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Fletcher Knows How Roster Hopefuls Feel

The Redskins' preseason finale on Thursday night was the last time some young players would see action in an NFL game.

London Fletcher knows how anxious they feel as final roster cuts loom.

Back in 1998, Fletcher was an undrafted rookie free agent eager to make the St. Louis Rams roster coming out of John Carroll University, a Division III school.

"It was nerve-wracking," he said.

Despite long odds, Fletcher impressed then-Rams head coach Dick Vermeil and earned a roster spot. He has gone on to have a strong NFL career with the Rams, Buffalo Bills and now the Redskins.

His advice to undrafted rookies hoping to earn a roster spot?

Said Fletcher: "For young guys, whatever their situation is--whether they're a veteran guy, a free agent undrafted guy, a rookie guy, trying to make the 53-man roster--it's a situation where you can't look at where you are on a depth chart."

"You have to continue to come out and work hard in practice, work hard in the meetings. When the games come, show up. Get on film making plays. You may not make it here, but everybody gets game tapes in the National Football League. Maybe another team could use you."

Fletcher has certainly made an impression this preseason. Although he did not play in Thursday's preseason finale against Jacksonville, he has been solid in the middle, recording 11 tackles and one pass defended in three games.

The Redskins acquired Fletcher in March as an unrestricted free agent from the Bills.

Fletcher is among the success stories for undrafted rookies, so he always makes a point to talk with young undrafted rookie free agents every preseason.

"I let them know my story and I let them know what's going to be the best way for them to make the team," he said. "First off, it's special teams. If you're a guy, and you're in a backup position, you have to be good on special teams.

"Obviously, you have to be good at your position, but if you can be great on special teams and then continue to work your craft from a position standpoint, the likelihood increases of you being able to make a team in the National Football League."

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