Yesterday the Kansas City Chiefs signed former Arizona Cardinals WR Lance Long to their practice squad. This move usually isn't met with much excitement from a lot of the fanbase but, you read Arrowhead Pride, so you've been hearing about Lance Long for a few weeks now.
I asked Charles Golden at Revenge of the Birds about the Chiefs new receiver.
He described him a fan favorite and someone who drew some praise during training camp but never put it together for the games. He was a long shot, anyway, but he didn't do much on the field to distinguish himself.
Bobby Sippio, anyone?
I'm not knockin' on Long here. After reading what Charles had to say about Long, let's just say I'm tempering my excitement for a little while. This is a view from someone who's followed his training camp and preseason.
Charles also passed along that Todd Haley brought a few receivers with him from Dallas when he landed in Arizona and not many (if any) panned out.
The full statement from Revenge of the Birds after the jump.
Well from the time Lance Long stepped on the practice field as an undrafted free agent, he's been a fan favorite.
He had an amazing camp last year and had a pretty decent camp this year but a somewhat disapointing preseason still left him as a question mark for the roster. With injuries to three of the team's top six wide receivers, Long played quite a bit towards the end of the preseason but honestly wasn't very productive (playing time went up, production went down). It's quite possible that he simply isn't ready to play against true NFL-caliber defenders but the most surprising thing was his hands.
Throughout both training camps so far, everything we heard/read had raved about his ability to catch anything and everything thrown in his direction, but his last two preseason games and the regular season opener were marred with drops. Against the Niners last week he was thrown one pass, on a third and two no less, and he just flat out dropped it. Maybe it was nerves or maybe it was just an isolated pass that got away from him, but either way I don't think this move surprised many Cardinals fans.
The team looks to be getting healthy at wide receiver and, while Long is a great story and by all accounts a heck of a guy, he doesn't look ready to contribute at the NFL level.
As far as Long's future, I'd say it's still very much up in the air. He's obviously a small shifty receiver who will draw comparisons to Wes Welker or Wayne Chrebet but he's not really fast and you've got to wonder why he was never able to put up any numbers at the college level.
He did at least display the ability to field a kickoff and/or punt during the preseason and had a kickoff return go for 46 yards, so he has some value on special teams although I wouldn't consider him a real threat.
Overall, I think Lance Long is the perfect kind of guy to have on the practice squad right now because he does have the potential to become an adequate NFL player although I wouldn't expect him to accomplish that anytime this season. I could see him potential ceiling as a 3rd wide receiver and backup returner.
Off the record, I think Haley has some affinity towards bring wide receivers with him wherever he goes. He brought over several former Cowboy's receivers when he came to the Cards and they were all talked up like big time potential guys but not a single one of them ever so much as sniffed the active roster.