Howard Matthew Moses “Howie” Long is an American former National Football League (NFL) defensive end, actor and sports analyst. He played in the NFL for 13 seasons and spent the entirety of his career with the Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders franchise….during which was named to eight Pro Bowls….while helping his Raiders win a Super Bowl title…..who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Drafted in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders….Long would play 13 seasons for the club wearing the number 75….where his combination of size, strength and quickness made him a fearsome force on the Raiders defensive line….hence The Warloard of the Raiders moniker. Along the way, he was also named first team All-Pro three times (in 1983, ‘84, and ’85)…and second team All-Pro twice (in 1986 and 1989). He was also selected by John Madden to the prestigious All-Madden teams in 1984 and 1985….being named to the 10th Anniversary All-Madden team in 1994.
Long was voted the NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year and the NFLPA AFC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1985….by capping off a stellar season in earning the George S. Halas Trophy for having been voted the NEA’s co-NFL Defensive Player of the Year….as hHe was also named the Seagrams’ Seven Crown NFL Defensive Player of the year….and then in the following year 1986….Long was voted the Miller Lite NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year….as both those awards were taken by polls of NFL players. In 1986, Long was voted to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl after being the key in helping the Raiders record 63 sacks and being the number one defense in the AFC.From 1983-86 the Raiders defense recorded 249 sacks….which tied with the Chicago Bears for tops in the NFL over that span.
Howie Long collected 91½ sacks during his career (7½ are not official….as sacks were not an official statistic during his rookie year). His career high was in 1983 with 13 sacks….including a career-high five against the Washington Redskins on October 2, 1983. He also intercepted two passes and recovered ten fumbles during his 13-year career. At the time of his retirement, he was the last player still with the team who had been a Raider before the franchise moved to Los Angeles. He won the Super Bowl XVIII title as the left defensive end with the Raiders (1983 season) while beating the Washington Redskins….as he outplayed the opposing offensive tackle George Starke….and the vaunted Redskin running game led by John Riggins…who had a mere 90 yards in 32 rush attempts.
Long’s signature defensive move was the “rip”….which employed a quick, uppercut-like motion designed to break an opposing blocker’s grip.Pro Football Weekly (PFW) named Long as one of the ends on its All-time 3-4 defensive front….alongside Lee Roy Selmon, Curley Culp, Lawrence Taylor, Andre Tippett, Randy Gradishar, and Harry Carson….in a vote where PFW based its “Ultimate 3-4” team on the vote of over 40 former NFL players, coaches, and scouts.
After retiring, Long pursued a career in acting and broadcasting. He currently serves as a studio analyst for Fox Sports Networks’ NFL coverage….a position along with Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson…..and now Michael Strahan.
Any way you cut the pie….The Warlord of the Raiders was a force to be reckoned with…..as this video so aptly reveals.