speech right there -- it's no surprise players like playing for Arians.
Of course, the key admission in Arians' comment was "you can't make up for that speed." Lesser players won't replicate Washington's side-line-to-sideline ability just because they have room to make plays. A good line can help free up linebackers, but room doesn't turn Larry Foote into Daryl Washington.
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles' job will be tougher than last season because of the losses, but he still has a very talented secondary to go along with the stud defensive line Arians mentioned If Antonio Cromartie can bounce back alongside Patrick Peterson, Bowles will be free to be more creative with how he supplements his linebackers.