It's been quite a year for Chris Long. He signed with the Eagles after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots and has earned a significant amount of playing time and recorded five sacks and four forced fumbles in the defensive line rotation. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to fund scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, and he even got a shoutout from President Obama for his charity work (see story).
This week Long spent "5 Minutes with Roob."
Roob: Hey, we're joined today by Eagles defensive end Chris Long. Hey, Chris! What's this year been like for you?
Long: I really like the city, I like the fans, obviously came here because it fit me scheme-wise, and I’ve been enjoying being a part of a really good football team that hopefully is going to play here for a while.
Roob: You won 37 games in eight years with the Rams, and you've won 27 games the last two years with the Patriots and Eagles. How sweet is it to finally be part of a couple winning teams?
Long: It certainly helps. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make the eight years any shorter from that standpoint, but I think everything happens for a reason and it makes me value this winning a lot more. So just appreciate what it’s taken to get here personally and it makes everything worth even more.
Roob: You've put up solid numbers in your 10th season at 32 years old. How do you feel like you've played?
Long: I’m excited to be a part of this defense. I expected more out of myself maybe as far as statistically. I was shooting for more. A couple plays here and there that if I make those plays or if there aren’t penalties, we’re talking about even more. But at the end of the day, I’d say you come into a situation like this — new city, new coaching staff, nobody’s going to expect much out of you at 32 years old. People put labels on you and I just tried to play my way out of that.
Roob: Where do you feel like you guys are right now, a few weeks after you lost Carson Wentz for the season?
Long: Nick (Foles) came in in L.A. against a tough defense and was able to help secure the win and the next week really carried us in New York when we weren’t at our best defensively. Gave us an opportunity to win that game by putting up big numbers. We played really well on defense last week. Maybe the offense wasn’t at its best, but we created some turnovers and that’s what a team is, we pick each other up. It can change from week to week. We want to put that together and play our best game on both sides of the ball this week and going forward.
Roob: What do you like best about this team?
Long: I think personalities. Unselfishness. I do think Doug (Pederson) does a great job of keeping everybody resilient and even-keeled and I think that shows in the locker room. There’s never panic among players. I think we’re just a level-headed group and unselfish and come to work.
Roob: How much longer do you want to play?
Long: I take everything year to year. Honestly, it’s all about the situation. Do I think it’s worth it to play, and I’m not talking about money, I’m just talking about just enjoying myself and playing football the way I want to. My body feels great and I feel like, God willing, I could go another four sometimes, but you’ve got to take things year to year.
Roob: You've gotten a lot of publicity for donating your salary to charity and the charity work you've done. What does that mean to you?
Long: Most of my career I’ve tried to do things under the radar in the community. I always thought it was more important if you didn’t publicize it, but I learned a valuable lesson when I formed my own foundation and my Waterboys Initiative that you need to publicize things and get people involved, and through that power, we’ve been able to raise over $2 million for clean water. That doesn’t include my own money and as far as my Pledge 10 for Tomorrow Initiative that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, I’ve donated my salary, which isn’t a ton of money, but at the end of the day I’ve been pretty much able to double that with fan support, and without doing that stuff publicly I can’t get a return on my investment in those causes. We’ve got a lot of great fans in the NFL and a lot of great peers in the NFL that care deeply about causes and if we all pitch in together that’s the power of sports.