Chris Long believes the 2016 Patriots were the “toughest team of all time.” (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)
Chris Long believes the 2016-17 Patriots were the “toughest team of all time.”
The veteran defensive end, a guest on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, said this year’s New England team proved its bonafides in that department with the 25-point comeback in Super Bowl LI.
“I really do think I just played on the toughest team of all time,” he said.
“The guys in that locker room, like, literally did not flinch,” Long said of the sizable deficit the Patriots faced at halftime. “I knew I was like, I’m a human being, I was like, ‘Golly, like I got some doubts right now. We’ve got to play way better in the second half.’
“Duron Harmon, who’s a safety for us, walked in and goes, ‘We’re about to make the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.’ I was like, ‘Dude, can we get a stop? Can we just like do one good thing? Maybe put one foot in front of the other?’”
The 31-year-old Long, who had never made the playoffs prior to arriving in New England prior to the 2016 season, said he had to operate on some level of faith.
“But like if it wasn’t for guys like Duron who had no doubt … I’m not used to this winning thing. Maybe to guys that have been around there for a while, they’re like, ‘Well, [expletive] will just work out. You know?’ I didn’t have that instinct, for whatever reason.
“But yeah, it wasn’t like a big speech. We just went back out and did it.”
Long said there were a lot of things that went into the comeback, but in the end, it’s about coaching.
“Bill [Belichick] does a great job of throwing curveballs at us. He did all year. Everything he does is by design,” he said. “I do think he’s the greatest coach of all time.”
“Any curveball you get on Super Bowl Sunday, you might think the hill is too steep. But guys were just conditioned to be able to go out there, hit the curveball, keep rolling. We got a break or two, that’s all it took, and then you can feel once you get that break or two, the momentum it turns into like, ‘Oh [expletive]’ on the other sideline.
“And on our sideline, we’re trying to go win a football game. You know what I mean? It turned fast. But I do think it’s because we’re mentally very tough.”
Long also added that he’s not retiring.
“I’m not retiring,” Long said. “But I don’t know what I’m doing.”
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