Howie Long never had a chance to play for his hometown team, but now that his son has signed with the Patriots, the Hall of Famer thinks it’s a perfect fit.
Howie went onto a long career with the Raiders and a berth in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but admits a certain thrill that his son Chris signed with the Patriots this offseason.
“It’s taken a lot longer than maybe I would have thought, but a Long in a Patriots uniform would look pretty good,” the elder Long said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “I’ve always felt like, in my mind, the way they play, prepare, and go about their business on a day-in, day-out basis, that Chris is a Patriots-type player.
“I think it’s a good marriage, I really do. It’s an exciting opportunity for Chris.”
Chris is 30, coming off injuries, and has spent a career playing for a franchise that hasn’t made an impact in the postseason. So the possibility of linking up with a coach such as Bill Belichick was something he couldn’t ignore, signing a one-year, $2.35 million deal.
“I know he could have gotten more money in other places,” Howie said of his son. “He probably would have been slotted right off the bat, but you go there for less money and you go there knowing you have to earn everything you get, and he’s excited about that opportunity with that one goal in mind — having the opportunity to be there at the end and playing relevant games and having a shot at a championship.
“As a former player, those are the games that mean something and for me, being part of a world championship team is special and something you never forget. …He hasn’t played in meaningful games [at the end of the year].”
Chris ought to have that chance this year, escaping a team that seems to strive for 8-8 for one that’s in the mix for a title practically every year.