London Fletcher Pro Bowl campaign begins
Earlier this week, London Fletcher was named to Peter King's All-Decade team at SI.com, with King calling him "a tackling machine." Not mentioned was the utter absurdity of one of the best players of the decade never having made the Pro Bowl.
Luckily, the issue is being raised nationally, which means this might be the year Fletcher's streak finally ends. (Vote here, by the way.)
"We had London for several years in St. Louis and he was probably the third-best player behind maybe Kurt [Warner] and Marshall [Faulk] on the football team," Mike Martz said this week on the NFL Network Coaches Show. "He's a significant player. Look at how he compares to Ray Lewis here over the last 10 years. It's remarkable."
The Network then ran a graphic comparing the two men:
Fletcher: 172 games, 1,446 total tackles, 30 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, 0 Pro Bowls
Lewis: 159 games, 1,434 total tackles, 29 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 9 Pro Bowls
That certainly appears to be absurd.
"Ray Lewis has nine Pro Bowls, none for London," Martz said as the graphic aired. "But look at the tackles - London has more tackles. He's got more games because he was healthy. The sacks and forced fumbles are about the same. He's had a remarkable career and has been a dominant player for the last 10 years. How does he not have six or seven Pro Bowls?"
"Yeah, he really should," agreed Steve Mariucci. "There's three groups that vote: The coaches will vote and they know who the players are. The players will vote - sometimes they might vote for their buddies - but they know who the good players are. And the fans. The fans have two more weeks to figure out who the best players are - like London Fletcher."
Of course, on the same show, Martz said this about Norv Turner: "He is a remarkable head coach and he deserves a hell of a lot more credit," but never mind all that. Just pay attention to the Fletcher stuff.
Chris Cooley also discussed the issue recently on DC101, and he said that this year should be Fletcher's year.
"I mean, the dude is playing lights out, he's making every tackle on the field, [and] I think he's getting recognized for it," Cooley said. "In a year when you're [3-9], in a year where you're not gonna make the playoffs, that'll be a great honor for London, and I hope he gets it.
"It's a tough position to get recognized, and it's tough, because every year you'll have guys that are creating more turnovers and more big plays, and not doing as many of the every-down things, but they have more shock value in what they're doing. And even though they're not as consistent, the fans vote, and the players vote, and a lot of times when the actual players vote it's not taken as seriously as it should be. And so I think the biggest vote is the coaches' vote, because they watch the most film and they're more serious about who they're voting for.
"And a lot of times players on teams will be like, 'Oh yeah, don't vote for him because we want our guy to make it, we think that guy'll make it so don't vote for him.' You can't vote for your own team, but I would assume our tight end and offensive line group will vote for almost no-name middle linebackers. It's a weird political kind of vote thing. The Pro Bowl doesn't always work out the way it should....Anyway, we'll see what happens. I really hope London makes it. it is a huge homor, I fetl a huge honor when I got voted there. He deserves it. I watch a lot of guys on film. He deserves to be there."
Sounds like a great system.
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