London Fletcher, Lorenzo Alexander Among Five Redskins Chosen Pro Bowl Alternates
(Originally posted 12/28/11, 12:03 p.m.; updated 12/28/11, 5:42 p.m.)
ASHBURN – London Fletcher was upset for an hour or two after the Pro Bowl rosters were announced Tuesday night, but then he quickly flushed all thoughts of being snubbed from the NFL’s all-star game from his mind.
“The bottom line is, you know, we need to win more games,” Fletcher said Wednesday. “Teams that win tend to get more players in the Pro Bowl. That’s pretty much how that deal goes.”
The Washington Redskins are 5-10 entering Sunday’s game at Philadelphia, the last of the season. They were one of four teams that didn’t have a player initially selected to play in the game; Buffalo (6-9), St. Louis (2-13) and Tennessee (8-7) also are not currently sending a player to the game, held Jan. 29 in Honolulu.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed Fletcher, the 5-foot-10, 245-pound outside linebacker who leads the league with 163 tackles, is the position’s first alternate – players who are tabbed when an initial selection withdraws from the game because of injury or participation in the Super Bowl, which is held the following week.
He was an alternate each of the last two seasons and did end up playing in the Pro Bowl. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, on the ballot as a special teams player, was also told he’s an alternate.
“I haven’t gotten the official word if it’s first or second, but I’m one of them,” Alexander said Wednesday.
Shanahan confirmed the Redskins have five Pro Bowl alternates, including outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, a selection in each of his first two seasons. But the head coach declined to name the other two or speak about their standing in the game because he was asked by league representatives not to.
“A lot has to do with winning,” Shanahan said. “A lot of players know that when they’re voted on the Pro Bowl, they don’t have Pro Bowl years, but they’ll take it, because sometimes it works just the opposite. You deserve one and you don’t get on.”
Fletcher was notoriously unhappy with his initial snub for the 2009 game, calling himself the “Susan Lucci of the NFL” – referring to the soap opera star who was nominated for 18 consecutive Emmy awards before winning one. Asked why his reputation didn’t carry him to a nomination this year, he didn’t know.
“I try to do the things – play the game the right way, play the game with passion each and every day,” Fletcher said. “I prepare each and every week the same, so I mean, the other guys [San Francisco’s Patrick Willis and Chicago’s Brian Urlacher] also have some pretty good reputations who got voted in also.”
Given Fletcher’s status, it’s a possibility he may end up playing in the game. If not, he was still happy to have received votes from players, coaches and fans.
“It’s flattering,” Fletcher said. “It’s humbling. The way that the fans responded and my teammates responded, the way that some of the national media responded – it’s very humbling. Again, I don’t want to take anything away from the guys who were voted in, because they’re also very deserving and very worthy as well, and I appreciate all the support that I have received.”