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Fletcher heads for Pro Bowl with assist from Saints

After the New Orleans Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings in overtime of the NFC Championship game, Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher said he "did a little sprint around the house" because he finally was headed to the Pro Bowl.

Selected as a first alternate, Fletcher will take the place of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was voted in as a reserve, on the NFC roster for Sunday's NFC-AFC all-star exhibition game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. Saints and Indianapolis Colts players cannot participate in this season's Pro Bowl, which for the first time is scheduled the week before the Super Bowl instead of after the league's title game.

Fletcher, 34, is a first-time Pro Bowler after 12 seasons as one of the NFL's most consistent performers, and he said the last few moments of his long wait were the most difficult.

"That was the most gut-wrenching game I've ever watched," Fletcher said in a conference call Monday with reporters. "I watched the Colts and Jets [in the AFC championship game] ... but watching that Saints-Vikings game was something that I could not get comfortable with. I didn't feel good all day watching the game."

Fletcher said he turned off his television late in the fourth quarter with the score tied at 28-28, figuring someone would call him with the result and he'd then learn whether he would play in the Pro Bowl "one way or another." But after some time passed and his phone did not ring, Fletcher thought to himself, 'What if this game went to overtime?"

He resumed watching just in time to see the Saints' game-winning drive capped by place kicker Garrett Hartley's 40-yard field goal for a 31-28 victory. With Vilma out of the Pro Bowl, Fletcher will back up San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, who was voted in as a starter. Fletcher joins Redskins rookie defensive end/strong-side linebacker Brian Orakpo on the NFC roster.

"It makes it even better to be playing not with just a teammate but to be playing with one of my fellow linebackers," Fletcher said. "We'll be out there enjoying the Pro Bowl festivities together."

According to NFL.com, Fletcher was credited with 142 tackles this season, which was second only to Willis (152) in the NFL. The Redskins listed Fletcher with a team-leading 172 tackles, including 108 unassisted. Tackles are not an official statistic. Only Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has played in more consecutive games than Fletcher, whose streak stands at 192.

"I don't think it necessarily validates my career," Fletcher said of the Pro Bowl selection. "I've been one of the top players at my position for the last 12 years. Whether this validates it, I wouldn't say I needed this Pro Bowl to validate my career. But it was something that I coveted. It is something to have on my résumé. It's something that I look forward to."

Last year, when he wasn't named to the Pro Bowl after another strong season, Fletcher likened himself to soap opera actress Susan Lucci, who was nominated for an Emmy 18 times before she finally won. "At some point, I did think, 'Well, maybe it's never going to happen for me,' because I've had some great seasons" and wasn't selected, Fletcher said. "I thought I should have been outright selected. I had a strong chance as the alternate to go and it never happened before.

"I'm thinking, 'Man, here I am in my 12th year. Is it ever going to happen for me?' When it finally became a reality, yeah, it was a big relief. I didn't sleep much at all last night. ... The Pro Bowl is something they [his family and friends] have all been waiting for. They've gone to two Super Bowls with me. But now, finally getting the Pro Bowl, is something that they've also been looking forward to."

And if anyone might believe Fletcher caught a break because of this season's change in the Pro Bowl schedule, well, he does not care. "Not at all," he said. "At the end of the day, when you write your article, you're going to call me a Pro Bowler, right?"

Hey, there's Mark Brunell!

Yeah, that was Mark Brunell. And Chase Daniel. And Gregg Williams. ... It was deja vu all over again for the D.C. Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg as he watched the Saints play Sunday night.

By Jason Reid and Barry Svrluga  |  January 25, 2010; 12:57 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fletcher says he's 'FINALLY Pro Bowl bound'
Next: Fletcher says he's game if Redskins switch to 3-4 defense

Comments

New Redskins offensive assistant Sean McVay is so young, he played college football at Miami of Ohio, but got there after Ben Roethlisberger left.

http://blog.redskins.com/2010/01/22/two-more-coaches-steve-jackson-and-sean-mcvay/

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 25, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Leigh Torrence made it to the Super Bowl...

JLaC is propehtic...I wonder if he'll do a news bit special on him for filler space this next 2 weeks?

