94 Comments

Bears Should Keep Kyle Long at Tackle

| June 25th, 2015

180645832-e1399301646815

The Bears downplayed Kyle Long playing tackle during their offseason program, but their intent is clear and they should make the move permanent.

The difficult part of moving Long to tackle is already done. He was one of the best guards in the league and the previous regime convinced him that’s where he would be best in the NFL. He stated he did not want to change positions yet there he was in a changed position. That tells you all you need to know about John Fox’s ability to communicate with players and Long’s willingness to do what is best for the team.

 

The primary concern with Long playing tackle is his arm length. His arms ranked in the 19th percentile, among tackles entering the league since 1999, according to mockdraftable. There are also concerns about technique, hand placement and footwork. But Long is going to be a good tackle for all the same reasons he was a great guard.

Long is just a great football player. The dude is a physical freak who combines that with intelligence and work ethic. With his mind completely dedicated to it, Long is going to be a great tackle, he just needs the reps.

The Bears don’t have a good reason not to play Long at tackle this year. Even without any experience, he’s probably the best tackle they have, outside of maybe Jermon Bushrod. We’ve seen enough of Jordan Mills to know he isn’t cut out for the position and Mike Ola is better as a guard. Second-year man Ryan Groy might also have a future in the league as he looked decent at in limited snaps a year ago. None of them can play tackle, all of them could become decent guards. They won’t be able to replace Long’s talent at guard, but they should be able to hold up.

Even if none of them work out, it’s typically easier to find standouts at that position later in the draft. While elite offensive tackles almost always go in the top-five, great guards rarely crack the top-15. Moving Long to tackle would be a move made for future considerations.

Long isn’t going to be one of the best tackles in the league right away, but he wasn’t expected to be one of the best guards in the league this quickly either. He’s proven pundits wrong before and he can do it again. The dude is a physical freak who combines that with intelligence and work ethic. All he needs is the snaps. The Bears might as well start giving them to him now.

Tagged:

  • so i’ve been a bit MIA. AD is now an official DBB writer? not just vacation coverage?

    • willbest

      Weekly column

    • The GP

      We call him Tony Baloney.

    • Scharfinator

      He seems to be the more football oriented of the articles now. Jeff seems to be about the social issues surrounding football.

      • BearDown100393

        …. and golf.

  • BearDown100393

    The Bears should keep Kyle Long off Twitter.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Along with anybody ELSE on the squad.

      • Trac

        Jeff’s new priorities are as follows:

        1) Twatter mania.
        2) Golf coverage critic.
        3) Starving poet.

  • BearDown100393

    The dude is a physical freak. The dude is a physical freak. The dude is a physical freak. #Thedudeisaphysicalfreak

    • TheBigCheesy

      So nice he wrote it twice

  • Long actually has the body of a prototypical OT. While his arm length is not “ideal” (preferably a team would like OTs to have 34″ or longer), Long’s not a T-rex with 33 3/8ths”. By comparison, Joe Thomas and Jake Long both have 32″ arms.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_/id/12020/daily-mailbag-the-insanity-of-short-arms

    Kyle Long as ran a sub 5 40, like Joe Thomas.

    Mybiggest concern is Long’s feet and awareness. Remember, he hasn’t been playing football all that long, and one can never tell if a big man has the feet until they go live against quick twitch Matthew types.

    ButI agree. If they’re going to make the switch, this would be the year to do it, esp with inj concerns with Mills who I always felt should be an OG anyways.

    That would mean Mills, Ola, Leno, Groy and Tayo compete for that last Oline spot (and let’s not forget about Ducasse).

    With Grassu and Montgemery fighting for the C position.

    It’ll be a fierce competition, that’s for sure.

    • NewBearInTown

      This analysis is all accurate. The thing is, if Long is less than perfect at tackle this year we just move him back to guard. If nothing else, the reps will make him a more versatile player when the team makes its contingency plans for injuries. There is nothing stopping us from drafting a tackle in the first round next year and sliding Long back to guard after a mediocre season.
      Then again, all of this assumes that we don’t care too much about the final win/loss record. In the NFL, it is exceedingly rare to find a team that is willing to treat a season as a true “rebuilding” year. It is also exceedingly rare to see teams like that actually succeed in turning around.

