Chris Long is the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long. In spite of the fact that he began he career in his father’s shadow, he has more than carved out a strong career for himself. While he has never been decorated with individual on-field accolades, he has carved out a long and successful career that is heading into its 12th season. You don’t stick around that long without making people want you around.
Originally the second-overall pick by the St. Louis Rams all the way back in 2008, Long spent his first eight years there before he signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. He served his time there, won a Super Bowl, and then found a new home with the Philadelphia Eagles, following which he…beat the Patriots in another Super Bowl.
Beyond that, he is also highly respected all around the league for the simple fact that he is a stand-up guy. He was honored as the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2018 as a testament to that fact. I say all of this as a way of qualifying that his opinion is held by others as both credible and valuable.
And he vouched for former teammate Mark Barron unsolicited yesterday, replying to a Tweet made by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ left guard, Ramon Foster. In noting that he spent time after his introductory press conference shaking the hands of all the media, Foster joked that Barron’s “coming for the Chief award year one”. The Chief Award is given out by the local media for outstanding relationship with the press.
“You are going to like Mark, btw”, Long wrote in response to Foster’s Tweet, who responded back, “coming from you I know he’s solid then”. He also shared a recollection of a 2015 game in St. Louis in which the turf field literally caught on fire. “That was peak St. Louis Rams”, Long quipped back.
You are going to like Mark, btw.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 19, 2019
Barron was on the field that day for the Rams. It was his second with the team and the final in which he would be teammates with Long, but he obviously made a positive impression on the well-respected veteran.
Barron, who will turn 30 in late October, was a first-round draft pick, seventh overall, in the 2012 NFL Draft, where he started at safety. He eventually transitioned to linebacker after he was traded to the Rams from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and appears to have been signed by the Steelers to continue in that role.
While they obviously brought him in because of his football abilities, this is an offseason in which character is also a big deal, both in public and in the locker room. So I’m all for adding a guy that everybody is going to like into that dynamic after getting rid of a couple of players who generated negative headlines. This latest round of free agents doesn’t even seem to use social media too much, fortunately.