London Fletcher, Linebacker
IF PRO BOWL berths are any indication, NFL minds still do not appreciate Fletcher's skill set. After 12 years in which he has displayed a field intellect to rival any middle linebacker in the league (including Ray Lewis), the Redskins' captain made his first Pro Bowl only last season, and then only because the first choice, New Orleans's Jonathan Vilma, pulled out when the Saints reached the Super Bowl. But Fletcher brings far more than good intangibles: He was the NFL's second-leading tackler in 2009, with 142, marking his 10th straight season with more than 100 tackles. Echoing the sentiments of many, tight end Chris Cooley says, "London Fletcher is probably the most underrated defensive player in the league."
But in a locker room never short on controversy, the veteran 'backer's role as de facto Redskins ombudsman might be just as critical. Fletcher, 35, lent critical support to Mike Shanahan's switch to a 3--4 defense back in June. The 5'10", 245-pound fire hydrant called out Albert Haynesworth for skipping workouts and fighting a potential switch to nosetackle. (Fletcher's message: "Stop being selfish.")
"If you can walk it, you can talk it," wideout Santana Moss says. "And London walks it every day." Moss actually isn't kidding: Fletcher has never missed an NFL game. And while some may wonder whether his skills can remain effective for much longer, his teammates, at least, know better than to even ask.