Morning Ram-blings: A Long family affair

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Much has been made and will be made this week of the meeting of the Long brothers Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome. Rams defensive end Chris and Bears offensive guard Kyle will line up on opposite sides, and will occasionally meet in the trenches when Chris loops to the inside. There's plenty to read and discuss on the subject, not least a terrific piece from our Melissa Isaacson, who offered a closer look at the brothers.

While the Manning family probably ranks as the most famous football lineage right now, you'd be hard pressed to find a more entertaining group than the Long brothers. We'll get into that more as the week goes on -- tease: the words "astronaut sloth" will be involved -- but for now it's worth noting that Chris and Kyle won't be the only family members in attendance.

According to the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs, father Howie Long has been given a day off from his duties on Fox's NFL coverage for the first time in 20 years to attend the game.

Howie, who watches Rams and Bears games while working on Sundays, spoke to 101 ESPN radio in St. Louis on Wednesday. He said he didn't ask for the day off and that Fox actually approached him with the opportunity. He plans to enjoy the chance to watch his sons play each other.

"I'm not sure what it will be like once the ball is kicked off, but one thing Chris is really good at is -- and I have always admired him for this -- he understands the significance of the moment," Howie Long told the station. "And he takes a Polaroid in his head. That's not something I've always been good at, and I'm going to try to realize the significance of the moment for the family and try to take a Polaroid in my head and burn that image in for as long as it'll last."

For all the fun and jokes the Long brothers will tell and participate in this week, it's hard to deny that Sunday will certainly be a cool moment for a family that has given so much to the game.


A roundup of Wednesday's Rams-related stories on ESPN.com. … We took a look at the draft in this week's edition of Redskins watch. … Next came the NFL Nation Buzz with a discussion of this week's hot topics. … After that we dived into the Rams' hopes of making a run in the final six games, with the goal of the playoffs still in their mind. … Finally, it was time for an injury update with tight end Lance Kendricks working his way back into the mix.


Some interesting news coming out of Chicago: Return dynamo Devin Hester is getting work as a defensive back this week. And quarterback Jay Cutler is out of his hard cast.

At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas wrote about the Rams' long-shot playoff hopes.

Bernie Miklasz details the performance of quarterback Kellen Clemens and compares him to other backups around the league. Miklasz also offers some things to watch for the Rams in the final six games.