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“Ageless machine” London Fletcher holding ‘Skins together

Atlanta Falcons  v Washington Redskins Getty Images

While the 22-year-old quarterback is generating all the attention, the Redskins are also benefitting from the continued excellent production of a 37-year-old linebacker who never seems to slow down.

Of course, linebacker London Fletcher is in many ways the anti-Robert Griffin III. He’s not flashy or able to wow you with extreme athleticism.

But just like with RG3, the plays keep getting made.

Giants left guard Kevin Boothe, who will see Fletcher up close tomorrow, called him the “ageless machine” and said keeping a body on Fletcher is a priority.

“Every time we’re getting ready to play them, it always seems like No. 59 is the guy getting off the pile,” Boothe said, via Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com. “That’s going to be the key Sunday. Somehow, we’ve got to get him blocked and neutralize their front seven guys.”

Not many people have effectively done that.

Over 15 seasons and 230 consecutive games (most of any active player), Fletcher’s been a steady contributor for the Rams, Bills and Redskins. With more than 1,600 tackles in his career, and 54 already this season, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

But his leadership role is as important, as the Redskins defense has lost key parts Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker already this season.

“I think the defensive coaches have taken advantage of the strengths of the other guys who have replaced them,” Fletcher said. “There have been some situations where we’ve had to play a couple of different guys in different roles to replace the guys we’ve lost.

“With that being said, the guys have accepted the challenge in the roles that they’re playing and they’ve played them well.

Fletcher’s in the middle of all that, but he’s also mentoring on the other side of the ball, saying he’s had many conversations with his young quarterback.

“We talk about a lot of things,” Fletcher said. “The best advice I’ve told him is that with a lot of stuff, you’re just going to have to experience it yourself. I can tell you one thing but experience is the best teacher sometimes.”

And experience is the one thing Fletcher can speak from, and impart important lessons RG3 should file away.

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21 Responses to ““Ageless machine” London Fletcher holding ‘Skins together”
  1. onderin says: Oct 20, 2012 1:17 PM

    This “ageless machine” has been rusting rapidly this year. Fletcher, who was so good in both run stopping and pass defense has really lost his ability in coverage. He’s still serviceable against the run, but he’s not an every-down linebacker anymore.

    But I really like London Fletcher. He has never really gotten the props he should have gotten over the years as a top linebacker in my opinion. But this year, you can really see he is slowing down.

  2. cdrion21 says: Oct 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    @onderin
    Have you watched a skins game this year? I have no idea how you can say he is slowing down. He has gotten beat over top in coverage but most of the time it was just cause of a great throw and catch, or because the help over top wasnt there cause as we all know the skins saftey position is horrile are terrible.

  3. proffrith says: Oct 20, 2012 1:46 PM

    I’m a lifelong Redskins fan. I’m only 28, so by the time I was old enough to really pay attention, the Redskins were terrible. London Fletcher is my favorite Redskin of all time, and in my opinion, one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He’s been good for so long and no one really notices. He is getting older, but he’s still got enough athleticism to play the position. Thanks for giving him some attention!

  4. scalfor3 says: Oct 20, 2012 1:51 PM

    London Fletcher is awesome. The Redskins defense is not.

  5. billsboy88 says: Oct 20, 2012 1:53 PM

    The Bills never should have let Fletch go! Glaring hole a MLB ever since!

    Anyone who mentions Posluzny is gonna get hulk punched.

  6. mikealstott says: Oct 20, 2012 1:53 PM

    Ten years ago people were amazed because London Fletcher was an undersized (5’9″) undrafted MLB playing at an all pro level. Today we forget his size and draft status and are now amazed that a 37 year old man can still dominate at MLB in the NFL…. Amazing…

  7. threedeep1998 says: Oct 20, 2012 2:00 PM

    RG3 wins one game at home and is now idolized. Congrats buddy!

  8. jwreck says: Oct 20, 2012 2:02 PM

    This “ageless machine” has been rusting rapidly this year. Fletcher, who was so good in both run stopping and pass defense has really lost his ability in coverage. He’s still serviceable against the run, but he’s not an every-down linebacker anymore.

    But I really like London Fletcher. He has never really gotten the props he should have gotten over the years as a top linebacker in my opinion. But this year, you can really see he is slowing down.
    __________
    Slowing down in comparison to what? The superstar he used to be? In the sense that he’s no longer the best all-around player on the Redskins, I would agree with you, but a lot of his so-called “coverage problems” are a result of trying to have him play man coverage on tight ends. He still clearly has the defensive skills, he stays with Rudolph or Graham in every step of their routes, but when the jump ball gets there, he simply can’t stop players over a foot taller than him from making the play. In terms of overall speed he seems fine though, he was able to adequately cover Percy Harvin and AJ Green in the slot.

