I like when coaches lobby for their players at this time of the year when it comes to marking ballots for the Pro Bowl.
Yes, in one way we can take this as a biased opinion. But we also have to remember that these are the same coaches who not only watch the film of their own players, but also of the rest of the league on a weekly basis.
And, because of the comments made by Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache to the Washington Post on why MLB London Fletcher should be in the Pro Bowl this season, I believe him.
Blache, who rarely talks to the media during the season, told the Washington Post, “The thing that hurts London is that he doesn't act like an idiot every time he makes a tackle. He doesn't bring that attention to himself. He's a football player, not a showman. He takes great pride in his football, and he has great respect for the game. He acts the way a professional is supposed to act, and consequently, it's cost him."
I played two seasons in Washington with Blache when he was the defensive line coach on Gregg Williams’ staff under head coach Joe Gibbs. And, to say that Blache doesn’t throw bouquets often when it comes to players would be an understatement. Like Williams, Blache expects—and demands—that his players work within the system and are technically and fundamentally sound players. He doesn’t take crap, and he holds his players accountable for their actions on the football field.
Just as a football coach at this level should.
And Fletch, well, he plays the game the right way. Now, I know how much of a cliché that is when you talk of a player that way, but after spending two seasons with him (one in St. Louis and one in Buffalo), I can’t think of a better way to describe him.
He doesn’t showboat, as Blache said to the media, and he doesn’t have a dance or a “move” that we all know from such players as Shawne Merriman. Instead, Fletch makes tackles, aligns the entire defense and makes every coverage and line-stunt check before the ball is snapped. And then, he does his job and makes the tackle.
In fact, I would almost go as far to say that Fletch is invaluable to Blache’s defense, that Redskins locker room and Dan Snyder’s wallet—because of all the free-agent busts that we talk about in Washington (myself included), Fletcher is the exception.
But, we know how Pro Bowl voting goes, just as we know how political races go for the mayor’s seat in our hometowns. They are done based on popularity and star power, which are two things that don’t happen when you play the techniques of the defenses and do your job each and every time you take the field.
And act like you do it every day in a typical day’s work—instead of trying to make it on YouTube for a celebration.
Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41
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