Fletcher in the 2013 NFL postseason.
|No. -- Free agent|
|Date of birth:||September 14, 1986|
|Place of birth:||Bozeman, Montana|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||244 lb (111 kg)|
|Roster status:||Unrestricted Free Agent|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics as of Week 14, 2014
|Stats at NFL.com|
Fletcher was born Bozeman, Montana. He attended Bozeman High School, where he played football as a linebacker and tight end. At linebacker, he was a first-team all-state selection; at tight end, he was an honorable mention all-state selection. He also played ice hockey and baseball as a catcher. Fletcher's parents are well known throughout the Bozeman community and own a local cheese burger joint and a bar.
Following high school, Fletcher attended Montana State University on partial scholarship where he redshirted in 2005. After playing on special teams as a freshman, in 2006. Fletcher played as a defensive end and in 2007 he recorded 51 tackles and three sacks, as well as a Big Sky Conference-high 19 tackles for a loss. In 2008 Fletcher missed three games but finished the season with 6.5 sacks. As a redshirt senior in 2009 Fletcher was named team captain and finished the season with 67 tackles, seven sacks, and two blocked kicks, earning first-team All-Big Sky honors as well as being named the Big Sky Defensive MVP. He was also named as a finalist for the Buck Buchanon Award which is given to the top defensive player in NCAA Division I FCS.
New England Patriots
After going undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, Fletcher signed with the New England Patriots. Fletcher became one of two undrafted rookies to make the Patriots' opening day roster, although he was inactive for the first three games of the 2010 season. In Week 4, Fletcher made his NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins. In Week 6, Fletcher saw his first considerable action on defense as a reserve against the Baltimore Ravens. The next week against the San Diego Chargers, Fletcher forced his first career fumble. In Week 15, Fletcher's late-fourth quarter sack of Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, the first of Fletcher's career, helped thwart a Packers drive and preserve a Patriots win.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said the following of Fletcher in December 2010:
|“||Dane’s in a very unusual situation, it’s a short list of players who have gone from being defensive linemen to being inside linebackers that I’ve worked with: Harry Carson would be one, Tedy Bruschi would be two, and Dane would be a third example of that. Most of the time, those guys go from being defensive ends in college to outside linebackers at our level. To take a defensive lineman to an inside linebacker position, it’s a much bigger challenge, to go from a defensive lineman to a guy that has coverage responsibilities, formation responsibilities, to seeing the game from your feet, and from depth, as opposed to seeing it this far away from you, [that is] the guy across from you. It’s a whole different ballgame, and there’s not a lot of players that can do that. Dane’s done a good job of it. He obviously has a long way to go, he’s nowhere close to being a finished product, but the progress that he’s made from the spring, to training camp, to in-season has been significant, enough that we’re going to continue to work with him there and he’s contributed for us. Dane was good in the kicking game, he was active, and that enabled him to get a bigger role on the defensive side of the ball, he’s been able to capitalize on some of those opportunities."||”|
Fletcher finished his 2010 rookie season with 23 tackles and two sacks in 13 games played, all as a reserve.
In 2011 Fletcher has recorded 10 tackles so far throughout week 13 of the NFL season. Dane has had limited time though due to a thumb injury that has kept him out for 6 weeks this season. In Super Bowl XLVI, he recorded one tackle as the Patriots lost to the New York Giants 21-17.
He was waived/injured on August 14, 2012, and subsequently reverted to injured reserve.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Matson, Barbara (2010-12-25). "Sky’s the limit for Fletcher". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-12-25.