    • Big Mike

      His lateral movement is suspect in my book. He has stiff hips for a T. But this is simply the undershirt Olympics at this point in the off-season. Smart to give it a look. I think he’d get killed by speed rushes. Another case where I’d love to be wrong. A pro-bowl Tackle is worth more than pro-bowl guard.

    • Irish Sweetness

      One thing about Kyle Long – and it’s hard to get of one’s head when thinking about him overall. I swear I remember him chasing a guy down the other end of the OL – in FRONT of OUR line – and then chasing him AROUND the LT and back toward the QB. It was like he was on horse tranquilizer, latched on to a moving object and just followed it. Weird.

      FYI – for any nature/science lovers, Prof. Brian cox’ documentary series ‘wonders of life’ is very good. He does the David Attenborough thing with regards to the laws of physics. So it’s natural history with an eye on removing the need for any mystical overtones. Good stuff

      Prof Jim Al-Kalili does excellent documentaries based in physics, but in his three-part series on the atom, he also touches on the weakening case of the nothing-before-the-big-bang-believers.

  • willbest

    Not saying Long can’t make the transition, but Its a ballsy move. If he doesn’t make the pro-bowl, it will have been a mistake. The argument that nobody else on the roster is better suited idiotic. You play your best players where they will perform their best, not to fill a team need. That is something you have ample time to correct in the last 4 months.

  • Trac

    Didn’t I just read somewhere that it’s silly to buy in to the preseason hype? Hmm…where…ahh..

  • The GP
    • Irish Sweetness

      Those Sapp boys just ain’t all there, are they?

      • AlbertInTucson

        Because you can’t spelll “SAPP” with out a SAP.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Yes, yes, yes. Kyle at either end. Slauson/Tayo as guards. At least we’ll be able to run the ball this year.

  • Trac

    The only way the Bears win by moving Long is if he excels at LT. The odds are not looking good that this is a move that improves our Line overall(imo). If this is a move out of desperation, we in heap big trouble.

    • Scharfinator

      I agree – I hope Long exceeds all expectations at tackle. I’m afraid we’re trying to fix something that isn’t broke (him being a guard).

  • The GP
    • I think his biggest drawback is he doesn’t play specials. If Fox goes with 4 backs, then i think he makes it. Otherwise, I’m not sure. Even though I’m not exactly high on him, i think it’s way too early to move on from Carey. We know what we’re getting ib Thomas or Jizz, we still don’t know what Carey can do. Why Trestman didn’t use him more when the season was lost its beyond me. It would’ve saved Forte some mileage and given us some idea about Carey. Tresty was just too concerned about saving his neck. What a weasel

  • Big Mike

    Jeff, I don’t agree with this move one bit. My opinion isn’t based on a win now attitude, either. Lots of very good/great guards would not make very good/great tackles. Long’s lateral motion isn’t great, his speed is not great. My projection is he becomes an average to good tackle. Seems more like a move towards squeezing what the Bears can out of next year, rather than building the best team for the longer haul.

    With that said, the Bears coaching staff is giving this a look. The question is, is this something their simply doing while the oline/dline are in the least important, almost irrelevant part of the off-season.

    • Frank Schoenburg

      Good points.

    • Scharfinator

      Psst Jeff didn’t write this one 😛

      • Big Mike

        Ooops… Comments still stand. Thanks for the public shaming 🙂

        • Scharfinator

          Here to help! 😛

      • BearDown100393

        Nothing rhymes either.

  • NewBearInTown

    Gay marriage is legal nationwide.
    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf
    The Supremes were able to focus the Obamacare decision on a fairly specific issue of statutory interpretation (basically “let’s not kill 800 pages of heavily debated legislation because an intern didn’t catch the typo on page 452”).
    But this opinion will be studied for 100 years. This opinion will be taught in public schools and turned into seminar courses and on the lips of every American. This is the biggest decision since Roe v. Wade.

    • BearDown100393

      After some prune juice and a change of garments, the justices were tucked in for a nap.

    • Sactowns#1

      Oh great! Next we’ll have polygamy. Actually that would be kinda great.

      • willbest

        Why would anyone want to invite the henpecking that goes on in every group of women into ones home? And I would remind people that murder by poison occurs at nontrivial rates in polygamous society

    • AlbertInTucson

      Divorce attorneys across the nation are rejoicing!

