(WSCR) Kyle Long’s lack of experience is as well-documented as the offensive lineman’s athletic ability.
The Bears first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft started just four games during his time at Oregon. To make matters worse, the 6-foot-7, 311-pound lineman missed 13 of the Bears offseason workouts – 10 OTA sessions and three days of minicamp – due to a conflict with his academic schedule in accordance with league rules.
As such, Long was forced to learn what he could during team meetings via video conference for a portion of the team’s offseason workouts.
“It’s not the same as being there,” Long told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. “The main thing for me is getting to run through the plays and getting to learn (through) trial by fire. That’s how I learned in Oregon in the expedited preparation time. That’s what I’m trying to do here.”
The Bears currently have Long positioned at right guard, which may seem odd given that the 24-year-old is left-handed. But Long said he feels he’s in the correct spot on the right side.
“Being left-handed, your inside hand is your dominant hand” Long explained. “So, say we’re running a running play to the right, I can use my left hand and try to wrench people out of the hole. It kind of works to my advantage. When I was at Oregon, I play on the left side, so I’d always be trying to wrench people in with my left hand, and that would kind of clog up the hole. … I feel like I’m in the right spot.”
Long also discussed what camp has been like under new head coach Marc Trestman, who leaves little time for breaks in between plays, similar to former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly’s high-paced practices.
“From a conditioning stand point, you’re superiorly conditioned,” Long said. “You can go faster for longer. So in the four quarter, play 11 on a drive, you know that the other guy’s tongue is going to be hanging out of his mouth, dragging on the ground, and you’ve been there, you’ve done that because of the tempo that we go at practice.”