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Thread: Joe Long Doesn't Mind Being A Long Shot

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    Joe Long Doesn't Mind Being A Long Shot

    Joe Long doesn't mind being a long shot

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    The Long brothers have covered the spectrum of how to enter the National Football League. In 2008, Jake Long was the No. 1 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins out of the University of Michigan.

    Four years later, along comes little brother Joe, an undrafted rookie offensive lineman signed by the Rams.

    "I'm not him," Joe Long said. "I'm a completely different person. I had to do it the hard way, and that's fine. I'm a hard worker just like he is. It definitely was a different path, and I gotta get out here and grind and earn my spot on the team. I'm going to do whatever I can to do that."

    The Long brothers both attended LaPeer (Mich.) East High about an hour north of Detroit. But while Jake went to the heralded and tradition-laden Michigan program, Joe cast his lot with Division II Wayne State in Detroit.

    The only Division I looks Joe got was as a preferred walk-on. He knew at the Division II level he not only would get some scholarship money, but he'd have a chance to play earlier in his college career. Things couldn't have worked out better.

    Long was a four-year starter at left tackle, making a school record 49 consecutive starts. This past season, he won the Gene Upshaw Award as the top lineman (offensive or defensive) in Division II. And the Wayne State Warriors reached the Division II national championship game, losing 35-21 to Pittsburg State.

    Even though Long had a private workout with the Detroit Lions and a pre-draft visit with the New York Jets, his name wasn't called in the draft.

    "I knew that coming from a Division II school it's kind of hard to get drafted," Long said. "That's fine. I just wanted to have a shot somewhere. When the Rams called me up, I was really excited. So just to be out here with a team and working out, practicing, that's all I wanted."

    He knew there was some interest from the Rams because the team contacted both him and his agent the week of the draft. At 6-5, 304, Long has gotten most of his work at left tackle so far with the Rams but knows that eventually he could be moved around.

    Joe and Jake are close, they talk nearly every day, and big brother has helped in terms of knowing what to expect from these first few days in the NFL.

    "He is the best resource because he's gone through it all," Long said. "So I came in like ready, kind of knowing what's going to happen."

    Relaxed football

    There was almost a festive atmosphere to Friday's practice session at Rams Park. During practice, team sponsors and potential sponsors were invited on the practice fields to watch the team up close.

    On the balcony overlooking the fields were parents of Rams 2012 draft picks. Later that evening, the parents were invited to a dinner in what used to be the private suite of late owner Georgia Frontiere on the second floor of the facility.

    A street was blocked off adjacent to the Rams Park parking lot for a barbecue fundraiser held by the St. Louis County Police Department's central precinct, with the Rams' blessing. And Sage, the golden retriever (of assistant coach Brandon Fisher) who's quickly becoming an unofficial team mascot, was seen walking the grounds and showing interest in the barbecue aroma.

    Taking in Friday's practice was former wide receiver great Isaac Bruce, who is in town for his foundation fundraiser.

  2. #2
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    Re: Joe Long Doesn't Mind Being A Long Shot

    The only problem I have with this article is that Isaac Bruce is not mentioned until the last sentence. C'mon, give the man his due fame. Even a golden retriever was mentioned before him. Crying shame.
    live4ramin likes this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Joe Long Doesn't Mind Being A Long Shot

    I'm hoping Little Joe is a hidden Little Jem.
    Look away. I'm hideous. __ Cozmo Kramer

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    Re: Joe Long Doesn't Mind Being A Long Shot

    Im hoping Little Joe is a hidden Jake Long, or if not, he can get pointers from his brother Jake.!!!

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