      • BearDown100393

        Every new law benefits that special interest the most.

        “The law, my boy, puts us into everything. It’s the ultimate backstage
        pass. It’s the new priesthood, baby. Did you know there are more
        students in law school than lawyers walking the Earth?” – John Milton

    • As Howard Stern once remarked, “Gay ppl have the right to be just as miserable as the rest of us.”

      • BerwynBomber

        Philip Roth had a similar line about that in one of novels some years back. Basically that he always liked and respect gays but that he had been mistaken in thinking that they had been too smart to ever wish to marry.

        • The one thing that might happen which I haven’t heard much about is that now that gays can married their divorce rate might become higher than hetero’s, and then critics will go “aha!”

          I predict it will be higher since they can’t have children. Now, before ppl call me ignorant, this isn’t to say that heterosexual ppl are superior or better marriage material, but it’s been my experience that A LOT of marriages “toughed it out” in really dark spell because of kids. I think every single friend of mine at one time or another remarked, “if it wasn’t for the kids, I’d be gone.” The kids acted as an anchor to their marital storms (for better or worse), and once those issues passed, they remained married (some of those issues didn’t go away, and they indeed got divorced.)

          Gay couples won’t have that “anchor”. If shit gets really bad in the marriage (as in most marriages), I think they’ll just divorce more easily. It’s human nature, gay or straight.

          On the plus side, no messy child custody cases, or fucking up the children psychologically having to choose team mommy/daddy.

          Also, perhaps more adoptions will take place now.

          Those are just my thoughts. I could be wrong, but that’s just my take.

          • BerwynBomber

            Valid point but then again their actual marriage numbers might be down too, per capita, because they can’t have children; i.e., no shotgun marriages.

          • Doc Hamstring

            Except gay couples can and do procreate. And plenty of hetero couples (think 2nd/3rd/4th marriages) don’t.

            So while I see your point about couples “toughing it out” because of the kids, I don’t think there will be a significant difference between the current levels of hetero couples who stay married because of kids and same-sex couples who do, too.

          • True, but it’s a whole process for them to procreate compared to straight couples just rolling over in bed and inseminating.

            I’m sure there’s data on individual states with regards to divorce rates of straight vs gay, but now that’s it’s a federal law, it’d be interesting to see how it bears out in the years to come.

            I have gay friends, and many of them DO NOT want to get married, but they were for having the option.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I’ll bet the divorce amongst gay couples easily beats divorces for heteros. No kids = bye bye at the drop of a hat. Happy days for divorce lawyers. It’s raining gold.

          • Irish Sweetness

            “”if it wasn’t for the kids, I’d be gone.”

            Oh, this. But maybe it’s that stuff that cements a bond. You’re forever bonded in DNA via those wonderful little shites that will ultimately cost you a million or two.

    • willbest

      It was actually the intent of the drafters of the ACA that the federal exchange not get the subsidy as a means of forcing the states to do it. It was deliberately chosen language in 7 locations, and when the drafters wanted to include the federal exchange they did so in other places. So no. This was not about saving the law from a mistake an intern made. And even if it were, that is not a power the constitution delegates to the SC.

      • BerwynBomber

        Sorry Gruber but your fifteen minutes of fame are up.

        • willbest

          Desired outcome irrespective of the rule of law is a dangerous way to live. Sadly most people are incapable of managing their lives past the end of the week so thinking they might care what is the right choice when discussing the course of a civilization is foolish

          • BearDown100393

            Majority are fucking idiots. Majority rules.

          • BerwynBomber

            Yours is at best an imaginative interpretation. As was Gruber’s except for his “supposed” inside information.

            Throwing out an entire law based on a typo would have been ridiculous. It was a frivolous, right-wing Koch brother-funded lawsuit from the get-go and the fact that that a 6-3 majority opinion went in favor of the administration is a rout in today’s conservative court.

          • willbest

            You can call it a typo all you want. Even the liberals on the court disagree with you.

            And the court just extended disparate impact to housing laws so. No you don’t get to call it conservative.

          • BerwynBomber

            All they did was uphold the Fair Housing Act from the Civil Rights era.

