ST. LOUIS — Forget that Carolina game from which he was ejected. St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long is a player to emulate. Really.
So says USA Football, which named Long to its All-Fundamentals Team, which "recognizes the NFL players who employ proper techniques," according to the organization’s website. USA Football honors 26 players — 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams. Long was the only Ram named to the team.
For USA Football, the idea is to use NFL players as role models to encourage kids to use proper technique — blocking, tackling, etc. — on the field, ultimately enhancing performance and promoting safety.
According to USA Football, with guidance from a five-person selection committee that included former players, coaches and general managers (Herm Edwards, Merril Hoge, Carl Peterson, Bill Polian and FOX Sports’ Charles Davis), Long employs tremendous technique. And the results are evident; he has started every game each of the last four seasons, producing no fewer than 8 1/2 sacks in each one.
As for that Week 7 ejection against the Panthers? Long took a swing at an opponent, admitting later he lost his cool in the heat of battle. So consider it an anomaly.