Chris Long was on the Rich Eisen Show today and was refreshingly open and sincere on a couple of topics.
He started off with some praise for Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota before getting into a play last night where he didn't hit Mariota on a read-option play similar to a stiuation in the Ravens-Eagles game on Saturday where Ravens LB Terrell Suggs was flagged for a low on hit Eagles QB Sam Bradford:
Well, it's a judgment call. I mean for me, I looked at it, and at the last second I'm thinking he might be carrying out his fake, but seeing as I'm taking about five, six steps, there's kind of a gray area there. I know if it's a bang-bang play, you got to treat a quarterback like a runner if he is carrying out his fake, but when you get in a situation where you're far enough away, it can be a little bit of a judgment call so at the last second you kind of peel off to the side, try not to get a flag. If it's a bang-bang play and, you know, they run that read option, we're gonna treat that quarterback like a runner.
Long got into the preseason in more depth thereafter with some good back and forth with Rich Eisen on the value of getting the work in during game action, getting reps and balancing the need for that, which varies between players, with the threat of injuries.
I'm a guy who needs repetition. Maybe a guy like Robert Quinn who just rolls out of bed and he can play football, he might not need it. But a guy like me, I could use some reps.
Long then singled out OLB Alec Ogletree as his pick for the most improved player on the defense before getting into the potential for the team as a whole in 2015 and the struggles they've had to endure the last few years.
The whole thing's worth a listen, but it's also good to see his Waterboys Initiative get a good plug. If you haven't heard about it, Waterboys is Long's effort to improve the availability of clean water in eastern Africa with a goal for each NFL team to construct a solar-powered clean water well by year's end. Great charity and really cool to see a Ram harness some of the charitable power of the NFL for such a worthy cause.