Chris Long: A Hero On and Off the Field

At 10 years into his career, Chris Long has been an almost unstoppable force at defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, who are just coming off their victory at the 2018 Super Bowl. This is his first season with the franchise, but not his first season in the National Football League. Long is the son of former Raiders defensive great, Howie Long. He attended college at the University of Virginia for 3 years and received many awards and accolades while suiting up for the Cavaliers. From ACC Defensive Player of the year to First-team All-ACC in 2007.

In April 2008. Long was selected number 2 overall in the first round to the, then St. Louis Rams. Once drafted, the Rams coach Scott Linehan, named Long as a starter on defense. Of course, only being a rookie at the time, he passed up the opportunity of starting and wanted to earn it. Long went on to record his first sack on New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning. Come season end, he had started all 16 games at defensive end, had 4 total sacks, and was voted All-Rookie by the Pro Football Writers Association. He would go on to play for the Rams from 2008-2015.

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Chris Long playing for the St. Louis Rams.

After leaving the Rams, Long signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. During the 2016-17 season with the Patriots, he started 7 games, and played in all 16, becoming somewhat of a utility player switching from defensive end to linebacker. He collected 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and a fumble recovery throughout the season. Long would also help lead the team to the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots would go on to win Super Bowl LI. Completing a miraculous comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons
Long playing with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

In this past offseason, Long tested free agency and sought after a new team. He would eventually find a new home in the Philadelphia Eagles, signing a 2-year contract. During the 2017-18 season with the Eagles, Long was able to compile 28 tackles, 5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. He was also able to help lead the Eagles to Super Bowl LII, a second straight year for him. It would be played against non-other than his former team, just a year removed, the Patriots. The Eagles went on to win the big game this past Sunday night (Feb. 4) 41-33.

All of the awards, achievements, and 2 Super Bowls could not compare to what Chris Long has accomplished off the field during this past season. At 10 years into his career, Long decided that he would donate his entire year’s salary to charity. He chose to send his first 6 game checks to schools in Charlottesville, VA and his last 10 to the three cities that he has played to help improve educational equality. The three cities included St. Louis, Boston, and Philadelphia. He was set to make around $1 million, and through the Chris Long Foundation and a program called “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow,” Long found a way to give back.

Honestly, what a great guy!

 

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Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles this past season.

 

 

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