Chris Long

Gunn on One: Chris Long sees a little Tom Brady in Carson Wentz

Gunn on One: Chris Long sees a little Tom Brady in Carson Wentz

In this week's "Gunn-on-One," which you can see Sunday on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Eagles Pregame Live, Derrick Gunn chats with defensive end Chris Long.

Long is looking forward to facing the Rams, who drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2008, and says he sees a little Tom Brady in Carson Wentz.

Gunn: You played your first eight years in the NFL with the Rams. They've relocated, but you still know guys on that team. How much are you looking forward to playing them?

Long: No. 1, they're a really good football team. As I watch those guys, when I'm not preparing to play them, I am very happy for them, having known a lot of them [from] going through some of the losing we went through. I am happy for those guys that they are getting a taste of winning. Guys like Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn, really great players that maybe never got their due and now they are. They're in this situation and it's not an accident. We're similar teams, exciting to watch and disruptive on the defensive side of the ball. It's going to be a great matchup and a lot of fun.

Gunn: You were with Tom Brady last year and now Carson Wentz. Do you see similarities in their preparation and dedication to the game?

Long: I'm always hesitant to compare players, but as far as the way they go about work every day and details, that's a prerequisite for a great quarterback. Carson certainly has an opportunity to be great and he's been great this year. Having worked with Tom, you see the work ethic and I certainly see that with Carson this year. Both of those guys are unselfish. They treat their teammates great and they're not bigger than the team.

Gunn: Give me your assessment of Jared Goff, who has really flourished under Sean McVay.

Long: Having played him last year, when the Rams came to New England, I thought he was actually very tough. I know he has that Southern California thing going, but he's a tough kid. He will stand in there and obviously, what a difference a year makes. Coach McVay has done a great job with him and he's getting everybody involved.

Long also added he feels old when he thinks about how he's older than the Rams' head coach — Long is 32 and McVay is 31. My extended Gunn-on-One with Long comes your way Sunday at 3 p.m. on Eagles Pregame Live.

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Chris Long facing former team; Fletcher Cox's hidden talent

usa-fletcher-cox-chris-long.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Chris Long facing former team; Fletcher Cox's hidden talent

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Comedian Lewis Black has a joke based around once overhearing a young woman say, "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college." 

This quote from Chris Long is a little easier to understand: 

"If I never got cut, I wouldn't have a Super Bowl ring."

Before the Rams moved back to Los Angeles, Long was a member of the team for the first eight years of his career. The Rams took him with the second overall pick in 2008. He played 114 games and had 54½ sacks with them. 

But in 2015, Long was hampered by a lingering knee injury and was cut after the season. He was then signed by the Patriots in 2016 and went on to win a Super Bowl. 

So things worked out pretty well. 

That's probably part of the reason Long doesn't have any hard feelings toward the Rams, who he'll see this weekend in their new temporary home at the LA Coliseum. 

"If I didn't play like crap, I wouldn't have got cut. If I didn't get hurt, I wouldn't have played like crap," he said. 

Playing the Rams this season isn't a big deal for Long because he already faced them with the Patriots last season. The Pats won that game 26-10 and Long picked up a sack. 

But the Rams team he'll see on Sunday is much different than the version that went 4-12 in 2016. These Rams are 9-3 and are atop their division with four games left to play. 

Long's teams in St. Louis never had the type of success the Rams are having this year. During his eight seasons there, the best finish the Rams had was 7-9. 

But he's not surprised about the turnaround. 

"Yeah, I could see this coming," he said. "Took a while for guys that were there, but Coach (Sean) McVay had done a great job and there were always some pieces here and there and the defense is playing well, as well. To me, I'm not surprised they're playing well. There's a lot of good people in that locker room and good football players."

Bull's-eye 
Last year, long-snapper Jon Dorenbos became a television sensation with his magic act. Maybe it's Fletcher Cox's turn. 

The Eagles' defensive tackle will be on an hour-long CBS special called "MVP: Most Valuable Performer" on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 9-10 p.m. 

It's basically a giant talent competition for 32 NFL players. Cox's talent is archery. 

Cox, 26, is an avid hunter but didn't start shooting a bow until about four years ago. 

For his performance on the show, Cox isn't exactly sure what he'll be shooting at ... likely some kind of target. Although, he said one of those fake deer would be too easy. 

"Depends," Cox said. "Whatever I decide to come up with, it's going to be good. You'll see, man. I can't tell my secrets."

Cox is one of three contestants planning to showcase their archery skills, along with Packers kicker Mason Crosby and former Eagles DT and Cox's friend, Bennie Logan. 

Among some of the more interesting talents, the Ravens' Alex Collins will be performing an Irish Step Dance, Broncos' Corey Nelson will be reciting poetry and Patriots' Joe Thuney will be solving a Rubik's Cube. 

Does Cox like his chances? 

"I don't talk about losing," he said. "I only talk about winning."

