I'd like to start this off by saying, whew- very happy we got this guy. I know Stag and Chiefsfan1970 have been saying it since training camp that he would be a Chief sooner or later and yes, you guys were right and I commend the both of you. But I had a feeling by the way this whole "connection" theory with all these signings went all offseason, you had to think Haley would jump on any WR that the Arizona Cardinals would let go. About a month ago when I watched that video on Lance Long, I said to myself, wow, it would be such a good thing to get a guy like this on our team...imagine what Todd Haley can turn this guy into. I said to myself...woah, the next Wes Welker?...
Now you can all say:
"Here we go with the Wes Welker comparison...why Wes Welker, he's in a class of his own and nobody should be compared to him!"
Ok, I agree, Wes Welker was definitely cut from a different cloth when it comes to WR's but it took him a few years to establish himself, as we all know and nothing came to him right away...but let's look at Wes' story. You'll be able to see that the position that Lance Long is in now, is a lot like Welkers when he came into the NFL.
1) Had great numbers at Texas Tech (259 receptions for 3,019 yards 21 TD's/79 rushes for 456 yards, 2 TD's) and possessed great hands and quick feet, but lacked the size and physical abilities the NFL looked for.
2) Went undrafted in the 2004 draft mostly due to his size (5-9, 185 pounds) and was a projected 7th round pick
3) Signed with San Diego as a free agent after the draft, and made the Chargers roster out of training camp, but was cut after the first week of the season and shortly after was signed by the Dolphins specifically for special teams...and I think we all know how it went from there.
Now let's compare this to Lance Long...
1) Lance Long didn't nearly have a college career like Welker, but that is not the reason he didn't get drafted, he possesses the same skill-sets as Welker and posted a faster 40 at his combine than Welker did in '04. Long ran a 4.38 at his pro-day, blowing Welkers 4.60 pro-day time out of hte water. He recorded 32 catches for 218 yards (6.8 AVG) at Mississippi state and in his bio they talk about how a lot of his catches were big plays in big spots of games. He was reliable, sure-handed, and quick on his feet.
2) Went undrafted, just like Welker...and mirrors the same physical attributes as Welker but is 2 inches taller (5-11, 185)
3) He was on the Cardinals practice squad for most of 2008 and dressed for the last few games of last season but didn't record a stat. He came back strong this year after working hard all offseason...he made it through training camp but was then released one week into the season...just like Welker. Then signed by the Kansas City Chiefs, to help in the special teams game and hopefully contribute as a WR...just like Welker.
Long hasn't established himself yet in the NFL like Welker has, but before Welker was Wes Welker, he was in the same shoes Lance Long is in. I feel like after watching that "on the fringe" video of him on NFL.com, I think you and me both can easily see this guy has a chip on his shoulder and wants to make a footprint in the NFL as soon as humanly possible. What better way to do it than in KC!
The thing that got me really excited and actually got me in the FanPost state of mind is an Arizona Cardinals blog from training camp I came across while trying to find some info on Lance.
These are some things the fans had to say...the first quote is the one that jumped out at me the most... :)
Hard to not like that kid. What worries me is that we'll cut him and he'll show up against us some day and prove that we should have kept him. I can't say that about everyone. Such is life in the NFL.
That's my concern as well. IF we don't put him on the roster this year, i think Lance will be grabbed by a team desperate for wide-outs like the Baltimore Ravens.
Lance has terrific speed. 4.38 in the 40, Great Hands and quickness. He could be lethal on quick screens or deep patterns from the slot position. If he were used in situational 4 wide packages ( some packages benefit receivers with Jeremy Urbans size ) But in certain situations, with The BIG TWO, Steve Breston and Lance Long. WOW ... That would be an EXTREMELY difficult cover for any team having to be that deep at corner or a SAFETY picking up Breston or Lance!!! That has BURN written all over it!!!
He looks for all the world like a poor mans, ( Though Lance is a bit bigger) version of Wes Welker. Just ask brady or Cassel what Welkers quick moves and sure hands on dump off routes across the middle have meant to the patriots. Lance is a very, VERY similar type of Player.
Know one thing, the way the defensive players and coaches are talking Lance up... We should get a REALLY goood Loooong ( pun intended) Look at Lance this Preseason!!
I really like this kid, great work ethic and very very quick. To tell ya the truth, i'd take him over J.Urban, i like Urban but i think Long would be a better fit between Breaston and Doucet
I really like Lance Long. He practically carried us in the second half against the Chargers...DONT LET HIM GO!
By the way, I just want to add that this acquisition makes me 10 times happier than the Bobby Wade signing. I'm sure a handful of you agree, but I just see a completely different and higher ceiling of talent for Long than I do Wade. We all know Todd Haley can groom him into something special, it's just gonna take some time. Just like it took Wes Welker some time. But anyway, just a few thoughts I wanted to share with you guys...I mean who knows, maybe he is the next Wes Welker...maybe he isn't. Either way, I'm happy he's a Chief.