Chris Long, the St. Louis Rams' former number-two overall pick who has heretofore been most famous for being GM pitchman and - who knew? - former NFL great Howie Long's son, was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week Wednesday for his two-sack performance against the San Diego Chargers.â†µ
Long was actually one of three Rams with two sacks, but the accolade comes, I think, both as a reminder of his long-term potential as well as a show of relief that he's actually demonstrating it. Last year Long's five sacks were second on the team, behind Leonard Little; this year he's got 2.5.
It'll take a few more two-sack games, of course, before the list of all the players taken after Long in the 2008 draft - Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Chris Johnson among them - stops being a rebuke, even though the list of defensive busts taken directly behind Long is already a reminder that things could have gone much worse.