Former Redskins linebacker London Fletcher put together a revered 16-year career in the NFL with St. Louis, Buffalo and Washington. In all, the defensive stalwart played in 256 professional games between 1998 and 2013. And all those days on a football field means that Fletcher knows talent when he sees it.
That's why his recent endorsement of ex-'Skins safety Sean Taylor means so much, even if what he told 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny isn't exactly breaking news: Had he not been murdered in November 2007, Taylor would have been one of the sport's best ever at his position, or maybe best ever, period.
“He was just scratching the surface," Fletcher said. “I only got to play I think 7 or 8 games with Sean, but you could tell."
Fletcher's first year with the franchise was in 2007, which would ultimately prove to be Taylor's last, meaning the two tackling machines didn't get to spend much time together on defense. However, with that being said, Fletcher didn't need long to discern how high #21's ceiling was.
“You saw his instincts and his talent on the football field," he said. "I’m looking at this guy like, ‘Man, this guy, he’s going to be a Hall of Fame football player.’ So Sean goes into that list ... as far as some of the best-talented football players that I’ve ever played with.”
Fletcher's opinion will join the many others from Taylor's old teammates, coaches, colleagues and friends, as well as the sighs and shakes of the head that arise whenever someone is asked about his natural football ability. And to think that, if he were still alive today, he wouldn't even be 33 yet? Well, that deserves a shake of the head of its own.