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London Fletcher Day: Firing Up The Linebackers

Posted by Matt Terl on January 25, 2010 – 4:17 pm

I’ve written about London Fletcher’s pregame pep talks before, but this Redskins Broadcast Net video does a great job of allowing him to explain them in his own words, and away from the emotions of the moment. (The explanation starts at about 1:40. If you can make it through from there to the end and not want to run through a brick wall for Fletcher, your heart is made of wood.)

Some of the relevant excerpts, although it’s the kind of thing that really works better in the video:

  • Linebackers set the tone: “The tone will be physical, it’s gonna be intense, it’s gonna be passionate, and it’s gonna be all out organized chaos.”

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London Fletcher Day: The Brandon Jacobs Hit

Posted by Matt Terl on January 25, 2010 – 3:11 pm

One of London Fletcher‘s shining moments this year came in the first game of the regular season. He posted 18 tackles in that game — EIGHTEEN tackles — eleven of them solo, but the big one would have to be this hit on running back Brandon Jacobs.

It hasn’t been replayed as much as the big hit from the previous year’s Giants/Redskins opener, but it’s definitely worth revisiting as part of our London Fletcher Day celebration.

A good still image of the hit, after the jump. Read more »

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London Fletcher Day: Indestructible

Posted by Matt Terl on January 25, 2010 – 2:58 pm

From his Defensive Player of the Year honor given at this year’s Welcome Home Luncheon, here’s a London Fletcher 2008 highlight package set to Disturbed’s “Indestructible”. The lesson I learned from this song: putting combat noises at the beginning of your adrenalized rock song is just as annoying now as it was when Metallica did it back in 1988. Read more »

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Monday, January 25: Oh, Why Not. It's London Fletcher Day

Posted by Matt Terl on January 25, 2010 – 12:20 pm

London Fletcher takes the Pro Bowl seriously. No one else on Earth seems to, but to Fletcher, it’s a big deal, one that led to his most memorable meeting with the press — the “Susan Lucci of the NFL” speech.

So, what the heck: I’m declaring today London Fletcher Day, in honor of his finally shedding his Susan Lucci-dom. There’s not much else going on at Redskins Park anyhow — most of the coaching staff is in place and has traveled to Alabama for the Senior Bowl practices, very few players are around, and it’s generally the first really quiet time in a so-far tumultuous offseason.

You might think, given how seriously Fletcher takes the Pro Bowl, that he’s been furiously working out, staying ready just in case things broke right — as they did — and he was elevated from alternate to player. You might think that, but you’d be wrong, according to what Fletcher told reporters during a conference call today. “I have worked out a couple of times,” he said, “just offseason, but it’s one of those kind of things like, ‘Man, am I wastin’ my time working out?’ It’s definitely gonna be a challenge for me to get in game shape in a week’s time, but I feel like I’ll be able to do it.”

(Something to keep in mind the next time you’re wondering why the Pro Bowl isn’t a better game: even the player who cares about it more than any other hasn’t kept in shape for it.)

But it’s not like he wasn’t thinking about it. Fletcher called yesterday’s Saints/Vikings game — the game that ultimately cemented his Pro Bowl spot — “most gut-wrenching game I have ever watched.”

He continued, “Watching the Saints vs. Vikings game was something that I could not get comfortable with. I just didn’t feel good all day watching the game. Once the score got tied, I turned the television off.

“So I was thinking I would just wait for somebody to call me one way or another. So I’m sitting there, kinda fiddling [around]. My stomach was bubbling.It was just crazy. I am talking to my wife about it and about 10 to 15 minutes pass, and I am like ‘nobody is calling what if this game went to overtime?’ I turned the game on and it’s in overtime. Right as overtime started that is when I saw the rest of the game. So I did watch the final drive for the Saints and when they kicked that field goal I did a little sprint around the house.”

As Brian Orakpo was already slated to play in the game, this means that two-thirds of the Redskins linebacking corps is going to be playing in the Pro Bowl. “It makes it even better to be playing not with just a teammate,” Fletcher said, “but to be playing with one of my fellow linebackers. So we’ll be out there and be able to enjoy the Pro Bowl festivities together and have him buy me dinner or something.”

(No wonder the team elected to keep former linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti on staff.)

And Fletcher doesn’t care that he’s going to be playing as an alternate, or that he got in because of the unusual scheduling this year. “Not at all,” Fletcher told the reporters. “At the end of the day when you write your article, you’re gonna call me a Pro Bowler, right? When y’all write y’all’s articles, you’re gonna say ‘Pro Bowl linebacker London Fletcher,’ you’re not gonna say anything else.”

Oh, and for everyone that’s been asking, Fletcher also had a couple of comments about the possibility of a 3-4 defense next year. The short version: he doesn’t think it’s that big a deal. In fact, he thinks the team was a lot closer to a 3-4 last year than people realize.

The longer version is after the jump.
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