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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Long shows he belongs

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, May. 12 2008

    He blew by Barron. Got barked at by Baker. And learned from Little.

    By all accounts, rookie Chris Long soaked it all in like a 279-pound sponge.

    "It's just all football," said Long, speaking of his first minicamp as a Ram.
    "It's a lot of fun because, really, you don't have to worry about anything
    else. Just eliminate everything else in your life and just focus on football."

    For a weekend, at least, it didn't even seem like work for Long, the defensive
    end from the University of Virginia chosen No. 2 overall in the draft by St.
    Louis.

    "That was my biggest anxiety," he said. "I was worried it was going to feel
    like a job and not a game. But these guys are out here having fun, working hard
    just like a college team would — it's just that guys are better."

    But Long quickly showed he belonged. On Friday, the first day of the three-day,
    full-squad minicamp at Rams Park, Long blew by offensive tackle Alex Barron on
    a pass rush. One Rams coach looked that way just in time to see Long get into
    the backfield.

    Long got through with such ease, the coach assumed that Long had beaten a
    rookie free agent or street free agent. Nope. It was Barron, a former
    first-round draft choice, a three-year NFL starter and a good pass blocker.

    Long played down the sequence.

    "Barron might beat me nine times out of 10," Long said. "That's a great tackle
    in the NFL, and just to be able to compete with him is going to make me better.
    So just to win one, I feel good about it. I feel like — hey — I'm moving in the
    right direction."

    On Saturday, with the team practicing outside for the only time over the rainy
    weekend, Long incurred the wrath of veteran defensive line coach Brian Baker
    during "team" drills. It was unclear from a distance why Baker was upset, but
    whatever the reason for the yelling, Long took it in stride.

    "Coach Baker's a great coach," Long said. "He's got 20-something-odd years of
    experience. It's my job to be receptive to whatever he throws my way. You've
    got to come in here with no ego, and no idea that you know what's going on."

    Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett runs a complex system, so Long — and all the
    players for that matter — got a lot thrown at them over one weekend. The
    veterans on the defensive line, particularly Leonard Little, were more than
    willing to help Long get his bearings. In theory, the quicker Long gets
    acclimated, the better off the entire defense plays.

    "I told him I'm willing to help him any way I can, any time he needed help,"
    Little said. "He's athletic; he's very athletic. But as a rookie, you've got to
    learn what you're doing, and that makes you play a lot faster on the field.
    Right now, he's thinking about what his assignment is and stuff like that. Once
    he gets that down, he should be fine."

    Little, entering his 11th NFL season, is helping Long in a variety of ways,
    including technique issues. So much of what goes into successful line play in
    the NFL depends on footwork, hand placement, leverage and knowing how to make
    moves and counter moves.

    "For him, it's going to be little stuff," Little said. "He comes from a great
    pedigree. We respect him as well as he shows respect for us."

    Despite that pedigree as the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, Long appears to
    be taking what some might term the proper rookie approach of being seen but not
    heard.

    "What's funny about Chris is he just goes," coach Scott Linehan said. "You
    don't hear him talk a lot, which I like. He just goes 100 miles an hour, which
    is nice. … He's all ears. He knows he's got a lot to learn."

    Other than a few requests to "carry my helmet," Long hasn't been given the
    rookie treatment by the vets. That figures to change in training camp, when he
    will be asked to sing in front of the team. During the regular season, he
    undoubtedly will be asked to bring the defensive linemen breakfast from time to
    time.

    "Don't give them any ideas," Long joked. "I have no idea what song I would
    sing. I'm not a good singer, so I'm just hoping that they forget about that."

    Uh, they won't forget. But when all is said and done, it won't be his singing
    that matters. It will be his ability to get past offensive tackles.


  2. #2
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Great story, though I'll be much happier to see him blow past the New England line and take down Brady from his blind side.

    Here's to hoping it(and many others) gets on ESPN's "Jacked Up" segment!

  3. #3
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    I'm excited to see what Long does on the field. It's going to be great.

    Glad we got him.

