London Fletcher has been the inspirational leader of the Washington Redskins for years, and benching him now would be a controversial move if Mike Shanahan actually had the guts to do it. Is it possible that Fletcher could turn it on down the stretch like he did last season? Yes, but given his performance this season that seems unlikely.
Fletcher is a fan favorite, and he’s always been one of the Redskins best and most dependable players. He might also be a borderline hall of fame candidate, but unfortunately this season the numbers don’t lie. According to Pro Football Focus, London Fletcher is the lowest rated starter on defense for the Redskins.
Fletcher is second on the team in missed tackles with 12 and is amongst the lowest in the entire league in run stop percentage. Leadership is one thing, but getting tangible results on the field is another, and Fletcher isn’t getting results. But Mike Shanahan seems to be a ride or die kind of head coach. So he will probably stick with Fletcher regardless of what the stats suggest.
But with the season on the line, I doubt making a change would hurt much at this point. So who could replace Fletcher in the lineup? How about Rob Jackson? Yes he’s an outside linebacker, but he makes plays. And that’s what the Redskins need right now. Jackson is probably the Redskins third best linebacker, and the best players need to play.
Otherwise, what’s the point in continuing to fight? I’m a big fan of London Fletcher, so this isn’t personal. But the Redskins need to do everything in their power to win games, and to salvage the season changes need to be made. The defense hasn’t performed well all season, and London Fletcher’s play has been one of the main reasons.
So should the Redskins Bench London Fletcher? I say yes.