The fact that the LA Rams are activating tight end Hunter Long in the same week that the Miami Dolphins are activating DB Jalen Ramsey, the former Rams player who was traded to the Dolphins to acquire Hunter Long, seems a bit too uncanny to fally into the category of random coincidence.
From the moment that the LA Rams identified tight end Hunter Long as a player to add to the Rams roster, this match has felt every bit as solid as the matchup of rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua, but for entirely different reasons.
Hunter Long is a 6-foot-5, 253-pound veteran tight end who has been nearly invisible in the Miami Dolphins passing offense, catching just one of three passes thrown his way in two seasons, but he has been a big help on the offensive line as a blocker.
Johnny Mundt's replacement?
In many ways, Hunter Long is a bigger version of former Rams blocking tight end Johnny Mundt. Mundt stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 233 pounds, and was tagetted just once in his first two NFL seasons, a reception for five yards. Sound familiar?
Mundt would play five seasons with the LA Rams before jumping ship to sign on with the Minnesota Vikings. Even though he would only catch 10 of 13 passes for 93 yards for the LA Rams, he was vital to the Rams overall offense. Since he's left the Rams have not deployed the 12-personnel packages that seemed to be one of their bread-and-butter offensive options. As a result, whether correlated or not, the Rams offense has been much less effective.
I think that Hunter Long could change that. Since the LA Rams offense needs to score more points, why not go back to the tried and true of bulking up on the offensive line of scrimmage, blowing open rushing lanes, and then picking the defensive secondary apart when they try to cheat by filling the box with eight or more defenders?
With only one football on the field, NFL Championships are as much about what 10 guys who don't have the football do as it is about the one guy who does have the football. Hunter long, just like Johnny Mundt, can be one of those ninja-like contributors who makes the team much better without calling a lot of attention to himself.