ST. LOUIS — Jake Long wants to be the glue that bonds the St. Louis Rams' offensive line together.
Long, a four-time Pro Bowl left tackle who agreed to a four-year, $34 million deal with the Rams last week, was introduced to the St. Louis media on Thursday.
"I am going to bring what I always bring -- leadership," Long said. "I'm the type of guy who leads by example. I love to come to practice and work. Get better every single day, learn from the coaches and help this offense and this team win games. I'm going to do everything I can to help this team get better."
Rams General Manager Les Snead said he has been impressed by Long's intangible qualities since scouting him prior to Long being taken by the Miami Dolphins as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
"I can remember back when he came out of Michigan," Snead said. "He has what it takes in the intangible department to bring that group together."
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said having a quality left tackle provides piece of mind for the offense and quarterback Sam Bradford.
"It creates a comfort level for the quarterback because he can trust that his back side is protected," Fisher said. "It allows us to do different things with protections, it allows us to do different things with backs and tight ends and such. Now only was Jake during his short career at this point one of the best pass protectors in the game, he also was an outstanding run blocker. That's a big part of our offense."
Long said he met Rams quarterback Sam Bradford on Monday.
"I've watched him from afar these last few years in the NFL," Long said. "I'm just a big fan of his. A big guy, a strong guy, tough, has a rocket for an arm, and I'm really excited to play for him."
Long's blocking has declined the past two years due to injuries. He ended the 2011 season on injured reserve due to a right biceps injury and he ended the 2012 season on injured reserve due to a left triceps injury.
Fisher said the team had no medical concerns about Long after thoroughly checking him out during his three-day visit to St. Louis two weeks ago.
"I felt kind of bad for him because he spent a week in an MRI tube," Fisher said. "When we got through it, we got the thumbs. He felt great, and our doctors felt really good about it."
Long said he started working with Rams trainer Reggie Scott on Monday.
"I'm feeling great," Long said. "I'm about four months out of surgery and feeling strong. I'm just ready to get back out on the field and get all this rehab stuff behind me."
Long said he and wife, Jackie, drove 20 hours from Miami to St. Louis on Saturday carrying their clothes and other possessions.
"I'm here for good," Long said.
Long's arrival probably means that Rodger Saffold will shift from left tackle to right tackle, although his agent was quoted as saying that his client wasn't happy with that move.
Fisher said the Rams have been trying to contact Saffold without success.
"We've been trying to reach Rodger, and he's not returning calls right now," Fisher said. "We'll get things settled. Rodger is a big part of our future, a big part of our plans on offense."
Fisher said neither Saffold nor his agent have requested a trade.
"We're trying to reach Rodger like we're trying to reach all of them," Fisher said. "Maybe he's traveling or we just haven't heard back from him."
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.