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 25, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

London Fletcher finalist for the Payton NFL Man of the Year and finally going to a Pro Bowl.

That's a very good day. Well deserved.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 25, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Do you have proof that Peyton couldn't play in snow or mud?

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | January 25, 2010 1:10 PM |

This "snow or mud" shti harks back to the Neanderthal days when the helemts were leather, the fields were rock hard and weed covered and the seats were wooden planks with splinters galore.

Posted by: ElDrano | January 25, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Good for Fletch.

It's cool to hear that he cared about making it that much.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | January 25, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

It was deja vu all over again for the D.C. Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg as he watched the Saints play Sunday night.

By Jason Reid and Barry Svrluga

"Deja vu all over again" seemed really clever about the first 80 times I heard it. But after the last 6,000 times it sounds tired, unoriginal and unimaginative. Now it gives me deja vu all over again everytime I read "deja vu all over again."

I'm calling on Cindy to excise these trite cliches, and I'm calling on dcsween, the WORDACIZER among wordacizers, to come up with a replacement so good that no one will even want to write "deva ju all over again."

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Leigh Torrence made it to the Super Bowl...


Posted by: 4thFloor | January 25, 2010 1:24 PM

No, he didn't. He's been on IR since November 23. Saints were undeafeated with him on the field but lost two games without him. They barely hung on last night. Not looking good for the Super Bowl without him.

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling on Cindy to excise these trite cliches, and I'm calling on dcsween, the WORDACIZER among wordacizers, to come up with a replacement so good that no one will even want to write "deva ju all over again."

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------

I'm no dcsween, but I humbly submit 'Redskins Offseason' as an ample replacement.

Usage: We are optimistic about Shanahan coming to Washington, but then again, its just Redskins Offseason.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | January 25, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

'Man, here I am in my 12th year. Is it ever going to happen for me?'

By Jason Reid and Barry Svrluga | January 25, 2010; 12:57 PM ET

First one is the hardest. Everyone will know your name now and the next six will be shoo-in's. Way to go!

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:31 PM

It's feels like groundhog day should have caught on but it never really grew legs.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 25, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"deva ju all over again."
League-Source
-----------------------------------------
I am not sure I ever saw anyone write deva ju - wasn't that a character in Star Wars?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 25, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Deja vu all over again" seemed really clever about the first 80 times I heard it. But after the last 6,000 times it sounds tired, unoriginal and unimaginative.

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:31 PM |

You didn't help matters any with being deja vu all over again about deja vu all over again. Some things are just destined to be repeated endlessly - like F Dallas.

Posted by: ElDrano | January 25, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This is all over the pro bowl right? I mean its not even in Hawaii!

Glad he is going, but excuse me if I can't get all worked up in excitement here. I mean its not like winning an NFC Championship or anything. F awards, lets start winning some mutha humping games up in here.

Posted by: chrislarry | January 25, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm no dcsween, but I humbly submit 'Redskins Offseason' as an ample replacement.

Usage: We are optimistic about Shanahan coming to Washington, but then again, its just Redskins Offseason.

Posted by: mattsoundworld

well played

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 25, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm no dcsween, but I humbly submit 'Redskins Offseason' as an ample replacement.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | January 25, 2010 1:34 PM

Redskins Offseason = "Groundhog Day"

(greatest film ever made, and it's almost time to get it out!)

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

...to come up with a replacement so good that no one will even want to write "deva ju all over again."

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
Han Solo: "I can't stand the destruction, the carnage, the sheer futility in this war..."
Princess Leia: "You mean?"
Han Solo: "Yes, it's like Deva Ju all over again..."

Posted by: RedSkinHead | January 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Pierson Priouleau and Leigh Torrance are kings of the world.

Posted by: SEJerome | January 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

well played

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 25, 2010 1:42 PM |

While it is pro forma to endlessly repeat mind numbing clitches like "deja vu all over again" you can't do that with "well played". Use of that clitche has to be reserved for the Skins coming from behind in the 4th qtr on the road to beat Dallas 17-14.

Posted by: ElDrano | January 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Glad he is going, but excuse me if I can't get all worked up in excitement here. I mean its not like winning an NFC Championship or anything. F awards, lets start winning some mutha humping games up in here.

