Who do you train with during the offseason? This is a question many NFL players face and usually answer with some combination of teammates, friends and peers – inside their training facilities or hometown parks and gyms.
For linebacker Will Compton, that answer also involved calling up a Redskins great. Over the last couple of days, Compton has been training and learning from former linebacker London Fletcher, documented in an Instagram post on Tuesday night.
"Honored and grateful to have spent the last couple days w/ London Fletcher," he captioned. "Outside of the film study, workouts, and leadership he's a hell of an example to look up to as a family man."
Fletcher earned four Pro Bowl trips during his seven years with the Redskins, part of an incredible 16-year NFL career, never missing a game or recording less than 100 tackles each season in Washington.
Fletcher attended Division-III school John Carroll University, playing both basketball and football. He went undrafted but signed with the St. Louis Rams, just one of two undrafted free agents to make the Rams' opening day roster and start all 16 games.
His path to the NFL is inspiring to Compton, who also went undrafted out of Nebraska, but worked his way of the practice squad and into a starter's role late during the 2015 season. He solidified his spot as a starter last season, playing in 15 games and recording 106 tackles, one forced fumble and an interception.
As he first settled into the starting job, Compton reflected on talking to Fletcher about his experience being undrafted and adapting to a key role within the defense.
"That's a dude who's climbed from the complete bottom and so of course I asked about it," Compton said about Fletcher. "He's somebody who prepares well. He's very smart -- high IQ of the game. Somebody's brain I picked all the time. Yeah London's a great example of all that stuff. You're just not a draft pick so you're not going to have the luxuries of cop-outs and things like that. If anything goes wrong it's like 'Why do we have an undrafted guy? We must not have enough talent and whatever.'"
Former Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who played five years with Fletcher in Washington, also reflected on Fletcher's impact while in Houston for Super Bowl week last month with Redskins.com.
"He became my big brother," Alexander said. "We both have young kids, got married around the same time, so we kind of grew in that fashion together. And he was a big brother to me, used always bestow a lot of knowledge to me that he learned from the game, a lot of life lessons that he learned, things that he went through, just to really help me grow as a man, as well as in our faith…He was really brutally honest, whatever it may be, and I really respect that about him. When you have a guy that lives it every day, it's easy to respect it."