Chicago Bears Roster Review: Kyle Long
Dec 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long (75) on the bench during the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace has quite a rebuilding project on his hands. In the next phase of our Chicago Bears Roster Review, we look at the players who are currently on the Bears roster. We’ll look back at their 2014 season and look ahead to how they might fit into the team’s plans in 2015.
Kyle Long, G, 26
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The lone 2014 Pro Bowler for the Bears, Kyle Long also remains the team’s only first round pick to make a Pro Bowl since Tommie Harris (2004). Greg Olsen, the team’s 2007 first round pick, has also made a Pro Bowl, but for another team.
While Phil Emery’s run as the Bears GM was filled with bad decisions and poor drafting, one of his few and best successes was the drafting of Kyle Long. Attitude problems limited his draft stock out of college, yet now the former Oregon Duck is considered one of the best and most consistent offensive linemen in the league. His ability in both run and pass blocking has been indispensable for the Bears and his presence has been a big reason for Matt Forte’s career resurgence and continuation.
There’s no doubt about Kyle Long’s security with the Chicago Bears, in fact the only real question with him is if the team will move him to tackle or not. While Long would clearly have value on the outside, with the emergence of multiple and hybrid defensive packages the left tackle position is simply not as vital to an offensive line and pass blocking protection as it used to be. With Jermon Bushrod sufficiently holding down the left tackle position, personally I don’t believe the team needs to move Long. The 26 year old is as good a guard as the team can get, I see no reason to move him outside.
The 2013 first round pick still has two more seasons on his rookie contract and the Bears should take advantage of that for as long as possible.