Posted by: chrislarry | January 25, 2010 1:42 PM


CL--

Go get back in the barrel. No one asked for a half sour pickle with their hot pastrami.

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Gregg Williams' Saints D - gave up twice as much yardage to the Vikes and won the game.

Posted by: ElDrano | January 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

**Regardless of what folks here say about JC, he's a significant upgrade over S Rosenfels or T Jackson.**

....and a significant drop off from Favre. McNabb should be their next QB.

**Use of that clitche has to be reserved for the Skins coming from behind in the 4th qtr on the road to beat Dallas 17-14.

Posted by: ElDrano**

Need a new QB then as JC hasn't done that yet, I mean well, it's only been 5 years, so we should give him more time. jk

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | January 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | January 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I will preface this by saying that I am not a fan of either of these guys, but I think this makes sense from both a business and a rebuilding perspective.

The Case for Rex Grossman over JC17 next season:

1. We hope that whoever is starting at QB in 2010 season is a placeholder for a soon-to-be-drafted rookie QB (yet to be named). Rex can fill this placeholder role just as well as JC17.

2. We can get draft pick compensation for JC17 if he signs elsewhere (miracles do happen!).

3. Rex is a UFA and we don't have to give up a draft pick to sign him - net result is an extra pick in the upcoming draft.

4. Rex spent the 2009 season as the backup QB in Kyle Shanahan's offense in Houston - so he's familiar with the offense and should be able to easily step into the role here.

5. Would be an inexpensive signing, as few teams will be clamoring for his services (which isn't a concern, since we would be looking at him only as a stop-gap, not as our QB of the future), and so he could be kept on in backup role once the rookie QB takes the reigns in 2011.

Thoughts?

Posted by: PDXskin | January 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Pierson Priouleau and Leigh Torrance are kings of the world.

Posted by: SEJerome | January 25, 2010 1:48 PM

Leigh Torrence is on IR. He will be on the sideline at the SB. Like being at an orgy with all your clothes on. I guess.

Posted by: League-Source | January 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

While it is pro forma to endlessly repeat mind numbing clitches like "deja vu all over again" you can't do that with "well played". Use of that clitche has to be reserved for the Skins coming from behind in the 4th qtr on the road to beat Dallas 17-14.

Posted by: ElDrano

not well played

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts?

Posted by: PDXskin | January 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

If JC leaves then I'd rather let TC start or sign Batch/Kitna/Garcia as a placeholder than Rex Grossman. Grossman is a terrible interception machine and only looked half decent due to the Bears defense and special teams. I'd draft Lefevour in the 4th and let him and Colt battle for #2 and #3. If we don't get Lefevour then I'd take a late round flyer on Kafka.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | January 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Fletcher
Is this a pro bowl season?

Or a pro bowl game he's in because the Saints are pretty busy on next weekend?

Was he selected for the pro bowl game as being one of the top linebackers this past season? No he actually was not, like it or not.

Or was he "selected" to play because the NFL needs alternatives to fill the roster? Actually this is exactly what happened, like it or not.

So I guess those that Yale passed on, who ended up at UDC, should still place Yale on their resumes. LOL
Same thing really, as UDC "selected them" after Yale didn't.

Posted by: kedavis | January 25, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why people seem to value the pro-bowl/all-star status of players when we all know that it's a popularity contest. Every year, when it comes to voting time all the experts say it's sham (the nfl version even more so since registration is not required). And yet, at the end of a player's career, the number of times he won the popularity contest is factored into whether or not he makes it into the hall of fame.

Posted by: tundey | January 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Big deal, London, you made the roster, even though you really didn't. You claim you don't want the accolades, but we hear you complain that you never made the Pro Bowl. Now you can stop complaining.

Posted by: matthewrayman | January 25, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for London. Hooray for Greg Williams.
Boo Vinny. Boo Snyder.

Posted by: jercha | January 25, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

congratulations to London.

Posted by: RedBirdie | January 25, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Cowboy fan, but I'm glad to see such a deserving player finally get his due -- congrats to London Fletcher, and I hope he and his team mates beat the AFC!

