London Fletcher has been in Washington for seven years, so he’s seen his share of drama.
And after 16 years in the NFL, he knows that the drama isn’t necessarily enough to sink a team.
But he admitted this week, before he plays what is 99 percent sure to be his final game, that it didn’t make things any easier.
“I think what happens is, in the National Football League it’s tough enough to win on Sundays when you’re just competing against the opponent,” Fletcher said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “But then when you add other dynamics to the situation, that makes it more difficult. Any time you have distractions, some people can block it out. Some people can’t.
“So it’s not a good thing when you’re dealing with stuff that you have to deal with beyond just the opponent.”
The debate about the appropriate handling of quarterback Robert Griffin III goes back to January, when he was injured in the playoff loss to Seattle. It then festered through the preseason, and when he didn’t play well, turned into something altogether different when he was benched for his own safety according to coach (for now) Mike Shanahan.
That’s a lot of stuff.
“Just looking back, I don’t think the reason we’re sitting here 3-12 is because of distractions,” Fletcher said. “I think we didn’t play well in a number of games. We just didn’t play well enough, didn’t make enough plays. You can go back where last year we made plays in some of those tight ballgames where this year we didn’t make plays. We didn’t have breaks come our way. We weren’t able to create turnovers and keep the ball, not turn the ball over, like we did last year. That’s been a big difference. Red zone defense hasn’t been anywhere near what it needs to be to keep the scores down. So I don’t know that it was necessarily distractions.
“I just think we didn’t play good football.”
But they did put on quite a show, and as with their NFC East rivals in Dallas, that show often overrides the basic goal of playing good football.