While most of Washington’s sports scene was tuned in to watch the NHL playoffs last night, some still tuned in for the second installment of the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2012” show.
And those people were rewarded with a friendly face on the list.
Coming in at No. 87 in the top-100, was the Redskins’ No. 59, team captain London Fletcher. After going largely under-appreciated for the his NFL-best tackle numbers, Fletcher has had a big offseason, winning the Bart Starr Award, going to his third consecutive Pro Bowl, and being rewarded with a new contract from the Redskins.
It’s fantastic to see him honored, but there are a few allowances that must be made before rolling the tape. The list is compiled through player vote, which is traditionally skewed by team record, player flashiness and overall exposure. So therefore:
1. The Redskins haven’t had a winning season in a few years, which puts players at an automatic disadvantage for recognition. Just ask Fletcher.
2. Fletcher may parade out of the tunnel, but that’s all for the fans. Once he gets on the field, it’s just another day at the office.
3. The Redskins played few games in front of a national audience last year, and Fletcher was a solid performer throughout.
With all of that taken into consideration, Fletcher got considerable respect on this list, and Redskins fans should be very happy.
Here is video of his segment, presented by 2011 teammates Brian Orakpo and LaRon Landry. Commentary was also offered by Cardinals’ running back Beanie Wells, who has been on the receiving end of Fletcher’s tackle numbers (via NFL Network):
Here are a few of the highlights in commentary, for those of you reading at work:
Brian Orakpo: “First of all, he’s ageless, man. He’s been playing this game since probably before I was born…At the age he’s playing at, and to still have the same intensity as a 21-22-year-old, it seems like he gets younger every year….He raised my game to another level.”
LaRon Landry: “Words can’t even describe, man…He’s a leader. Since I came in as a rookie, he’s a guy that I try to idolize and mimic…Each and every week, he’ll have a phenomenal play, whether it’s a big hit or a pass break-up.”
Beanie Wells: “He still packs a punch. He can definitely pack a punch. His study habits have to be incredible, because it seems like he knows where the play is going before the ball is even snapped.”
Congratulations to London–a well-deserved honor to a great ambassador of Redskins football.