Long got best of nerves in home debut
August, 16, 2013
AP Photo/Scott BoehmKyle Long saw time with the starting unit and the second team offense on Thursday.Kyle Long was nervous in his debut at Soldier Field, but the Chicago Bears rookie certainly didn't show it during a 33-28 victory on Thursday.
Long, the Bears' first-round draft pick in April, started at right guard next to fellow rookie Jordan Mills at right tackle. It was a chance to show the Bears they should start ahead of veterans James Brown and J'Marcus Webb.
"There were some nerves," Long said Friday on "The Carmen & Jurko Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "We're roommates in the hotel so there were some nerves in that hotel room last night but we just continue to do what we've done and we just stick to what we know in regards to technique and what (offensive coordinator and line coach Aaron) Kromer and the other vets have shown us what to do. We just try to go out there and kind of put one foot in front of the other and the rest takes care of itself. We take a lot of reps together in practice so that helps."
Long and Mills played 15 snaps in the first quarter as the Bears racked up 100 yards, including 74 yards rushing, converted 67 percent of their third downs and drew plenty of praise from analyst Trent Dilfer, who was calling the game for ESPN.
Bears coach Marc Trestman said after the game that he would reserve judgment on the play of the rookies until he has seen the game tape, but one play by Long was undeniably impressive. A pulling Long steamrolled a Chargers defensive lineman, lighting up Twitter with praise for the rookie, but on Friday he passed on celebrating the hit.
"It felt like I got my assignment down and I knew which way I was supposed to go," Long said. "You don't want to know what it feels like if you don't get your assignment done in that meeting with guys looking at you like 'What happened with that play, 75?'"