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Players, coaches react to London Fletcher's announcement

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Several players and coaches reacted Wednesday to the announcement by Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher that he is likely to retire following the season.

A sample of some of those comments:

* Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III: “I hope he’s not done, but he’s been a great teammate. I’m honored to sit next to him in the locker room and hopefully he can stay in touch with a lot of the guys. I know I talked to him about it. No matter what he decides – I think he’s not only a good player, but he’s a good person, and he’ll be missed.”

* Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins: “We would love to have him walk off that field for the last time – if it will be his last time – with a victory. We all respect and admire London, and he’s a great leader in our locker room, and has shown all of us what it means to conduct ourselves like a professional on and off the field. I think it would mean a lot to London to get a win, but I think it would mean a lot to us as his teammates to send him off with a win.”

* Redskins strong safety Reed Doughty: “I’ve had a lot of opportunity to play with him and learn from him. The single-best leader, player – just a stand-up guy – that I’ve been around. He not only backed it up off the field with all his charitable foundation stuff, but on the field, not just knowing and putting people in the position to make plays but making plays himself. The interceptions, tackles – I mean, he’s been the ultimate team leader.”

* Redskins defensive end Kedric Golston: “Obviously, you’ve got all the respect in the world for London, being in what, his seventh season, 16th year, never missing a game? The league he grew up in – playing on Astroturf, two-a-days, training camps – you’ve got to take your hat off to him. I think he’d be the first person to say he’s been tremendously blessed. I’ve learned so much from him – how to be a professional, how to be a man – and I’m proud of him. Get to go now and end one chapter, start a new one, but I’m gonna miss him in this building. I still know in my heart he has a lot of football left in him. On a different note, I hate that this season has gone the way that it has. He works too hard. He means too much to this team, this organization, his community.”

* Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss: “London tends to himself, but when it comes down to what we’ve been doing on the field, you can tell that he’s a guy that studies well. You know, he makes sure that – he’s the quarterback of the defense. He makes sure that his defense is ready, you know, to go out there and be the best, you know, any given day. You know, he leads those guys, and you know, we can pretty much lean on his shoulder, too, when it comes to leading the team and anything that’s going on around here, as far as that’s out of our hands. He shows us how to not let that bother us – to keep focused and stay in line to what we have to go out there and do. It’s a lot to be said about London, man. I don’t have enough words to even, right now, in my head, go out there and go along with it. But he’s a guy that will be missed.”

* Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan: “I’ll just remember the consistency. I mean, week in and week out, on the practice field and in the games, he’s doing it both places. You hear stories about guys that, you know, don’t really practice much during the week, and then go out there on Sundays and play. London does it every day in practice. He brings the same intensity to practice, and that’s the thing I noticed during my rookie year – how consistent he was in both his preparation, his physical and his mental preparation.”

* Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield: “Being a Cleveland guy, he’s a guy I looked up to ever since high school. We had a mutual coach. So, the biggest thing I noticed when he got here was how good of a player he was. You hear a lot of stuff about preparation and him being smart, but you almost lose track of just how good he is, how intense he is, and how physical he is on game days. Those are things that impressed me.”

* Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo: “To still come out victorious, to still come out on top and to still be a dominant – not just a good football player, a dominant football player – really says a lot, man. I tip my hat off to London Fletcher for what he’s done for my career. I think he’s one of the few guys that paved the way for me. I know we played different positions, but it’s still the linebacker group, corps, and like I said, he taught me how to be a leader – how to play with passion, how to play with intensity, you know, and how to bring it each and every time you step out on the field. I owe a lot to him.”

* Redskins coach Mike Shanahan: “Like I’ve said before, I’ve never been around a guy quite like London. The way he prepares for every game is like he’s preparing for a Super Bowl. His leadership is unquestioned. When I came in here, everybody had the utmost respect for him, both on and off the football field, and so to have a guy like that in your organization makes it so much easier for a coach because the young guys learn the right way to do things right from the start. He’s been very, very special to this organization. He’s experienced a lot with different people, different players, different coaches. It’s going to be tough to lose a guy like that, but hopefully he can end it on the right note with a good win against Dallas.”

* Cowboys coach Jason Garrett: “An unbelievable football player. I competed against him for a long, long time, and he just is an outstanding player. He’s everything that the NFL wants in a player. He just has played the game the right way and been such a productive guy, a great team leader, and someone I just have the utmost respect for.”

* Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware: “When you think about a guy, the leadership he really brings to that team and how he’s been consistently one of the top tacklers in the league every single year, it just shows how hard his offseason work has been and how much dedication he’s had to the team. He’s been a great team player.”

* Former Rams head coach Dick Vermeil: “When he’s not on your football team – when he has been on your football team, and then he’s no longer on your football team, you lose his contributions in every facet of being a pro football player. You lose that on the field. You lose in the meeting room. You lose it in the locker room. You lose it in the community. There aren’t many guys – I can’t name a guy that could replace him and make that kind of complete contribution.”

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