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Urlacher: Fletcher 'Never Got His Due'


While London Fletcher may never get the widespread attention and accolades he is due, the people that matter the most have nothing but the utmost respect for the Redskins Iron Man: his teammates, fans and peers.

Recently-retired Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher drew comparisons to Fletcher during his playing days, as both masterfully patrolled the heart of their respective defenses.

Urlacher, who has rolled into a post-playing role in the media, praised Fletcher for his hard-nosed play over 16 years.

"A guy who never got his due I don't think, kind of overlooked," he said of Fletcher. "Not by players--we knew how good he is and what he has done. Two-hundred and fifty-four straight games played, 16 seasons; to do it at the level he has done it at that is just amazing to me.

"He didn't just play in those games, he made plays in all those games he played in."

Urlacher sat on a panel that also included former Baltimore Ravens and Bears linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who modeled his game after No. 59.

"London came in the league a year before me. I was an undrafted guy and I kind of looked up to him and everything he did," Ayanbadejo said. "He's accomplished everything that you can do from the Super Bowl, four Pro Bowls in the twilight of his career with the Redskins.

"He didn't get his dues that he should have gotten earlier in his career but it's an amazing feat to play in 254 games.

"I played in 100 and I had to tap out, that was the longest game streak I could get into. What an amazing player and consistent player."

Both players agreed with Fletcher's decision to announce his retirement in advance of the end of the season, with Urlacher saying:

"Good job London and I like what he's doing, announcing it now so that he can get the crowed behind him like he deserves."




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