By Mary Cunningham
Eagles defensive end Chris Long played the entire 2017 Super Bowl season without a salary.
That is, he received one but he donated all of it to worthwhile causes in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va., and in Philly.
And now he has become the first Eagle selected as the 2018 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America, given to an NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. The award has been presented annually by the PFWA since 2005.
Long was nominated for his availability to local and national writers on a consistent basis and his offering of thoughtful answers on a variety of topics, both on and off the field.
“Chris Long was honest, thoughtful, and available to reporters throughout the season. He understood the value of his platform and the power of his words, and he used both to discuss a wide range of topics,” said Zach Berman, who covers the Eagles for the Inky. “Whether it was the Eagles’ defense, the team’s underdog status, the unrest in Charlottesville, his philanthropic endeavors, or his involvement in and support of social justice issues, Long’s insight and perspective were appreciated during his first year in Philadelphia.”
Long led the Eagles with four forced fumbles and was second on the team with 38 quarterback pressures/hits in the regular season.
In the playoffs, the 10th-year veteran tied for the team lead with 13 total QB pressures/hits and recorded eight of those in the NFC Championship Game vs. Minnesota, including one that forced a Vikings interception. He also recovered a red zone fumble to stop a Minnesota drive in the second quarter as the Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl.
With the Eagles’ victory over New England in Super Bowl 52, Long became one of just four players in NFL history to appear in back-to-back Super Bowls on different teams and win both.