New England Patriots EDGE Chris Long is experiencing the playoffs for the first time in his 9-year career. He has just one tackle over 47 snaps (34% of Patriots playoff snaps) as the fourth player in the edge defender rotation, but he’s not complaining. He’s just happy to be here after eight fruitless years with the Rams.
“The losing was tough,” Long said about his time in St. Louis. “I joke that every time I’m in the playoffs it feels like I’m in the Super Bowl. I’m one-for-one [reaching playoffs with the Patriots], so that’s a good rate.”
Long generated more pressure on the opposing quarterback than any other Patriots pass rusher this season and he collected 4 sacks. His 35 combined tackles this year is his best since 2013.
“This was why, this opportunity here that I’ve been lucky to be a part of is what I had in mind,” Long said. “We have so many selfless players, I’m a part of a really great organization and I’m very lucky.”
Long was a part of 33 wins with the Rams over eight seasons, and he already has 16 wins as a member of the Patriots. With a win on Sunday, Long will have increased his career win total by more than 50% with just one year in New England. Long has learned a lot about winning in his short time with the Patriots.
“I think it’s approaching every day like it’s the most important day of the season,” Long said about his lessons in New England. “That certainly made this week a lot easier from a pressure standpoint. Myself not having been here, but so many guys that have done this so many times, just the opportunity every week to see how they prepare, how we prepare. It makes this week a little bit easier because we’ve done this over and over again.”
Long also noted that the high degree of “accountability” that head coach Bill Belichick holds every player to is a major factor in the team’s consistent output on an annual basis.
The Patriots have long-represented the favored landing spot of veterans looking to win a ring, or reach the playoffs, and Long is no exception. He is one win away from achieving a career-long goal and could inspire another wave of veterans clamoring to sign with the Patriots for 2017.
Side note, Long admit at media day that he doesn’t like Remember the Titans and that he didn’t watch Friday Night Lights. I feel like this needs to be rectified ASAP.