Last night’s announcement of Pro Bowl rosters came and went without a mention of any Washington Redskins. The argument be made for multiple snubs, but there are probably none greater than linebacker London Fletcher.
With one game left to be played, coaches’ stats have Fletcher at an NFL-leading 200 tackles on the season, a career year for the 36-year-old defensive captain. For the record, the second place player on this list has 145. Patrick Willis and Brian Urlacher, the two NFC Pro Bowl selections, rank 36th and 38th respectively.
Now, I’ve heard the argument that winning teams get more appreciation, and I understand that Fletcher spends more time on the field than linebackers in truly dominant defenses. But he has been a veritable vacuum in the middle of this defense, leading a group that includes players 14 years his junior.
In addition to his titanic tackle numbers, he also has 1.5 sacks, 14 quarterback pressures, two interceptions, nine passes defensed, and three forced fumbles. If you’re wondering what else he could possibly do on defense, you’re not the only one:
Fletcher has gone most of his career as a forgotten man, starting every game since 2000, and quietly keying his defense to greatness. He wasn’t alone in feeling like he got snubbed.
Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, for the Detroit Lions, reached out to Fletcher after the announcement:
Adam Schefter, a respected NFL analyst for ESPN, named Fletcher among his top snubs:
And, of course, Fletcher got the support of his Redskins teammates:
After the initial disappointment and the ensuing outpouring of support, Fletcher was gracious, and thanked everyone for his support. He also gave his congratulations to former teammates Carlos Rogers and Andre Carter:
There is no question, that even in moments of reasonable disappointment, Fletcher is still a class act. Expect him to extend his league-leading tackle totals this Sunday and walk off with his head held high.