Aug 30, 2012; Provo, UT, USA; Washington State Cougars linebacker Travis Long (89) during warm-ups before a game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The legacy of Travis Long will indeed live on in the NFL, at least for a little bit as the Philadelphia Eagles signed him on Wednesday to compete at linebacker.
When I went over Long’s fit with the Eagles before the NFL draft, it seemed to me like he was a long shot at very best to make the squad if they somehow picked him up, but oddly, today it doesn’t at all look that way anymore. Maybe it’s the prejudice side of me, but the fact is that right at this moment there are a total of only eight linebackers in Philly’s preseason camp (including T.L.) and they obviously needed a guy to come in and compete for a spot right away.
Long is now that guy and new head coach Chip Kelly knows him well, having coached against him as the most explosive defensive threat to his Oregon Ducks team for four seasons in college ball.
Long came in confident that he’s “100 percent” healthy and ready to go from his knee tear (I never remember ACL vs MCL injuries) that he suffered a mere week before the only game that meant anything in a 3-9 season a year ago. However he also noted that he is just now trying to get back to football shape and that his knee still stiffens up after not moving around for a while, so it sounds like he’s maybe more likely 90-95% with total confidence in his abilities to do things like cut and break down. The tear was his only major injury to this point in his career.
Gotta be excited for Long that he’s been able to battle back and earn himself a shot at the league after a devastating injury that late in his college career. Being that he was on the fence as a mid to late round pick anyway before the injury, it’s pretty awesome that he’ll get the opportunity (though we really did figure he would).
Long talked to reporters for a few minutes after his first Eagles practice. He told them that he played outside linebacker in high school and of course his final year at WSU, that it is more his natural position and that he is excited to get a shot there in Philly, among other things. For the entire interview CLICK HERE