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Chris Long talks defensive plan against, appreciation for Tom Brady

Ty Anderson
February 05, 2018 - 12:30 am

If there’s somebody that could have been the calming presence the Philly defense needed heading into Super Bowl LII against Tom Brady, it was ex-Patriot Chris Long.

Switching sides a year after being part of the defense that helped earn Brady and the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl championship with last year’s comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Long proved to be just that in a 41-33 victory for the Eagles.

“Just basically believe what you see, not what you hear,” Long told the NFL Network Gameday Live postgame show when asked what he told his Philadelphia teammates about their meeting with the experienced Patriots. “They’re a hell of a football team, they got the greatest coach of all time, greatest quarterback of all time. All we had to was beat ‘em once, and we had a pretty good football team over here.”

While the Eagles struggled to slow the 40-year-old Brady down, especially in the second half, it was with the Eagles protecting a five-point lead that they finally forced a turnover when Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady.

It was the exact situation Long hoped his defense would eventually lure Brady and the shorthanded Pats offense, who lost Brandin Cooks to a head injury in the first half, into.

“He’s so good at getting the ball out, and seven-man protecting, but he couldn’t do that all game,” Long said of their grind-it-out head-to-head with Brady. “He was slicing us up, but we knew that eventually — whether it was one possession or two possessions — they were going to have match up one-on-one with certain guys, and we got there.”

But as the game went final, and as confetti confirmed Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl victory, the 32-year-old Long made it point to find Brady in the postgame frenzy.

“I just came right up to him and I said, 'I never told you how much I appreciated you,’” Long said of his postgame meeting with Brady. “He’s given so many people rings.”

Tonight -- while hardly his fault on what finished as a 28-of-48 night for 505 yards and three touchdowns -- those people were on the Eagles. 

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