St. Louis Rams Defensive End Chris Long
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
In 2011, you had an incredible game against
Charles Brown at right tackle. How better of a player are you two years later?
“In some areas I am probably not that much better and then in some areas I’ve improved a lot. I think I’ve worked on just trying to work on the little things in my game. I feel like I had the potential to have a big day rushing the passer especially when we had a lead like that. Things were just clicking that day, but it does seem like a long time ago. I’ve gotten a lot smarter as a player. Pass rush wise, I have to believe that I am a little bit better but I don’t think I am getting any faster or quicker. It is kind of a double edge sword there. I know Charles (Brown) is on the other side and he is going to be trying to block Rob (Quinn), which is a really tough challenge I know. Charles is a good player too.”
It’s difficult to get Drew (Brees) under normal conditions, was getting the lead on that day, was that crucial to you guys and turning them into a one dimensional offense?
“Absolutely, back in 2011 we didn’t have many leads. I would say that was just the day it just came together for us and for whatever reason it was against a really good team. Once we got rolling that day and we did force Drew (Brees) to be a little more one dimensional. We had a pretty good defensive line when it came to rushing the passer back then. It just kind of came together for us. As it is always the case, you have to stop the run even though it is such a passing league, we respect the Saints’ ability to run the ball really greatly. I think that gets overlooked a lot because you know who makes their offense go and that have so many weapons, but you can’t forget that three of their best weapons come out of their backfield as well. I know their offense is able to be smashmouth with their scheme and their personnel.”
How difficult is this offensive line and getting to
“Well Drew (Brees) does a good job of moving in the pocket. He might not be the fastest guy in the world but he has adequate speed. What he has is a really good understanding of just trying to move a little more subtlety in the pocket, not looking to run, but to avoid the rush. Their offensive line is a good great. They are really solid and they play the run as well as they do the pass. That is going to be a big challenge and I know their guards get a lot of praise, but their tackles I think do a pretty good job too. Charles (Brown) has done a nice job stepping in at that left side and my guy has been there a while. (Zach) Strief has been there a while. I can remember watching tape of him throughout my career but I haven’t played him yet or maybe I played him in 2010. It seems like a half a decade ago, which it almost was. He has been there forever. They are a good group and when you have a quarterback like that it makes everyone around you better.”
How much of a challenge is it when an offense has so many weapons? Are they one of the most challenging offenses in the NFL?
“Yeah definitely. I think that
Jimmy Graham has emerged into one of those dangerous super stars in the league when it comes to beating you. In one play he can just destroy what you’re doing. You could be having a good game and he can take a shot to Jimmy Graham especially in the middle of the red zone. He is such a weapon for them. You just talk about the difference of seven points and three points when teams get in the red zone is huge. To have a guy like that is big for them. Anybody can beat you. You have (Marques) Colston and you know (Kenny) Stills is a deep threat. And then (Darren) Sproles out of the backfield I think is as dangerous as anybody because of the trouble he can pose for people in the matchup issues is well documented. It is tough. It is a real all-star cast.”
What were your thoughts when Rob Ryan was announced to be hired and then him leaving five days later?
“I know he was in and out. That stuff is kind of all over my head. He obviously is a really good coach and he has done a really nice job there. Over the 48 hour period or however long he was here, I didn’t get a chance to meet him or see him so it is not like we had any sort of real bond. He is a good coach and it’s a funny business and you never know what happens but I kind of stay out of that.”