Show London Fletcher Some Respect

Philip SpeakeCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2009

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 09: Linebacker London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after a key play in second quarter action against the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field September 9, 2007 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 16-13.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

When it comes to playing linebacker in the NFL these days, there are very few players with the resume of London Fletcher.

He has totaled 1,695 career tackles, 28 sacks, and 14 interceptions. Fletcher also won a Super Bowl in 1999 with the Rams. In 11 seasons, he has played in all 176 games in which he dressed and has started 135 contests consecutively.

In his career, he has been the leader of five different top five defenses. After his signing in 2007, Washington’s defense improved from 31st to eighth.

Despite all these career accomplishments, London has never been selected to a Pro Bowl. He was an undrafted free agent out of John Carroll University due to his lack of height, standing only 5'10".

I like to think of him as the Curtis Martin of linebackers. He doesn’t talk much in the press, he doesn’t get in trouble off the field, he just goes out and plays ball.

Once his career is over, his total numbers will be up there with the top linebackers in the history of the game.

He is now 34 years old, but is coming off one of his best seasons, and the defense around him improved this offseason as well. With Albert Haynesworth now in front of him, London should be able to rack up even more tackles this season.

This article was inspired after reading several lists ranking the best linebackers in the league. While I view the league through burgundy and gold shades, I try my best to give an objective view on all topics football related.

The names I have seen placed ahead of London Fletcher are outrageous. Names like Stewart Bradley, Kirk Morrison, and D'Qwell Jackson. Come on, I am not taking away anything from these players, but let's be honest—if you had to start the NFL playoffs this week to make a Super Bowl run who would you take? Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, that’s all I see who is better in the league today.

There are arguments to be made for many players, but Fletcher has proven time and again he is dependable, smart, healthy, and a big game player. 

Hopefully, the rest of the NFL sports nation will wake up and give this player the credit he deserves.