            Of course the current SC is conservative. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Kennedy and Roberts are all conservative. And Roberts doesn’t even like the Affordable Care Act. He just knows it would be insane to kill the obvious intent of an 800 page law because of one word “state” which could be fairly interpreted either way.

          • BearDown100393

            Roberts is a wild card.

          • BerwynBomber

            He is a conservative but once in awhile he thinks big picture and common sense prevails.

          • willbest

            Just as an aside in the workings of the court, the most senior judge to vote for the winning side gets to decide who writes the opinion. It is therefore not unusual for a 5-4 to become a 6-3 in order for the Chief Justice to limit the potential damage. Not saying this happened here but rout is 7-2 or better. And case in point every justice votes in the majority over 80% of the time so half the cases the SC decides really are routs

          • BerwynBomber

            And you are being obtuse to the political make-up of the court. A 6-3 decision from this court in favor of the Obama administration is, indeed, a rout. Sorry.

          • SC Dave

            Conservative court?!

      • Irish Sweetness

        Nor is the power to create wealth nor control its supply given to private banks by the constitution, yet there she blows …..

    • SC Dave

      I disagree. My believe is the biggest and most far reaching decision SC(R)OTUS has made in my life resulted from the first legal challenge to Obamacare. The court ruling (that has all the founders of this nation spinning in their graves) said that it is perfectly legitimate for the US government to FORCE citizens to purchase specific products.

      An absolutely unconscionable decision that is the antithesis of the concept of individual liberty.

      The next one may very well be withholding money from Americans paychecks to buy US government debt (i.e. bonds) in the name of “retirement savings”.

      • Doc Hamstring

        By that same logic, you are forced by the government to purchase the roads you drive on, the police and firefighters who protect and serve your neighborhood, and the sewer lines, too.

        The Supreme Court actually ruled that the ACA’s “penalty” for non-compliance is a tax. You are not forced to purchase insurance. You can pay the penalty/tax.

        It’s a step removed from a tax that would pay for something like a single-payer system (i.e., Medicare for all), but in effect, that’s what it is.

        Here’s the thing, too: you have to purchase car insurance in most (if not all by now) states. You come back and say, “well, I don’t have to have a car, so I don’t have to buy insurance.” But the point is, if you want to drive, you MUST have purchased that insurance.

        Thus, the government has been “forcing” citizens to purchase specific products for quite some time.

        Bottom line: you don’t have to make the purchase if you don’t want to. Just be prepared to pay a tax to support the market-based solution to the health coverage problem our nation has.

        • Trac

          Bottom line, you don’t have to believe in Christ if you don’t want to. Your logic is very selective. Once again, it’s politics Doc. It owns you. That’s ok, just admit it.

        • Sactowns#1

          I’m pretty liberal and I have to agree with SC on this one. If we had Medicare for everyone that would fit your analogy and most people would be fine with that. But instead you mandate that I give my money to a corporation, which btw does nothing to control the skyrocketing cost of medical care.

          • But that’s the thing, Sac, the Dems HAD to cave in to that alternative cuz no way the REP would’ve approved the first option which many true progressives wanted. Like always, we get a half-assed solution – but that’s democracy.

            The libertarians are more idealistic and romantic than the most hippie left winger, and that’s the truth.

            They seem to believe if humans are given a choice they will do the right thing, but history has shown other wise.

            The U.S. Government had to step in to stop the south from seceding. then again to end slavery. Then later to de-segragate (all at gun-point, mind you). Then they had to step in and end unsafe working conditions, 18 hour work days, child labor, etc etc

            I sympathize with liberatarians, I really do, but when I ask why free americans didn’t do the “right” action when given the chance, all they reply with is, “I wish they had.”

            That’s not good enough. I think certain endeavors are too BIG for individuals or even large corporations.

            I know paternalism (or default paternailsm) rubs americans the wrong way (hey, I don’t like it much either), but sometimes it’s necessary.

            Aren’t we all thankful most drivers have insurance, or that your kid doesn’t attend school with an un-vaccinated cutty (or all those points like slavery, above)?

    • Irish Sweetness

      Givin’ wimmin the vote … de-segregation … now gay marriage. What’s next? Chicks playin’ football in their underwear?

      (spits in spitoon)

      Now everyone has equal rights … except for men in relation to their children. We still don’t exist.