Posted by: fgoodwin | January 25, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

BOGUS! First of all, he should have been selected many years before now. I am glad for him because now he can be considered for the HOF. I do think it is stupid that you can get full accolades as a true pro bowler after not being selected originally, because a guy got hurt on in this case, made the super bowl.

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | January 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

ElDrano: The days of playing in snow, ice and frigid conditions don't go back as far as leather helmets and weedy fields (leather helmets were a feature of the 1930s and 1940s). The "Ice Bowl" game between the Packers and the Cowboys was played in 1967, and those players definitely had semi-modern, non-leather helmets (the face guards were still primitive, however).

In another element exposed venue, the Cowboys beat the Vikings in a 1975 playoff game in old, frigid outdoor Metropolitan Stadium (a Drew Pearson touchdown catch was the clincher). In those days, the Vikings had some dedicated, hard core fans who used to show up in horned helmets with a no clothing above the waist (although I have no doubt that the nerve-numbing effects of alcohol were a factor).

In 1982, the Redskins clinched a playoff spot by beating the Giants in a snowstorm at RFK with a last second Mark Moseley field goal. In 1987, the Redskins beat the Bears in Soldier Field on a frozen tundra of a field. In that game, Dexter Manley, who had a shaved head, had steam rise from his head like smoke from a chimney when he removed his non-leather helmet. Darrell Green pulled rib cartilage on a touchdown return which was probably due to the frigid weather.

By the way, wood is not as cold-inducing as metal. I never got splinters from the old seats at RFK. Late in the season, spilled beer from the upper level was more of a problem.

Mostly, players and fans ain't what they used to be - except in Chicago, Green Bay and New England in December and, if the teams are playoff eligible, in January.

Back to the subject, it's about time London Fletcher got his deserved recognition.

Posted by: MillPond2 | January 25, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Re: London Fletcher...to hear that once again he was not voted to the ProBowl, but then to read today that he IS going was certainly wonderful news.

You go, Fletcher. And enjoy this honor that you wanted so badly.

Posted by: Googlepup | January 25, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Re: London Fletcher...to hear that once again he was not voted to the ProBowl, but then to read today that he IS going was certainly wonderful news.

You go, Fletcher. And enjoy this honor that you wanted so badly.

Posted by: Googlepup | January 25, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Mr. Fletcher in the pro bowl! I sure hope that he gets to play! BTW F-Dallas! F-Romo also!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | January 25, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

dallas smells

Posted by: bbachrac | January 26, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

LONDON SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUTRIGHT SELECTED TO THE PROBOWL A NUMBER OF YEARS.

HAS A NFL PLAYER EVER BEEN VOTED INTO THE HOF WITH ONLY ONE PROBOWL APPEARANCE?

Posted by: PinotNoir | January 26, 2010 4:39 AM | Report abuse

Redskin fans have known for a long time that London should have been in the pro bowl...so it is good that he made it. Had the team made the play offs the last few years..he probably would have had multiple trips.

SOMEONE TELL HIM HE AND ORAPKO WILL HAVE FUN DOWN THERE..NOT OUT THERE. IT IS NO LONGER IN HAWAII..LOL.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | January 26, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

London, this is kinda like when MJ was in high school ... and he failed to make the varsity team ... then played JV ... but got called up to play in the final game with the varsity.

Did he really play varsity that year?

Posted by: kedavis | January 26, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Gregg Williams' Saints D - gave up twice as much yardage to the Vikes and won the game.

Posted by: ElDrano | January 25, 2010 1:52 PM

you can triple the other teams yardage and still lose if you can't stop giving the ball away

Posted by: kenboy1 | January 27, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to London Fletcher! Should've been to the pro bowl at least 10 times and I don't mean as an alternate. Goes to show you its all about self promotion. London, you are the man! Stay strong and healthy for 2010 and beyond and keep making those plays for the skins.

Posted by: dannyandvinnymustgo | January 27, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

F Dallas. With all the times Dallas has been F-ed on this blog, Dallas should have more kids han Jolie and Octomom combined.

BTW, anyone see Octomom on the cover of Star mag? Not bad...I'd hit.

Posted by: smokeybear2 | January 27, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Congrats! Well deserved.

Posted by: ozpunk | January 27, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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