Howie Long...

Angry Pope

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Dominating Force

July 29, 2006


As legendary Raiders head coach John Madden prepares to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, August 5th, we present a look back at the 16 proud members of the Silver and Black who have previously earned such distinction. We continue with Raiders defensive lineman Howie Long, who was enshrined in 2000.

Howie Long was a dominating force along the Raiders defensive line for 13 years. His grit and determination, along with his physical skills, enabled him to win many battles in the trenches and had to be accounted for by opposing offenses on every play.

Long was a second round pick of the Raiders in the 1981 NFL Draft. A four-year letterman at Villanova, Long was the MVP in the 1980 Blue-Gray Game. Long joined the Raiders the year after their Super Bowl XV win and later he helped them win another Super Bowl, as they defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.

Long was a first or second-team All-Pro choice in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1989 and was also named All-AFC four times. In 1985, Long accounted for 10 sacks, with at least one in eight games and was selected as Raider Lineman's Club Defensive Lineman of the Year by his teammates. Although he missed much of the 1988 season due to injury, he still managed to record three sacks and intercept the first pass of his career, which he returned 73 yards in a game against the Houston Oilers.

During Long's 13-year career, he recorded 84 career sacks, not including 7.5 sacks in 1981 before the sack was an official NFL statistic. His five-tackle performance in Super Bowl XVIII, capped off a season where he had a career-high 13 sacks.

Long was a fearsome force on the Raiders defensive line. His signature defensive move was the "rip," which employed a quick, uppercut-like motion designed to break an opposing blocker's grip. His quickness and strength earned him eight Pro Bowl appearances.

In 1993 Long retired from the NFL and was made a member of the NFL's All-Decade team of the 1980s. On July 29, 2000 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame making him the 11th Raider player to be so honored.
 
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