    Point is, Washington fans should be more than happy to have a player of his caliber their team for as long as he can keep playing, but need to figure out something to do about opposing tight ends. I think part of the problem is that Kerrigan could guard them, but without Orakpo, Kerrigan is the only really dynamic, double-team worthy pass-rusher on the team, so he needs to be putting pressure on the offensive line every down.

  9. onderin says: Oct 20, 2012 2:32 PM

    You guys don’t have to agree with me. I’m just saying I see him slowing down and is getting exposed far more than he use to. It’s just age.

  10. ctgiant says: Oct 20, 2012 2:42 PM

    To bad this team gave up a boat load of picks, and left London all by himself, with Orakpo, Kerrigan is the only real threat to bring pressure.
    Anyone who plays this game at 37 and @ MLB is a star in his own, Fletcher is one!
    Giants always see his # and watch him, but i expect Eli will torch this banged up secondary, regardless, Giants win big at home, a rare day!
    CT GIANT

  11. computojon says: Oct 20, 2012 2:52 PM

    Lifelong Rams fan here. London Fletcher was instrumental to the Rams’ success during the GSOT years. The guy just knows how to get to the ball and make the tackle. A great player.

  12. geniusesq says: Oct 20, 2012 3:22 PM

    I don’t see his “coverage skills” diminishing. He’s played against Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez. Those guys will catch on any LB. That’s just football.

    I have noticed that he has come off the field in more packages than in the past, but that is more of a testament to the coaching staff recognizing that he’s 37. He’s still a stud.

  13. peytonsneck18 says: Oct 20, 2012 3:34 PM

    Hes washed up like the redskins franchise! !!

  14. EJ says: Oct 20, 2012 3:51 PM

    Fletcher is definitely in the top 10 of all-time greatest MLB to play the game. Not only is he a great run-stuffer, he also has some great coverage skills for a LB that is so (5-9″) short.

    Buffalo made a huge mistake letting him go. I know they thought that there wasn’t much left in his tank, but boy were they wrong! On top of that he is still going strong.

  15. Maximus Decimus Meridius says: Oct 20, 2012 4:06 PM

    First ballot hall of famer for sure

  16. buffalose says: Oct 20, 2012 5:09 PM

    In buffalo he always made tackles after a 6 yard run. Poz was a carbin copy. I don’t see many Washington games sink can’t speak or him now but that’s why the Bills cut him. 15 tackles a game is good on paper but his film wasn’t nearly as impressive

  17. gerard33 says: Oct 20, 2012 5:36 PM

    Could he be the first HOFer to never be named a Pro Bowl starter (in the Pro Bowl era of course)?

    That’s cool.

  18. jwreck says: Oct 20, 2012 5:51 PM

    geniusesq says: Oct 20, 2012 3:22 PM

    I don’t see his “coverage skills” diminishing. He’s played against Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez. Those guys will catch on any LB. That’s just football.
    _______
    Exactly, especially a linebacker officially listed as “5’10” (which we all know means just over 5’8 in real life). What’s most impressive about Fletcher is that even when he does get beat on a jump ball by Graham or Gonzales, it’s not by much, meaning that not only are his timing and defensive instincts perfect, but his vertical has to be close to five feet (ie. in the Lebron James range).

  19. blueballzny says: Oct 20, 2012 8:19 PM

    As a Giants fan, I give London Fletcher more respect than just about any other player in the league. Year after year, this guy plays at the highest level and seems to always get overlooked when accolades are given out. 15 years w/o missing a game? That is unheard of today. Eli’s consecutive game streak amazes me, and Fletcher has like 7 years on him. You cant expect Fletcher to continue playing at such a high level for much longer, but then again the Bills thought the same thing 6 years ago. Guess thats why they’re tge Bills.

  20. dcsween says: Oct 20, 2012 8:48 PM

    I met him once. He’s a legit 5’9″ if not 5’10”. Yeah, TEs with 8 inches on him make the catch, but his low YAC is the reason that Gregg Williams loved him and convinced him to come to DC. Fletcher stops guys after the catch. Can’t ask for much more than that.

  21. bluebagz says: Oct 20, 2012 9:21 PM

    @onderin

    Giants fan here, but much respect to London Fletcher!He is the heart and soul of that team.If his skills are slowing down, it’s because he plays year after year with bums and he has to be all over the place.Can’t replace his leadership so you Skins fans better appreciate whatever skills he has left for as long as you can.Go Blue!

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