WP: London Fletcher--Tackle Machine

This week's post at the Washington Post's Redskins Insider site takes a look at the amazingly reliable and ageless London Fletcher.

Fletcher, however, accounts for almost 17 percent of the Redskins’ tackles. That’s good for a TF of 1.54, (calculated by dividing his 17 percent by the average linebacker’s 11 percent). Fletcher’s 1.54 is the best of his 14-year career and is tied for the league lead with the 49ers’ Patrick Willis and the Falcons’ Curtis Lofton. In his five years in Washington, Fletcher’s TF has ranked ninth, fifth, fifth, 16th, and is now first among all linebackers. He’s a true tackle machine.

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5 Responses to “WP: London Fletcher--Tackle Machine”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is not clear from your article that you distinguished between inside linebackers in a 4-3 and those in a 3-4 when doing your statistical analysis. The job of Washington's front three has been described as occupying blockers so that the linebackers can make plays. This differs from the 4-3 in which the linemen are expected to make plays. So one would expect linebackers in a 3-4 to make more tackles. Given that Orakpo and Kerrigan are Pro Bowl quality outside linebackers, Fletcher may well get run at more as the weak spot on the defense. Personally, I think Fletcher is awesome, but TF may not be an accurate measure of defensive prowess.

  2. Andrew says:

    Looking at the TF page listing for DT's, why is it that only 7 of the 122 DT's in the league have a TF of over 1? If a TF of 1 corresponds to an average tackle percentage shouldn't like, 60 of them have TF's of 1?

  3. Brian Burke says:

    Two reasons: DT is a low variance position. It's hard to be either exceptionally good or bad at that position. Also, DTs tend to be platooned.

  4. Brian Burke says:

    The 3-4/4-3 consideration certainly matters. However, note that Fletcher ranks at the top of TF rankings regardless of his defenses' schemes.

    Also keep in mind that although defenses may call themselves a 3-4, that is primarily with regard to personnel. They usually still play a 4-3 "front", but with a "LB" lined up on the LOS.

  5. Matt H. says:

    There isn't a more underrated player to ever step on a football field. The fact that he has never been VOTED into a pro bowl is a crime. With his numbers he should be in consideration for Hall of Fame. Comparing him with a guy like ray lewis (who will go in to the Hall as soon as possible), they are very similar. Over their career, here are the average stats per year
    Fletcher Lewis
    Tackles: 125 122
    Sacks: 2.4 2.5
    Ints: 1.2 1.9
    FF: 1.2 1.1
    FR: .9 1.1
    Stf: 3.9 2.6

    ...Pretty much identical numbers, yet one player is considered a first ballot hall of fame, and the other has never been voted into a pro bowl. The most impressive thing about fletcher isn't even his numbers, its the fact that in his productive 14 year career, he has never missed a single game(as a linebacker!).

    Nfl, make up for the lack of respect he's received for his entire career, and put him in the Hall of Fame

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