Fletcher, 'Skins solved Giants by putting heat on Manning
- By Marc Sessler NFL.com
- Published: Jan. 6, 2012 at 06:30 p.m.
- Updated: Jan. 6, 2012 at 07:11 p.m.
London Fletcher rolled into the NFL Network studios Friday and shed some light on how to put the freeze on Eli Manning and the Giants.
Fletcher's Redskins are a work in progress, but two of their five wins this season came against the NFC East champion Giants, who host the Falcons in Sunday's NFC wild-card offering.
"It's really showing Eli (Manning) different looks," Fletcher told NFL.com. "Not giving him a pre-snap read where he can just say, 'this is where I'm going to go with the football.' And getting after him in passing situations. Our defensive front was able create pressure on him and, in both games, get some pressure on him. That's how we looked at the Giants -- mixing up and disguising our coverages and then getting after them with our rush."
The 36-year-old linebacker has seen a lot during his 223 consecutive starts, including the maturation of Manning. Looking less like the kid who mows your lawn, and more like a calculated fourth-quarter assassin, Eli is elite, according to Fletcher.
"I think he is. If you look at what he was able to do this year. Really, they've gone from a run-first, run-oriented team to now a pass-oriented team and he's definitely been a driving force behind them winning a division," Fletcher said. "He's definitely in that top-five-in-the-league category."
If Fletcher's iron-man act has flown under the radar of a national media uber-obsessed with Rex Ryan and Tim Tebow, it isn't lost on his Redskins teammates, who hoist him up as their defensive co-captain, a role he takes seriously (are you listening, Santonio Holmes?).
"I think anytime you're a captain, your teammates are going to look to you for leadership," Fletcher said. "More than words, you have to show with your actions. They're going to be looking for you, to see how you respond in situations, good times and especially in bad times. Those are the times they can see what you're about. When you have that 'C' on your chest, you have to take a great deal of responsibility."
And that's coming from a man who hasn't missed a day of work in more than a decade. We'll go with that.