The Washington Post

Drama ‘makes it more difficult’ to win, London Fletcher says

Robert Griffin III and London Fletcher during a 2012 game against the Eagles. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The drama that surrounded the Washington Redskins all season isn’t the reason that they have a record of 3-12 entering Sunday’s season finale against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands, according to linebacker London Fletcher.

But, he says, it didn’t help.

“I think what happens is, in the National Football League it’s tough enough to win on Sundays when you’re just competing against the opponent,” Fletcher said Thursday at Redskins Park. “But then when you add other dynamics to the situation, that makes it more difficult. Any time you have distractions, some people can block it out. Some people can’t. So it’s not a good thing when you’re dealing with stuff that you have to deal with beyond just the opponent.”

But Fletcher didn’t attribute the Redskins’ struggles on the field to the controversies that have engulfed them.

“Just looking back, I don’t think the reason we’re sitting here 3-12 is because of distractions,” he said. “I think we didn’t play well in a number of games. We just didn’t play well enough, didn’t make enough plays. You can go back where last year we made plays in some of those tight ballgames where this year we didn’t make plays. We didn’t have breaks come our way. We weren’t able to create turnovers and keep the ball, not turn the ball over, like we did last year. That’s been a big difference. Red zone defense hasn’t been anywhere near what it needs to be to keep the scores down. So I don’t know that it was necessarily distractions. I just think we didn’t play good football.”

Fletcher said this season wasn’t even necessarily the most drama-filled season of his Redskins tenure.

“I’ve been in Washington for seven years,” Fletcher said. “Of course…. Oh yeah, ’09 was pretty bad. You had all kind of drama going on throughout the team and coaching. Just a lot of stuff. That was a pretty tough year.”

Fletcher, who has said he is 99 percent sure he will retire after the season, did call it surprising that the team has plummeted into last place in the season after it won the NFC East title.

“I think nobody in here, nobody around the country, would have thought we would be where we are record-wise, having only won three games going into our last game of the season…. That part is disappointing, definitely,” he said. “But I think we’re all disappointed whether it was my last year playing or not. Nobody wants to go out having a losing season. That part is definitely disappointing. But I don’t have any regrets.”


Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.



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