Kyle Long isn’t taking starting job for granted

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When the Bears drafted Kyle Long with the 20th overall pick in April, the big question about his immediate future wasn’t about whether or not he’d start as a rookie.

The question was about whether he’d be starting at guard or tackle because the wide assumption was that a team as needy on the offensive line as the Bears wasn’t about to draft a player in the first round so that they could stash him on the bench. The Bears decided to put Long at right guard, but the rookie isn’t expecting to have a starting job handed to him on a silver platter.

Long didn’t get to do much offseason work with the team because of the NFL rule barring rookies from practicing until their schools have wrapped up the term, which leaves him feeling like he still has to convince the Bears that he’s worthy of a role helping to protect quarterback Jay Cutler from Day One.

“Put yourself in my shoes. I wasn’t allowed to go to OTAs,” Long said, via ESPNChicago.com. “I haven’t seen anyone else on our offensive line. They are all NFL players so obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for the other guys in the offensive line room. I’m looking forward to getting to work with those guys, great vets like [Roberto] Garza and [Jermon] Bushrod.”

Long’s attitude is the right one, but it still feels like a case where he’ll have to lose the job as opposed to one where he has to convince the Bears he can do it. Picking him where they did showed that the Bears think he’s starter quality and it would be a surprise if Long isn’t up front come the first week of the regular season.

10 responses to “Kyle Long isn’t taking starting job for granted

  1. I think it would be a surprise if Long doesn’t crack the starting lineup this season, but wouldn’t surprise me at all if James Brown is the starting RG in week 1. Long is probably the most athletic OL the bears have, but also has the least experience by a wide margin.

  2. good to see the kid does not have the entitled attitude of allot young kids have today. whether he starts or not right away he is young with a bright future ahead for him and the bears.

  3. Long will get on the field as a starter by mid year. Hope he turns out to be a productive player, our OLine is the key to the Bears season. We do t need another Carimi disaster…

  4. I wish Long the best but based on the history of Bears’ first round picks (McClellin, Carimi, Chris Williams just recently) he’s going to have to work his butt off just to keep a job.

  5. I have watch all the games that Long has played in, and I am impressed with the guy. He is going to be a beast at guard, and I predict that he will move to tackle someday.
    Go back on youtube and watch for yourself,
    down field blocks, riding LBs into the endzone, picking up the running back after the play because he is 25 yards down field too.
    Can’t wait…

  6. @filthymcidiot:

    Kyle Long was projected as a late 1st. or early 2nd. round pick, and I’ve read that if the Bears had not grabbed him when they did, GB was set to take him…So be quiet, already.

  7. He has a great workman-like attitude and, as with most kids who are that way (or not), I credit his parents for keeping him grounded and humble. I think we are going to like his style of play. Let’s get it started!

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