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Patience with Chris Long

Rams fans, myself included have been impatient with number 2 overall selection in the 2008 draft, defensive end Chris Long.  However, with the recent trade of Gaines Adams to the Chicago Bears, the prospect of developing sack-heavy defensive ends has come into focus.  Gaines Adams is a similar comparison to Chris Long as he was a highly touted defensive end coming out of college that was drafted in the top 3 of the draft.  Adams was drafted in the 2007 draft.  Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders writes about this prospect in the Washington Post’s “Smarter Stats” feature.

And of those sack leaders, only six put up 10 or more sacks in their third season. Strahan, who holds the current NFL record for sacks in a season with 22.5 in 2001, didn’t reach double digits until his fifth season. It takes more time for professional defensive ends to develop because the blocking schemes are far more varied and sophisticated, and the offensive linemen are generally much better than the ones those ends faced in college game after game. Before labeling Adams a failure, it’s best to exercise patience — after all, only one member of the 2007 defensive class, Michigan’s LaMarr Woodley, has put up more than 10 sacks in an NFL season — 11.5 for the 2008 Steelers.

One could very easily replace Adams with Long in this comparison.  The other defensive ends drafted in the top of the first round in 2008 were Vernon Gholston, who plays linebacker in the 3-4 defense now (0 sacks) and Derrick Harvey (3.5 sacks).

Chris Long is highly touted and highly paid and doesn’t have a sack yet in 2009, but as Farrar says, “its best to exercise patience.”


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One Response to “Patience with Chris Long”

  1. SMiLEZ_237 says:

    WHAT WOULD OF HAPPEND IF THE RAMS WOULD HAVE TAKEN MATT RYAN INSTEAD.?.

    (DONT GET ME WRONG IM A BIG CHRIS LONG FAN ONE OF MY FAVORITE RAMS PLAYERS)

    RAMS #1!!! GET THE FIRST VICTORY SUNDAY!!!

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