For years, Eagles fans have heard players rave about how great it is to play in Philadelphia. There's no city like it, they'd say, the atmosphere is unlike any other football city. And in that regard, newly minted cornerback Bradley Fletcher is no different. But for Fletcher, it more than the city that attracted him – it was the division.
"When you get an opportunity to play for a team like the Eagles, and the division that they play in, who wouldn't want to be a part of the Eagles?" he said Thursday. "It's an honor and it's a privilege to be here and play."
Fletcher comes from St. Louis where, after a promising start to his career, he became the victim of the numbers game. Now that he's in the City of Brotherly Love, he'll have a fresh start with a new team and new teammates. And you can bet he's ready to make the most of it.
"It's a great opportunity, great opportunity to play with a bunch of new guys," Fletcher said. "All of the new competition that we're going to be faced with during the season and things like that, we're all looking forward to it and enjoying it."
Last season, Fletcher played in all 16 games, starting four. He tallied 22 combined tackles, a sack and an interception. Injuries stalled his 2011 campaign, but in 2010 he started 15 games and registered four interceptions, 71 total tackles and 11 passes defended. While Fletcher might not be a household name, he is ready to show Eagles fans what he's made of.
"Every year is a new year. Every year as a player you have to prove yourself," he said. "And no matter what situation you're in, every year you have to go put it out there, show your effort, show and help the team win. That's what we're all here to do as Eagles."
Admittedly, most Eagles fans probably haven't seen much film on Fletcher. But now that he's an Eagle, the 26-year-old Iowa product wants fans to know that he's going to bring a style of play that should be a welcome addition to defensive coordinator Bill Davis' defense.
"I always play with a lot of effort," Fletcher said. "I like to mix it up and go make tackles and compete when the ball's in the air. That's the kind of guy I'm going to be when I'm on the field … You have to go out and have fun; go and compete. That's what football is."
That competition was a prominent theme during Fletcher's introductory press conference. He understands that a winning culture takes more than talent. It takes players buying in, helping one another and playing smart, physical football. Now with the Eagles, Fletcher is ready to show those things on the field.
"I'm ready to come here and play with a group of brothers where we're going to be going hard with a lot of effort to win ball games. We're all excited about that and ready to go," Fletcher said. "I think things are going to click real fast and we'll get things going in a hurry and be able to be all on the same page. So I'm really excited and we're all going to hit it hard."
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