"Longy is awesome," he said. "I think for somebody who has done that much in the game and has constantly played well he deserves everything he gets, and I wish him and his family all the best for the future.
"I think I can have a go at replacing him. I'm a year older with another season under my belt and hopefully I can do better.
"I'm really not interested in any points I score and my performance. How I contribute to the team and if my team win is all that matters."
The defeat means Saints have ended a season without a trophy for the first time since 2003, with Leeds again getting the upper hand in what has become one of the Super League's grudge matches.
But Long admits that he is happy for his former team-mates to carry on their duel with the Rhinos without him.
"There's no disappointment for me," he said. "I have to move on now. It was in my mind that it was my last game for Saints and I'm moving on. I'll leave it to St Helens to sort Leeds out and I'll be cracking on with Hull.
"It still hasn't sunk in that I'm leaving yet. It'll be weird when I get up on Monday morning and realise I don't have to go training with the lads.
"It's been a long time but you've got to get on with it haven't you? I'll miss my mates and they're a good set of lads and I love them to pieces."
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