  4. #4
    HEADSLAP75 Guest

    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Nice read, now how's about a little work on the snap count Alex, ready set.

    LA RAMS FAN...HEADSLAP75...THAT'S IT MOVE WITH THE BALL ALEX!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonard Little describing Chris Long
    "He's athletic; he's very athletic.
    Wow, I can't believe I missed this one!

    Leonard, Leonard, my man.......I'm sorry, but you're wrong. We have already established that Long is, in fact, NOT athletic. We know this because this dude that posts on a website said it, so that pretty much settles it.

    This may bring Little's talent evaluation skills into question.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  6. #6
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    good read......... LETS GO RAMS

  7. #7
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    I agree with TekeRam. I love love to see Chris make the ESPN's "Jacked Up" hightlights jacking up Brady!

  8. #8
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Wow, I can't believe I missed this one!

    Leonard, Leonard, my man.......I'm sorry, but you're wrong. We have already established that Long is, in fact, NOT athletic. We know this because this dude that posts on a website said it, so that pretty much settles it.

    This may bring Little's talent evaluation skills into question.

    And what dude would that be Hub? You couldn't possibly mean me, Fortuninerhater. In fact I don't believe I've read that anywhere, in that context.

    Certainly when you compare him to Vernon Gholston, I believe he loses that battle, but you could say that about just about everybody in the draft and many who are already in the NFL. So nothing to be ashamed of.

  9. #9
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post

    This may bring Little's talent evaluation skills into question. Again.
    I thought the statement needed to be completed.
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

  10. #10
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    And what dude would that be Hub? You couldn't possibly mean me, Fortuninerhater. In fact I don't believe I've read that anywhere, in that context.

    Certainly when you compare him to Vernon Gholston, I believe he loses that battle, but you could say that about just about everybody in the draft and many who are already in the NFL. So nothing to be ashamed of.
    Fortu, had I meant you I would have typed "Fortu" instead of "dude". But never fear, I will fix my previous post......

    Satire: Wow, I can't believe I missed this one!
    Reality: I didn't miss it at all, just waited a while for making the post.

    Satire: Leonard, Leonard, my man.......I'm sorry, but you're wrong.
    Reality: Leonard, my man......you're not wrong. I'm just some fan who knows nothing from nothing about NFL caliber athleticism. If you say so, who am I to say otherwise.

    Satire: We have already established that Long is, in fact, NOT athletic.
    Reality: We have already established that Long is, in fact, quite athletic. Some haven't accepted the fact yet, but established none the less.

    Satire: We know this because this dude that posts on a website said it, so that pretty much settles it.
    Reality: The web is saturated with simple fans, like myself, who fancy themselves experts of sorts. Are we experts? Of course not. The irony being that neither is anyone else including Kiperesque individuals on TV. They're guessing at best. So "dude" is simply a ubiquitous label referring to the whole host of people who don't know anything, but don't know they don't know anything.

    Satire: This may bring Little's talent evaluation skills into question.
    Reality: There's nothing wrong with Little's talent evaluation skills. However, his assessment does not match up with the aforementioned experts' opinions, so therefore must be discredited or at least questioned by the same experts. Irony at its best.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  11. #11
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    He better belong. He was the second player selected overall. If the second player selected overall didn't belong I'd go Cartman right now.

  12. #12
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    I'd go Cartman right now.
    I'd pay to see that.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  13. #13
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Tx, assuming he didn't belong, what would you do if we traded Long to the Pats for their first rounder next year and the walkthrough tape?

  14. #14
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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Tx, assuming he didn't belong, what would you do if we traded Long to the Pats for their first rounder next year and the walkthrough tape?
    I'd go Super Cartman then. First of all, I've voiced my opinion on several occassions about the significance of the "walkthrough" tape. It's about as significant as Britney Spears political views. Then, to trade the #2 overall pick for one in the 30's would be Linehan's ticket out the door.

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    Re: Long shows he belongs

    It's wrong! It's wwwwrrrrroooooonnnnnggg!

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