Shut out from the Pro Bowl rosters announced Tuesday night, London Fletcher says he has been selected as an alternate and could still make the team if other Pro Bowlers are unable to play. He’s made the past two Pro Bowls, as an alternate both times.
Washington’s Lorenzo Alexander and Brian Orakpo also said they’ve been chosen as alternates for the NFL’s annual all-star game.
The news didn’t necessarily make the Pro Bowl snubs easier to swallow.
“I was probably disappointed for an hour or two when the results came out,” Fletcher said. “But after that, you kind of just be thankful that I’m still playing at a high level, that people still consider me worthy of the Pro Bowl.”
Fletcher woudn’t say whether he was a first alternate. The two inside linebackers representing the NFC are San Francisco’s Patrick Willis and Chicago’s Brian Urlacher. The game will be played Jan. 29 in Honululu, one week before the Super Bowl. So if the 49ers, for example, are still alive and Willis’s season isn’t over, an alternate would replace him on the roster.
Fletcher and his teammates agreed Washington’s record made it difficult to garner much Pro Bowl attention. No Redskins were on the team that was announced Tuesday night. In all, 65 of this year’s 84 Pro Bowlers currently play for teams that have winning records.
“Not surprised. The bottom line is, needed to win more games,” Fletcher said. “Teams that win typically get more players in the Pro Bowl. That’s pretty much how the idea goes.”
Alexander had hoped this year would mark his first Pro Bowl appearance. It was disappointing, he said, not to hear his name called Tuesday night.
“Because that’s something that as a player, you strive for, to be dominant and to be recognized around the league,” he said. “I’m still an alternate. But there’s a lot of good players in this league, and I actually voted for Corey Graham [the Chicago Bears special-teamer who was selected]. So, if somebody’s going to get it, I definitely respect him and what he does on a day-to-day basis.”
Fletcher, similarly, had good things to say about Urlacher, the middle linebacker who finished second in the voting. “He’s gone, what seven or eight other times?” Fletcher said. “So he’s been a perennial Pro Bowl player, still a good football player. That’s just kind of how it is. I’m thankful for the players and the fans and coaches who did vote for me.”
The Redskins finished last season with a 6-10 record and sent three players to the Pro Bowl: Fletcher, Orakpo and DeAngelo Hall.
“Our record speaks for itself,” Orakpo said. “We’re not going to get voted in. It’s something we have to address in the next year, try to win some games, get some more notoriety. …Three straight losing seasons and it’s kind of hard to get representation in there.”