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Long announced his retirement over the weekend.
"On Saturday White Rob Gronkowski Jerseys , veteran defensive lineman Chris Long announced his retirement from the NFL after eleven seasons — one of which as a member of the New England Patriots. After the announcement, the 34-year-old joined NBC Sports’ Peter King to look back on his illustrious career, which he also spent with the then-St. Louis Rams (2008-2015) and the Philadelphia Eagles (2017-2018). Naturally, the Patriots were also mentioned quite a bit.“In New England, I learned so much about football,” Long told King about the team that signed him as a free agent after the Rams released him. “I always thought I was a smart player, even though I never thought about anything but the six inches in front of my face. In New England, I was forced to learn so many schematic concepts. In my career playing football, nobody asked me to do as much as Bill Belichick did.”Appearing in 19 games for the Patriots — among them the first three playoff contests of his career — Long became a core member of theteam’s defensive edge rotation for the 2016 season. His role, however, was not limited to one assignment. “I might be 3-technique, or a linebacker, or a linebacker dropping into coverage more than ever, or playing inside more than ever,” said Long about his usage under head coach Bill Belichick.“I’ll always remember how much I learned watching Bill in practice. He can coach any position as good as any position coach in league. He can walk around the field and stop drills and coach each position — at the highest level,” Long continued. His praise for the Patriots organization did not stop at its head coach Rob Gronkowski Jerseys 2019 , however, as the former second overall draft pick also spoke highly about the team’s players.“The quality of the dudes. Solid men. The right kind of people,” said Long before mentioning one person in particular: “Tom Brady blew me away. [He] is a normal guy. When I got there, here comes Tom. ‘Hey Chris, I’m Tom, nice to meet you.’ Well, yeah, I know you’re Tom. A lot of people want to hate him for all the success, and I understand how you can dislike the Patriots, but I cannot understand how you can dislike Tom.”Long also went on to speak about one of the biggest moments of his career: his first ever Super Bowl, which saw the Patriots famously come back from a 28-3 third quarter deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. “When we were way behind, I’m thinking, ‘I waited my whole life to be here, and this is a nightmare. This is the worst nightmare I have ever had,’” said Long about the game.“If we lost that night, I very possibly would have retired a bitter man. But winning it breathed life into me White Tom Brady Jerseys ,” continued Long, who left the Patriots after the 2016 season and with his first Super Bowl ring in hand. He continued his career with the Eagles for two seasons, winning another championship along the way (coincidentally against the team with which he earned his first the previous season).Long is headed off to retirement now, but it appears as if he will stay active no matter the endeavor ahead of him. “I am excited about the next phase of life,” he told King. “I’m launching a digital media company. I will have my own pod. I’m just excited about being able to control the narrative. I like to create. Maybe I’ll work at a network. Whatever I do, I’ll be me.” Considering that the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers play in different conferences, seeing them meet is a special occasion worthy of prime time consideration: tonight’s game will be played in front of a national audience. The same was the case eight years ago, the last time the Packers made the trip to Gillette Stadium. And even though quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed the game, it turned into a memorable one.The 11-2 Patriots entered their week 15 game against the 8-5 Packers as clear favorites not just because of Rodgers’ injury-related absence but also because New England dominated its opponents leading up to the game. Green Bay, meanwhile, was inconsistent even with Rodgers in the lineup and coming off an uninspiring 3-7 loss in Detroit. Early on, however, the two teams did not play the roles that have been expected before kickoff.After going up 7-3 on their first possession, Tom Brady and the New England offense had a hard time getting into a rhythm against a well-organized Packers defense. This allowed Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn to lead his team to a 17-7 advantage just outside of the two-minute warning. However, the 10-point lead was short-lived as the Packers’ third score of the day was immediately followed by the game’s signature play.With dangerous returner Brandon Tate lining up deep, Green Bay decided to squib kick to limit the impact of a potential return. The plan backfired Tom Brady Jerseys 2019 , as the football landed in the waiting arms of another able runner: starting right guard Dan Connolly. Serving as the Patriots’ up-man on the return team, the veteran fielded short kickoffs before. None of his first three was as spectacular as the fourth and final runback of his career, though:Connolly cleanly caught the football and was able to get to the perimeter thanks to some good blocking up front and some terrible execution by the Packers’ coverage team. Once through the first line of defense, the then 28-year old was able to show off his speed and technique of holding onto the football. When all was said and done — 13 seconds after he caught the pass — Connolly was tackled at the Green Bay 4-yard line.His 71-yard runback is not only the longest ever by an offensive lineman in NFL history, it also earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Most importantly, it set the Patriots up with some very good field position: three plays after his return, the team was able to get to the end zone and cut the deficit to three points. Furthermore, the runback shifted momentum to a Patriots team that was outmatched up to this point.Coming out of halftime down 17-14, New England was able to register a pick-six and take a 21-17 lead. While the Packers fought back and went up 27-21 early in the fourth period, the Patriots prevailed to win the game 31-27 — a victory that may not have been possible without Dan Connolly’s epic kickoff return. But while the win helped the team secure the number one playoff seed, Green Bay had the last laugh.New England was bounced from the playoffs in the divisional round, while the Packers with Rodgers back in the lineup won three straight postseason road games to reach and ultimately win Super Bowl XLV. Four years later, the Patriots and Connolly — by then the team’s starting left guard — found themselves on the top of the NFL mountaintop again. The most memorable moment of his career, however, remains his 71-yard return in 2010.

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