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Friday, December 27, 2013
Friday Conversation: London Fletcher

By John Keim

Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, who will play his last NFL game Sunday (he thinks) had a couple of extra minutes to talk about the Hall of Fame, what it would take to lure him out of retirement and what he'll miss about the game. After Sunday's home finale versus Dallas, Fletcher was asked whether he thought he'd be a Redskin for life. He said, "I think so. … People will probably remember me as a Redskin, but I hold all those places [St. Louis and Buffalo, too] near and dear to me. I don't see how you can devalue any of the other places I played at. I spent four years in St. Louis and five in Buffalo, seven here. Burgundy and gold will always be in my heart."

What’s the 1 percent scenario it would take to get you to come back?

Fletcher: It would have to be maybe a team that has six games left, a playoff contender. … It won’t be for a 16-game season.

How much do you think about the Hall of Fame? How do you see yourself compared with other guys who have gotten in?

London Fletcher
Linebacker London Fletcher feels he has a good case to be a Hall of Famer.
Fletcher: I know I compare very favorably to the guys. I think you make a more difficult case to keep me out of the Hall than to vote me in, when you look at things like productivity, durability. Everything you look for. I don’t see why I wouldn’t be a Hall of Famer.

People know your passion for the game and how much you like studying it. Does coaching ever enter your mind?

Fletcher: It does. I don’t know. I’ll never say never that I won’t do it. Just right now I don’t think it would be something I’d be looking to do.

Why not?

Fletcher: Just with the age of my children -- a 6- , 5- and 3-year-old. One thing I want to do is spend more time with them and do some things that football doesn’t allow me to do. I’ve been so consumed with football. Even when we take vacations, I’m always thinking about the job, so it would be hard to stay involved right away with coaching. I know I wouldn’t be able to give them all the attention I would want to give them.

When you do TV, would you rather be in the studio or a game analyst?

Fletcher: I haven’t done a game before. I enjoy being in the studio. But obviously, if you do a game, it’s a different type of studying. You’re really breaking down teams, their strengths and weaknesses. That’s something [games] I haven’t done yet, and maybe it’s something I try to see which one I like better. But I know I enjoy the studio.

What little things will you miss?

Fletcher: Sundays, just coming out and playing. Coming out of the tunnels on Sunday. I’ll miss the hitting part of it. And, come June and July, the grass smells different to me. I know it’s football season. I’ll miss that part of it. It’ll be difficult in the offseason around the time I normally start preparing for the season because I’ve done it for so long. Now to have some type of change where I’m not going to do it, that will take some getting used to.

How much did you enjoy the hitting? What did that feel like for you?

Fletcher: Oh man. You’re talking about the ultimate feeling, man, when you get that perfect hit and you know you delivered that big hit. There’s nothing like it.

Addicting?

Fletcher: Yeah. And just the competitive standpoint. When there are goal-line stands or when you stop someone on third down. It’s just so many different things. It’s not about the big hits, it’s about making big plays.