We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
We are now Kyle Long (75) days away from the Chicago Bears season opener on September 7th!
Long comes from a successful NFL pedigree; his father Howie Long is a Hall of Fame defensive end who played for the Raiders from 1981-1993 recording 84 sacks, 2 INTs and had 10 fumble recoveries. His brother Chris Long, who plays DE for the St Louis Rams is a fairly stalwart player himself; he has recorded 180 tackles and 50.5 sacks in 6 years with the Rams.
Long was drafted by the Bears at #20 in the 1st round in 2013. many pundits and talking heads thought this pick was a reach by Phil Emery and the Bears brain trust. It turns out Emery and the Bears were right and those talking heads were wrong.
In his first season, Long showed toughness and a bit of nastiness needed to be a successful NFL lineman. He was always one of the first guys in the end zone on a scoring play to congratulate his teammate(s) and didn’t back away from anyone or anything. He even got into it a little bit on national television and had to be restrained by his brother.
Kyle only gave up 2 sacks and earned a spot to the Pro Bowl as a Right Guard; however, there is still room for improvement since he did give up 9 QB hits and 21 QB hurries in 1,070 snaps.
Kyle is only in his 2nd year with the Bears and although it will be difficult to top his rookie season where he started all 16 games and made it to the Pro Bowl, it is extremely feasible.
I expect Kyle to take a big step forward in his development as an NFL lineman and a leader on the offensive line.
As fun as he is to watch on the field, Kyle is one of the most fan friendly players on the team. He is a Twitter fiend (@Ky1eLong). If you are on Twitter he is definitely worth a follow! The interactions he has with his brother, his friends and his fans are absolutely hilarious!
He is also a genuinely good guy. A few months ago Kyle heard about a young boy who was getting bullied at school, so Kyle did what Kyle does and well you can read about that story here.
I don’t know about you but I am pretty stoked to see what progress Kyle and the rest of the Bears make in year 2 of Marc Trestman and Aaron Kromer’s offense!
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th. We’re 75 days from kickoff. Are you ready???