(CBS) Bears tackle Kyle Long wasn’t aware of John Elway’s verbal jab at John Fox earlier this week, but he offered a defense of his Bears coach upon hearing of it.
The Broncos’ football czar, Elway remarked at Super Bowl 50 somewhat callously that Denver replaced Fox to bring them to this stage — “past the first round” and to the big game, where the Broncos will face the Panthers on Sunday. The Broncos made the playoffs in four straight years under Fox’s guidance, including a trip to the Super Bowl two years ago, but also had a couple disappointing divisional round exits.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Illinois: 298 New Cases, Including 11 Deaths; 52% Of Adults Fully Vaccinated
“This is why we made the decision,” Elway told the Sun-Times. “This was the idea — to get better and get past the first round.
“We had a good regular season, but struggled in the first round. So the idea, the goal — what our owner wants — is to win a championship. That’s why the decision was made last year to go in a different direction. And (Gary Kubiak’s) done a tremendous job.”
Speaking to the Boers and Bernstein Show at the Super Bowl on Thursday afternoon, Long responded.
“I think that’s BS,” Long said when informed of Elway’s comments. “I think John Fox is one of the best coaches and best men I’ve been around. If we’re going to win in Chicago, that’s the guy we’ll have on the float.”
The Bears finished 6-10 in their first season under Fox’s leadership, which marks a one-game improvement from 2014.READ MORE: Archdiocese Of Chicago Relaxes COVID-19 Protocols, Lifts Capacity Limits
Long openly admitted he struggled at times in 2015 as he transitioned to tackle. There has been banter as to whether Long is a fit at the position, but the Bears are moving forward with that plan. Long has little doubt he’s going to work at tackle.
“It’s something that’s new for me,” Long said. “But I can tell at the end of next year or two years from now, we won’t be having this conversation.”
Despite the struggles, Long was voted to the Pro Bowl for the third straight year. He admitted to being surprised by the selection, joking that star edge rushers Khalil Mack and Von Miller offered their votes.
Chicago is headed in a new direction offensively, with Adam Gase gone to the Dolphins as coach and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains promoted to be the Bears’ offensive coordinator.
Last season, Long observed the way Loggains worked with quarterback Jay Cutler and believes in what is to come for the offense.
“Dowell has done such a great job with Jay,” Long said. “He holds him so accountable. There’s no wiggle room for everybody. I’m glad he’s the OC now.”MORE NEWS: Man Shot While Standing Outside In Old Norwood Park
Listen to Long’s full interview below.