Fletcher reflects on career
East Rutherford, N.J.— It was far from storybook fashion, yet London Fletcher’s career came to an end Sunday in New York.
On a soaking wet field in front of a sparse crowd, Flether’s Redskins team lost badly to the New York Giants. The Giants were without starting quarterback Eli Manning for the second half, but the wayward Washington offense could not generate a single touchdown in the team’s final game.
For Fletcher, the final game of the 2013 season was more about his 16 years in the NFL than one loss to the Giants.
“It wasn’t the year we had hoped for,” Fletcher said. “Everybody had high expectations coming in. We just didn’t get the job done.”
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Fletcher took pride in his consecutive games played streak of 256, and wore special cleats to commemorate the feat. In a league with an average career of less than five years, Fletcher played close to two decades at a high level.
“This is it. 16 years, it’s been a long time, time kind of flew by,” Fletcher said, reflecting on his streak.
While the Redskins defensive captain wants to stay involved in football in some capacity, he also wants to enjoy his family and life away from the game in retirement.
“My mind was always thinking of football,” Fletcher said. “It’s hard to appreciate [the streak] while you’re involved in it.”
Fletcher’s teammates admired their captain’s work ethic.
“We played together for seven years. I don’t have anything but good things to say,” safety Reed Doughty said of Fletcher. “Couldn’t think of a better guy to be a captain of our football team.”
Doughty’s one regret was not being able to send Fletcher off in a better season.
“It’s very difficult. It’s just frustrating you can’t send them out on a better note, especially after what we did last year. For coach Shanahan too, and coach Haslett, I appreciate playing for them so much,” Doughty said. “It’s just frustrating as players we couldn’t get it done.”
Before they left the locker room for the final time as teammates, Skins cornerback DeAngelo Hall had Fletcher sign a shoe that Hall will display in his home.
“You won’t find another guy as classy,” Hall said of Fletcher. “He’s a guy I admire as a person, as a football player.”