FanPost

In Defense of Jake Long

Now, I'll admit it immediately, I'm breaking my own personal code here of "always like the team more than any player", and while my blood will always be aqua and orange, if we let Long walk, I might lose a few orange blood cells. Let's start with the obvious, Long played a weak game against the Colts (even though Freeney had 2 obvious encroachment penalties that caused false starts), the man is an elite player adjusting to a new quarterback. Never forget that. I've watched numerous times this season where Tannehill would walk up to him in an audible, dial up new protection, and boom, we're left with Daniel "I'm big but hate blocking" Thomas stuck with a DE because Tannehill had Long move inside on a DT. Don't get me wrong, he has made mistakes this year that aren't acceptable given his reputation, But I'm going to have to use the Randy Moss defense on this one. Say what you want about it being because of Brady's throwing, but Moss's sudden resurgence was due to his personal talent, and suddenly the Patriots were way too close to surpassing the 72 Dolphins. Long is in a miniature slump that is magnified because we've been spoiled by his ability to shut down elite pass rushers like Tamba Hali, Jared Allen and whoever the hell the Jets claimed to be great during that particular game. In regards to the "Joe Thomas money" argument, Joe Thomas for damn sure didn't deserve that kind of money in the first place. While I'll give Thomas a slight edge in pass blocking, Long is by FAR a superior run blocker and a more mobile LT in general. I'm praying that Long will offer his services at a reasonable rate, but if we're willing to pay a wildcard like Paul Soliai (love him this season!) 6 million a year, why not invest in a guy that's been steady as stone since he's been drafted despite 1 mediocre season where he's still playing better than many left tackles in the league? If you don't believe me please watch extensive footage this year of Gaither from San Diego, Oher in Baltimore and D'Brickishaw "the weirdest name in the world" Ferguson for the... I don't even want to type THAT team's name. These guys are all regarded as at the very least above average and they've all had major struggles this year, including Gaither essentially losing a game for the Chargers. Now, this has easily gone on way too long, but let me make one more VERY important point, perhaps the most important of all. If anyone has ever played a team sport, there's always that one guy that a group of players looks at as a role model, a mentor, and a source of energy. Jake Long defines that role for our offensive line as not only their captain, but a captain for our entire team in general. THAT is something that is very hard to find. We tried to find one in Koa Misi, and look what he's done. He assaulted some guy (that, knowing my former peers probably totally deserved it) at my alma mater of UCSB (Still can't believe I didn't get to hang out with him that night) and he's produced mediocre stats for his draft position. Long is a rallying force that provides a will to win. If you think Jonathan Martin can step in and take that role (and leave us once again with a major vacancy at right tackle) you're sorely mistaken. In conclusion, we're paying a lot of money to guys that don't deserve it. I'm trying hard as hell to like Kevin Burnett, but he blows a major tackle each game like clockwork. I was happier than a Jets fan sucking Joe Namath's thang when we signed Karlos Dansby, but he hasn't lived up to his contract. I know Odrick is young and all, but I still can't help but dream of an O line featuring Long, Mike Pouncey at his natural position at LG, and Maurkice Pouncey at center. Incognito also clearly depends on Long. He clearly likes his nastiness in the trenches and he'd also probably become the next player to earn the nickname "The Glove" if Big Jake left for all the holding penalties he'd rack up. Our roster is solid. Bring back Long, Starks and Bush and we'll be one hell of a team. Plus, as a final thought, Hard Knocks proved that Long's wife is pretty damn cute


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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