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Thread: Chris Long in the Gator Bowl?
-01-03-2008 #17Registered User
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Re: Chris Long in the Gator Bowl?
I'm a UVa fan, so I figured I'd share a few thoughts. We've had some pretty decent DEs over the years, including Patrick Kerney who was leading the league in sacks until Jared Allen passed him on Sunday, and I'm pretty confident that Chris will be every bit as good as Pat and eventually top out at a higher level. Chris played for a small private school in high school and the transition to college football was a little steep at first, but the amount he's improved each and every year is staggering and I firmly believe as dominant as he has been this year (and trust me, he has been dominant), he'll find a way to keep improving. He's got the drive and he's got the talent. Not to mention, he's a great dude, very respectful, and a natural leader.
As for yesterdays game, as Possum Boy pointed out, Mike Leach's scheme is very good at preventing QB pressures and sacks, yet UVa managed to get pretty constant pressure all game long, which accounts for the 3 sacks and 2 intentional grounding safeties. And it's a damn good thing we were getting pressure, as we have one of the worst secondaries around. Chris was double-teamed pretty much the whole game, which is par for the course (although more than a few times this year he's faced triple-teams), and the attention to him allowed some of our lesser (though also talented---Fitzgerald is ranked as one of the top DE for 2009) players to pressure Harrell. Still, he finished the game with 5 tackles, several qb hurries, 3 batted balls, and one sure thing sack, except for the fact that he thought Harrell had thrown the ball and didn't want to be called for a personal foul. Comically, as he was pulling off Harrell, Texas Tech's left tackle grabbed his jersey from behind in what might be the most blatant holding I've ever seen. (though a heady play at the same time)
Playing DE in a 3-4, you simply aren't meant to compile the glamor stats, yet I believe Chris finished 3rd in the country in sacks this year. He's excellent against the run as well.
If you draft him, you'd be getting a talented guy, who goes hard every single play and gets better as the game goes on. At the minimum, I think it'd be a pretty low risk pick as he won't be a bust, at the maximum, I believe he has the potential to be a superstar.
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