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DeAngelo Hall, London Fletcher React To Ray Lewis’ Retirement Announcement

By ZAC BOYER | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Two of the Washington Redskins’ veteran defensive players, linebacker London Fletcher and cornerback DeAngelo Hall, each reacted Thursday to Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis’ announcement that he would retire at the end of this season after 17 years in the NFL:

Fletcher: “I think, you know, it’s well-documented how great of a football player Ray has been. You think about playing a position for 17 years and not only playing it, but playing it at the level he has for so many years – that’s tough to do. It’s a lot of preparation that goes into it, a lot of dedication, commitment to excellence. He’s one of the guys that I watch on film if we play a common opponent to try to see how he’s maybe taking on playing an opponent. It’s, I guess, bittersweet to see him hanging it up with how high he’s played for a number of years.”

Hall: “I don’t believe it. I didn’t believe it, I should say. He’s a man of his word, though, so if he says he’s gone, you know, he’s more than likely gone. He’s just brought so much to the game – brought so much to the game as far as defensive players go, man. It’s him and D-Brooks and a couple other guys – Derrick Brooks, that is. Guys that have played the position that have kind of cultivated it to make it sexy, you know what I mean? Ray’s made it sexy to be a middle linebacker in this National Football League. D-Brooks kind of did the same thing down in Tampa, being the outside backer catching picks and things like that, scoring touchdowns. They made it sexy to be defensive players, man. In a league that’s so offensive driven, it’s hard to kind of get that buzz. It took Fletch 12 years to actually get to a Pro Bowl, even though his numbers kind of justified he should’ve been there already. But just, when you don’t play a sexy position or you don’t approach it as a corner where you get to make more plays on the ball and things like that, you know, it’s kind of tough. It’s kind of tough to break through that wall. But like I said, Ray has definitely broken through that wall and he’ll definitely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. One of the greatest players to ever play that position.”