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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    Sep 4, 3:17 AM (ET)

    By R.B. FALLSTROM
    ST. LOUIS (AP) -Days away from his regular-season snaps, rookie Chris Long told himself to not get too excited. The second pick of the draft knows he needs to conserve energy.

    "If I didn't stay calm now, I'd be out of gas mentally by Saturday," Long said Wednesday. "So I'll be pretty calm through the week, probably until the morning of the game. You've just got to bottle it up."

    The former Virginia star is part of a line that's expected to be a strength for the Rams, 3-13 last year, heading into Sunday's opener at Philadelphia. The young anchor is nose tackle Adam Carriker, the first-round pick in 2007.

    "Chris has a lot of talent, a lot of potential," Carriker said. "We've got a lot of guys who can make plays. We definitely have all the ability in the world."

    Long has the potential, certainly, given how highly-regarded the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long was coming out of Virginia, where he was a unanimous All-American as well as Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year. Long was among the nation's leaders with 14 sacks as a defensive tackle in the Cavaliers' 3-4 defense.


    With the Rams, he's in a conventional 4-3 alignment and that's taken some adjusting. All the training camp snaps he's taken as the pass-rushing threat on the opposite end from veteran Leonard Little have helped him become comfortable.

    "It's totally different. There's no comparison," Long said. "The more time you spend playing in this system, the less time you spend thinking, and there's a direct correlation.

    "You can study all you want and you can look at your playbook all you want, but you have to go through reps and that's the way it is."

    Throughout his first NFL summer, the Rams have assessed Long's play as a succession of highs and lows, savvy moves and rookie bonehead mistakes. The preseason statistics, two solo tackles and two assists, certainly haven't been eye-popping.

    Long just wants to get better as the season progresses.

    "I don't know where I'm going to be at the end of this week, I don't know where I'm going to be in a month, but I won't be the player I am right now," he said. "That's just the approach I've taken. I just try to improve every week."

    The same goes for the defense as a whole, which faces the challenge of controlling Brian Westbrook.

    "We're just going to have to go out this week and see where we stand," outside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa said. "I'm optimistic about this year and how our defense is, but until we go out and prove it, it's all up in the air."

    Because he was picked so high in the draft, Long expects extra attention from fans this week. He attended a playoff game in Philadelphia when he was in high school and recalled: "They're wild, they're fiery, some of the best fans in football if they're your team's fans."

    Long knows he'll be a target.

    "If you're an opposing team, especially an opposing rookie, I think they get after you pretty good," he said. "That can't really impact the outcome of how you play."

    Carriker was in Long's shoes a year ago, although not with such a focus on his play given he was the 13th overall pick. He anticipates a year of experience will be a big help while taking on the double-teams in the middle that free up others to make the plays.

    "It's what they ask me to do, it's what they want me to do, and I don't have a problem doing it," Carriker said. "It's a lot of double-teams, kind of the grunt work.

    "I like to hit people in the mouth, so that's good for me. As long as we're winning games, I'm totally awesome with that."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    Sounds good to me. Focus on our rookie DE and double team Carriker. You know what that leaves us. Leonard Little one on one.

    Hello MR. McNabb my name is Leonard!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    I actually doubt that they will leave Little one on one, so if Carriker is demanding the double team, that means that they'll have to keep a TE or back in to block Little. The reason I think this? Jon Runyan is a very good drive blocker, but is pretty bad in pass protection, so if they leave him one on one against a pro bowler, McNabb will be running for his life.

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    Re: Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    I'm thinking more Containment for our DE's in this game. Keep McNabb from getting to the outside and making his plays. Keep him in the pocket by the DE's and get the rush up the middle in his face. Blitz up the middle with Spoon and the DB's. If he has to move out of the pocket, the DE's will be waiting !!!!

    Clifton Ryan will have a monster day on Sunday !!!

    Maine -
    and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !

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    Re: Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    Teke, I don't think Little is going to own Runyan as much as you think. Long doesn't need a double team. I wouldn't worry too much about McNabb running either. Every time that's happened he's had a season ending injury.

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    Re: Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    That McNabb may be old but him running for his life scares me to. We need a spy on him at all times.
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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    Re: Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    Even though McNabb might be running for his life, he does insane things with the ball when he does. Just because he's old, don't count him out of his A Game.

    What I want to see is Clifton Ryan and Carriker in the starting line up. Ryan is better than Carriker at NT. Carriker is better than Glover at UT. So it would only make sense to keep those two in the middle. Have Carriker get the double team. This will free up one of the line men or the three line backers who are pretty good. I'm stoked to see this game.

    Go Rams

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    Re: Long Trys to Remain Calm Entering Debut

    "It's totally different. There's no comparison," Long said. "The more time you spend playing in this system, the less time you spend thinking, and there's a direct correlation.

    Once he gets the D down without thinking about what he needs to do watch out.
    :ramlogo:

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