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Thread: Long 'Fell In Love' With Rams' Mindset

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    Long 'Fell In Love' With Rams' Mindset

    Long 'fell in love' with Rams' mindset

    12 hours ago • By Jim Thomas jthomas@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8197

    Obviously, the money had to be right. But otherwise, there was a Jerry Maguire-esque flavor to the Rams’ recruitment of Jake Long.

    The Rams basically had him at hello.

    “I think it was just a sigh of relief once he walked through the doors here and met with Coach (Jeff) Fisher, and Les (Snead) and Kevin (Demoff),” said Jake’s wife Jackie. “It was just kind of like feeling that you’re home. And he hasn’t felt that way for a while.”

    Whether inside the walls of Rams Park, or out and about in St. Louis, some Midwest hospitality didn’t hurt, either.

    “I love the Midwest,” Jackie said, following her husband’s introductory press conference Thursday. “The people are so friendly. It’s such a different environment. And I love the snow. I put on my boots and my coat and I went out in it. Walked my dog. I loved it. Are you kidding me? It was great.”

    The Longs – and their labradoodle Charlie – made the 20-hour drive from south Florida to St. Louis, arriving on Saturday. Yes, Long is now making enough money ($34 million over the next four years) that he could have chartered a jet to St. Louis. But as Jake explained, laughing, “We have a dog. And I wanted to have my truck up here. So we had to drive.”

    They woke up Sunday to a blizzard, watching 12 inches worth of snow accumulate in a day’s time. Not exactly balmy Miami.

    “Actually, I grew up in Michigan, so I’m used to that type of weather,” Jake said. “My wife grew up in northern Nevada, so she’s used to the snow. We’ve been out of it for a little bit, but it’s like riding a bike. We adapted well in it.”

    Apparently Jake adapted well to his new head coach and new football family during his free agent visit here two weeks ago.

    “Just really fell in love with their philosophy, their mindset, where this program’s going,” he said. “I fell in love with it the first day.”

    What came across from Fisher, Jake said, was a love for the game.

    “You can tell that he loves coming into work every single day,” Jake said. “He has fun doing it.”

    Despite all those good feelings, it took five days between Long’s arrival and his decision to sign with the Rams. Those five days were a case study in how social media can affect the free agency environment – as well as show how the looser journalistic standards of the Internet can lead to lots of bad information.

    For example, Long said he hopped out of an MRI on Wednesday (March 13), to see his phone had been bombarded with congratulatory messages.

    “I called my agent and I said, ‘What’s going on? Did we really sign?’ ” Long said. “And he’s like, ‘No. I don’t know where that came from.’ ”

    While Long was in the MRI tube a false Internet report circulated stating that he had agreed to terms with the Rams.

    “Yes, it’s crazy. All the social media on the Internet,” Long said. “But I just tried to block it all out and not worry about it, not read into it, and just make the decision.”

    On Saturday (March 16) came equally false Internet reports that Long – by that time back in Miami – had visited the Dolphins’ facility that day. That was viewed as a sign by many that the Dolphins were back in the running to retain Long.

    “Honestly, I don’t know where any of that came from because I don’t even think we left our house that day,” Long said.

    There was the mysterious Friday night tweet (March 15) by Demoff – a photo of the Rams’ executive vice president sitting at a restaurant with Long agents Tom Condon and Ben Dogra, and all three smiling.

    What did this mean? Was a deal near?

    Not exactly; not yet.

    And then there were tweets by Jackie about their stay in St. Louis, each one dissected for hidden meaning by fans and media alike.

    When she tweeted about not selling their home in Miami, it was interpreted by some to mean that her husband was returning to the Dolphins.

    Nope.

    “Of course I want a vacation home in Florida,” Jackie said. “If we’re moving to St. Louis, we want a vacation home on the water.”

    There also were tweets from current Dolphins players, former Ram Richie Incognito included, as part of the #bring Jake home movement. Also, there were wry tweets by fans of both teams about Long’s relatively lengthy decision-making process lumped into a #waiting for Jake category.

    “Those ones were really funny, too,” Jackie said. “That was random. I wasn’t expecting all those. . . .We loved our life in Miami, and Jake loved the environment and the fans and everything. But we also knew that there was more out there. We’re an adventurous couple, and we were willing to go somewhere else.”

    Somewhere else turned out to be St. Louis. Jackie says her husband has been invigorated by the move. And with the truck parked and the dog taking its walks in the Gateway City, Jake says he’s “here for good.”

    Long already is doing rehab work with Rams head athletic trainer Reggie Scott. The Rams’ official offseason conditioning program starts April 15, and then it’s on to spring practices, training camp ... and before you know it, games.

    Long, who met with quarterback Sam Bradford this week at Rams Park, can’t wait.

    “It was all smiles,” Long said of his impromptu get-together with Bradford. “I was excited to meet him; I think he was excited. It’s gonna be fun to get out to work and actually get out to football and make it happen.”
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    Re: Long 'Fell In Love' With Rams' Mindset

    What a wild ride this process was. It's interesting to hear from Long and his wife as to what their mind set actually was as it all unfolded. There was a lot of misinformation going around at the time, and I certainly made some inaccurate assumptions. In fact, I'm pretty sure I owe Jackie Long an apology.

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    Re: Long 'Fell In Love' With Rams' Mindset

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    What a wild ride this process was. It's interesting to hear from Long and his wife as to what their mind set actually was as it all unfolded. There was a lot of misinformation going around at the time, and I certainly made some inaccurate assumptions. In fact, I'm pretty sure I owe Jackie Long an apology.
    Sums it up perfectly!

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    Re: Long 'Fell In Love' With Rams' Mindset

    That's the World we live in today. No long term gratification, everything has to be now. Patience people patience.

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    Re: Long 'Fell In Love' With Rams' Mindset

    This also shows the downside of social media and the desire to be the first to break news. A lot of hullabaloo over nothing.

    I figured part of Long's decision might have based on the midwest. Certainly coastal cities are more attractive to most people, but some guys (and gals) just prefer the slower pace of the midwest. I know it wasn't all of his decision, but from that article it certainly sounded like that had a lot of appeal to both him and his wife.

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    Re: Long 'Fell In Love' With Rams' Mindset

    A lot of misinformation indeed. Looks likr I owe Jackie Long an apology too. Jackie, I am a willing to make that up anyway you want, let me know.


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