Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears right guard Kyle Long was the lone Chicago Bears player voted to the Pro Bowl. It is the second straight Pro Bowl for the second year guard out of Oregon. Here’s a snippet from the Bears Press Release on Long’s selection:
"Long has started 14 games for the Bears this season and according to STATS, LLC., has not allowed a sack in 2014. He is a part of a Bears offense that ranks first in franchise history in completion percentage (65.1), second in passing touchdown (30), tied for second in completions (373), third in gross passing yards (3,863), fourth in net passing yards (3,627) and passing attempts (573) and sixth in passer rating (88.1). He has also helped pave way for RB Matt Fortè to rank third in the NFL this season with 1,772 yards from scrimmage."
If you read that, you might be fooled into thinking the Bears had a decent season. That’s what good PR does – spin flax into gold.
Long joins a pretty elite list of Chicago Bears players to be selected to the Pro Bowl in their first two seasons. Here’s the list of Bears players to be named to Pro Bowls in their first two seasons:
Name Pos Years
Kyle Long G 2013-14
Devin Hester KR 2006-07
Brian Urlacher LB 2000-01
Mark Carrier S 1990-91
Gale Sayers RB 1965-66
Dick Butkus LB 1965-66
Mike Ditka TE 1961-62
Rick Casares RB 1955-56
Harlon Hill WR 1954-55
Fred Williams DT 1952-53
What’s really interesting about that list is the dearth of players, especially from Sayers and Butkus in the mid-60’s until Mark Carrier in 1990-1991. No Sweetness? None of the legendary ’85 Bears including Hall of Famers Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary? Very surprising.
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Also surprising is that after Carrier, the Bears had to wait a decade to find another rookie to make an impact on the league in Brian Urlacher. This list speaks to the Bears biggest problem – a lack of drafting impact players.
It looked like Kyle Fuller would be taking his first step toward making this list, but after a strong September, Fuller battled through a couple of tough injuries and faded from the top of rookie of the year lists. This is what a miserable, losing season does. It dashes the high hopes of the team and also pushes the Bears to the pay no mind list for voters.
A couple of Bears players could be in line as alternates, especially as veterans drop out of the game “due to injury” or other excuses. Don’t be surprised if DT Stephen Paea, running back Matt Forte and tight end Martellus Bennett get a phone call in the coming weeks. Forte being omitted in favor of LeSean McCoy is a joke, but that’s a topic for another post.
What do you think? Did anyone else get snubbed? Are you surprised the Long is the lone Bear to be named to the roster?
Congrats to Kyle Long, one of the few bright spots in another otherwise miserable Chicago Bears season!