Travis Long talks to CF.C about new NFL gig

TRAVIS LONG

TRAVIS LONG has always been reluctant to give interviews - and particularly ever since he was sidelined at the end of last season with torn knee ligaments. But he spoke with CF.C on Thursday, and the ol' Coug covered a lot of ground.

After his agents recently made Long's availability known to NFL teams that had shown interest in him, he quickly found work in Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent.

"It's been pretty crazy; a lot going on," Long said by phone after Thursday's practice in Philadelphia. "I had a tryout with the (San Diego) Chargers on Friday, then I flew back to Spokane. On Saturday, the Eagles called me and said they wanted me to fly out Sunday so I could work out for them Monday."

The Spokane native worked out in the morning, passed a physical and signed his contract in the afternoon, then attended meetings that night. He studied the playbook all day Tuesday, when the Eagles did not practice, then hit the field Wednesday.

"I wasn't in there too much," Long said. "I was a little nervous because everything is so fast and I didn't have the playbook down."

LONG SAID HIS knee is now "100 percent" and causing him few problems.

"Honestly, it feels good," he said. "It's back to where it needs to be. When I'm out there running and stuff, I can't tell anything happened. Sometimes afterwards, it gets a little stiff."

The Eagles have switched from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 this year, just as WSU did last year, when Long moved from defensive end to BUCK linebacker. Long spent much of last season standing up as an outside linebacker, the position he is playing with the Eagles.

"It's my natural position," he said.

Long said he's "not really sure" how much influence new Philadephia coach Chip Kelly had in signing him, but he presumes the former Oregon coach put in a good word.

"He obviously knows what kind of player I am, going against me the last four years," Long said. "But I mean, there's a lot of guys I've got to compete against, and I've got to get this playbook down. There's still a lot I've got to do to make this roster."

Kelly was one of many rivals who complimented Long for his determined play during four tough seasons for the Cougars. Long turned down interview requests during his rehab process – first in Pullman, then in the Los Angeles area -- but he made it clear Thursday that he still regrets missing his final Apple Cup against Washington.

"It was really bad," he said. "Obviously, you never want to get hurt, especially at that point in the season, so it was really emotion. At the same time, I had to focus on trying to get that knee better as soon as possible."

NOTABLE:
  • Long started all 47 of Washington State's games – four straight years, without redshirting before he was forced to sit out last season's finale against Washington after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee the week before at Arizona State.

  • Long underwent surgery five days after the ASU game -- he only recently was cleared to resume full workouts.

  • Long's old Cougar teammate, tight end Andrei Lintz, has just signed with the Seattle Seahawks, his father old CF.C today.
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