Chicago Bears: Kyle Long Should Have Been Named Captain


The Chicago Bears announced their captains for the 2015 season on Tuesday. Quarterback Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte were the selections for the offensive, with safety Antrel Rolle and LB Pernell McPhee representing the Bears’ defense. Kicker Robbie Gould was also named a captain, and head coach John Fox will select the sixth captain on a weekly basis.

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While all five of the selections are relatively worthy choices, offensive lineman Kyle Long stands out as a notable exclusion.

Whether Long plays right guard or right tackle this season still remains to be seen, but he is undoubtedly one of the Bears’ best players, and he leads in both a vocal sense and by example. Before the decision, Long seemed like an easy selection.

Taken as a much ridiculed first round pick in 2013, Long has quickly become when of the best interior offensive lineman in the entire NFL. His play has earned him back-to-back Pro Bowl selections in his only two seasons, and Long was even named an All Pro selection last season.

Long’s play on the field speaks for itself. He has become an extremely reliable and consistent player who the Bears know they can undoubtedly count on. But his value to the team is more than that. Through the hard times last season, Long’s attitude and play never changed. He was seemingly the lone positive influence on the team, as the losses piled up and the locker room became toxic.

Long appears to be a deserving captain, but more than that, selecting him would help signalize the new era. Fox and general manager Ryan Pace must look to change the culture starting this season, and naming Long a captain would have helped move that along. I am not saying that Forte and Cutler aren’t worthy captains, but putting the same players in a position of power brings a sort of familiarity this team does not need.

Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long (75) reacts before the game against the New York Jet at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Fox’s selection as a captain each week will primarily start with Long. He is the far and away the most obvious choice remaining on the roster and I expect him to be the choice for the Week 1 match-up against the Green Bay Packers.

In the grand scheme of things, not naming Long a captain probably does not really matter. That being said, this was an opportunity for the Bears to help turn the tides of the organization.

Kyle Long should be one of the Bears’ every week captains, and the fact that he isn’t, is a mistake.

Next: Bears Should Move Kyle Long to RT Permanently

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