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Morning Report: “The Susan Lucci of the NFL”

It was an interesting day for the Washington Redskins, who happen to host the Eagles this Sunday at FedEx Field.

It was an interesting day for the Washington Redskins, who happen to host the Eagles this Sunday at FedEx Field.

One of the team's greatest players of all time, Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, passed away at the age of 94.

And one of the Skins' best current players, linebacker London Fletcher, shed his normally quiet demeanor and snapped out at yet another Pro Bowl snub.

Fletcher stepped out of character and vented his frustration, calling himself "the Susan Lucci of the NFL" and deeming his career "Hall of Fame worthy."

"I don't know if it was because I wasn't a first-round draft pick, I don't do some kind of dance when I make a 10-yard tackle, I don't go out and get arrested," Fletcher told reporters at practice. "I believe in playing the game the way it's supposed to be played. You line up each and every week, each and every play, and you go out and get the job done.

"You look at my body of work and I've done that for 11 years, but because I'm not going out causing a lot of controversy, holding a private meeting with the coordinator saying this, this and this, causing a lot of strife on my team, I don't garner a lot of attention."

Fletcher is the leading tackler in the NFL this decade and has never missed a game in his 11-year career, even persevering through a severely sprained foot earlier this season. He is widely considered the MVP of the Redskins, the anchor to a defense ranked fourth in the league. (The Eagles are third).

But those who cover the team daily say, it is rare to hear him brag about himself or stray from the politically correct party line when addressing reporters.

"My career has been Hall of Fame worthy," Fletcher said. "But some coaches and some players get caught up in the hype reading the newspapers or listening to some national TV game as opposed to watching the game with no sound. . . . I put myself up against anybody playing the position, anybody."

San Francisco's Patrick Willis and Carolina's Jon Beason were the NFC selections for inside linebacker this year in voting among fans, coaches and players, and it would be hard to argue with either choice.

"I understand they can take only two middle linebackers, but to have it happen year after year after year after year after year . . . I'm an eight-time alternate. I'm the Susan Lucci of the NFL," said Fletcher, referring to the soap opera star who was nominated for an Emmy 18 times before finally winning.

Slingin' Sammy. Baugh was the last of the NFL Hall of Fame's charter class.

Inducted in 1963, the class included: Baugh, Bert Bell, Joe Carr, Dutch Clark, Red Grange, George Halas, Mel Hein, Pete Henry, Cal Hubbard, Don Hutson, Curly Lambeau, Tim Mara, George Preston Marshall, John "Blood" McNally, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers and Jim Thorpe.

We could write a book about every name on that list, but Baugh may have been more special than any - the original three-way threat who excelled at every skill.

In one incredible season, 1943, he led the league in passing, punting and interceptions.

In one game, he threw four touchdown passes and grabbed four interceptions. He twice threw six touchdowns passes in a game.

His 51.4-yard punting average in 1940 is still the NFL record.

Baugh still holds Redskins records for career touchdown passes (187) and completion percentage in a season (70.3). His 31 interceptions on defense are third on the team's career list.

Baugh led the Redskins to five title games and two NFL championships, playing his entire career without a face mask. His No. 33 is the only jersey Washington has ever retired.