Where am I? 
By the end of this week, Eagles practice squad center Jon Toth will have spent more time at Angel Stadium in Anaheim than he has at the NovaCare Complex in Philly. 

It's been quite a week. 

Toth, a rookie center from Kentucky, was signed to the Eagles' practice squad on Friday but had just three days in his new city before hopping on a flight with his practice squad teammates to meet the Eagles' active roster in Los Angeles. 

"It's been a bit of a change, for sure. Definitely," he said. "It's a good change, though."

Toth was at two rookie minicamps this spring, with the Jets and Rams, before undergoing surgery for a herniated disc. From then, Toth was back home in Indianapolis while he rehabbed.  

He said he wasn't too worried about if teams would have interest. Apparently, plenty of teams did before. He was just worried about getting healthy and continuing his career. 

It just so happened he signed with a team that was about to take a West Coast trip. 

"It's tough but it is what it is," Toth said. "It's a great organization and these guys are very welcoming. They're determined. I'm going to try my best to get to know guys but not be too distracting and let guys go about their jobs and do what they have to do to get a win." 

Quote of the Week I: "Glad he's letting me rent it for the week." — Nigel Bradham on using Mike Trout's locker at Angel Stadium

Quote of the Week II: "I don't have to play next year, but I'm leaning towards coming back. I can't end like this." — Darren Sproles

Quote of the Week III: "We need to get one of them back at our place!" — Najee Goode when he saw the disco ball hanging in the Angels' clubhouse 

Random media guide note: Mychal Kendricks' first job was working concessions for several local semi-pro teams in California. 

Southern California feeling just like home for Eagles

Southern California feeling just like home for Eagles

ANAHEIM, Calif. — For Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor and defensive end Chris Long, their game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday represents a sort of homecoming. For the rest of the team, Angel Stadium represents a pretty good facsimile of the trappings of home.

The Eagles held their first practice at the Big A on Wednesday (see story), preparing for the showdown against a fellow NFC division leader, and were surprised how similar it was to their NovaCare complex back in Philadelphia. 

“They did a great job of throwing this thing together. This is unorthodox, but it’s worked out pretty well,” Long said.

“We just made it into the NovaCare the best way we can,” linebacker Nigel Bradham said. “That’s what makes it even more interesting, just by bringing what we have and making it like a home.”

It did take some time to adjust to the grass of a baseball diamond. Safety Rodney McLeod said the field was a bit slippery at first, but everyone quickly settled in, especially to a locker room with more space and trappings than are typically associated with football. 

“Oh man, it’s nice,” McLeod said. “This is probably my first time inside a baseball locker room and pretty impressed. Those guys live a nice lifestyle so I appreciate them lending us their locker room.”       

Each locker had a bobblehead of Angels outfielder Mike Trout in it as a welcome gift, but Bradham gets to use the slugger’s space for the week (see story). Mychal Kendricks received the adjacent locker, where Trout usually stores extra items such as signed jerseys from visiting players and his clothes.

“I just grabbed a locker for the week,” Bradham said. “But that is nice though, to be able to have a guy of that caliber and share the same locker as him. Glad he's letting me rent it for the week.“

Bradham was even more pleased he got a hotel room all to himself. He had to put up with a roommate last season as solo stays are granted only to players with at least six years experience. There are no such issues this time around, but he does view the extended stay as a valuable chance to continue to refine team rapport for the stretch run. 

“You get used to being able to be on schedule, not be jet-lagged, I think that’s the advantage,” Bradham said. “Spend time with the boys and build that chemistry, to continue to build it, and study, that’s the main thing. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to get a win.”

Winning is something Agholor did plenty during his three seasons in college at USC, and he is looking forward to being back in the Coliseum as he continues a breakout campaign. Agholor has set career highs with 40 receptions for 599 yards and seven touchdowns, looking more like the star he was with the Trojans. 

Agholor had 12 receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown in his last game at the Coliseum, a 49-14 win over Notre Dame in 2014. His favorite moment there, however, was in his first game in the stadium that hosted the first Super Bowl.

Marqise Lee had a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown in the third quarter of a 49-10 win over Hawaii in 2012, with Agholor serving as the lead blocker coming out of the end zone.

“I got to chip a guy, then I chipped the kicker,” Agholor said. “You would have thought I returned the kickoff return, that’s how hyped I was. That was my earliest and one of the memories that lasts the most.”     

Long’s earliest memories of the Coliseum are a bit fuzzier, a young boy when his father Howie was wreaking havoc for the then-Los Angeles Raiders.

Still, Long is excited to have a chance to play in the Coliseum. The venue opened in 1923, which technically makes it the oldest stadium in the NFL while hosting the Rams until their new home in Inglewood, California, is completed in 2020. Chicago’s Soldier Field opened one year after the Coliseum in 1924.  

“Definitely even if my dad didn’t play there some, I would appreciate the history of it,” Long said. “I love playing in these old stadiums. There’s only a few left, so it’s going to be a great experience and I’m sure a couple memories will come back.”