      Football :

      I don’t think anyone should hold their breath for Kyle Long to play tackle. He was only in at RT because Jordan Spills was out injured. Only in at LT because Bushrod was absent. It is interesting that they chose Kyle and not somebody like Tayo though.

    • Trac

      “Third, the Court majority wrote that gays and lesbians do not want to
      change the institution of marriage, but rather want to benefit from it.
      This is hard to believe, given more recent writing from gay activists
      like Dan Savage expressing a desire to loosen the strictures of monogamy
      in all marriages. Besides, if marriage can be redefined according to
      what we desire — that is, if there is no essential nature to marriage,
      or to gender — then there are no boundaries on marriage. Marriage
      inevitably loses its power.”

      The few(Homosexuals) will impose their beliefs on the many which is exactly what the Homosexuals argued Christianity and religious organizations do to them. The goal is to snuff out religious freedom and it’s going to have far reaching effects imo. Truly a terrible ruling from a Constitutional standpoint alone.

      Having said that, it’s no surprise that the court handed down this ruling based on the erosion of the high court over recent decades. Obama appointed a lesbian Judge to the Supreme court, so the rails have been greased imo.

    • NewBearInTown

      I did not declare a side when I posted my comment. My point isn’t to say the ruling was good or bad, my point is to say that it is important.
      Whether folks like this opinion or not, they all agree this is a very big deal.
      If this ruling endures (like e.g. Brown v. Board of Education), they’ll teach it in school books for generations. If this ruling is overturned (either by amendment, like Dredd Scott, or by subsequent decision like Plessy v. Fergusson) this case will be required reading in constitutional law classes pretty much forever.

  • Bears-4-Ever

    Kyle Long is a great Football player, I get a bad taste in my mouth when I read some of his tweets…I wish these guys would stay off their phones, shut up and just play football. I like Kyle Long at Tackle for the reasons mentioned above.

    If we are in need of some more experience on our O-line, we can probably pick up Orr for a cheap price.

    I kid, I kid… 🙂

    Nice Hollywood Movie story aside, I think Orr’s time has come and gone…he reminds me of a washed up Orlando Pace at this point. Linemen don’t last very long in this league, We are Lucky to have a Player like Kyle Long.

    • BearDown100393

      Orr?

      • Pretty sure they mean Michael Oher, of The Blindside fame.

        • Bears-4-Ever

          Yeah sorry wrong spelling. I think he’s on the Panthers now? No matter just an example of how linemen can’t last for ever.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Other than the movie, hasn’t Oher been a bit of a disappointment as first rounder? A bit injury prone if I’m not mistaken.

          • Bears-4-Ever

            He came in second on the vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 and does have a SB ring with the Ravens. Not a “Stellar” OT, but solid, at least back then. He was a “bust” with the Titans, but the Panthers just paid gave him a 7 Mil deal so someone thinks he’s worth the shot. Like I said above I was just kidding in regard to him. I don’t think he’s worth 7Mil at this point, maybe he’ll prove me wrong this season.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Mebbe, but teams kept (Keep?)throwing money Chris Williams after he officailly busted with the Bears.

            Heck, even J’Marcus Webb kept showing up on rosters after the Bears gave up.

          • A lot of folks forget that Webb was like a 6th/7th rd pick. So in some sense, he really over achieved considering that (kinda like Romo).

            On the other hand, god gifted him with all the physical attributes to be a #3 overall pick, but Webb just lacked ‘it’, and was given every opportunity to make it, so in that sense, he grossly underachieved.

          • yeah, at his best he was a competent RT. Definitely never lived up to his draft status.

  • The GP

    I just saw this place:

    http://www.trumphotelcollection.com/miami/

    It is the personification of these guys:

    • bone…classic.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I much prefer Bateman’s card, the white on Vann Patten’s card is extremely gaudy, and the font is a touch too wide. All letters on Patten’s are capitalized and even while Bateman’s had tasteful, yet yet varying enough to not be dismissible font. Also Bateman hade nice cropping to his card while Van Patten had his spread out with out much rhyme or reason. The texture to Bateman’s card was even and appealing while Patten’s looked grainy and cheap. You think these guys would have finer taste, Bateman’s card is the clear winner.
      Reply · 155

      View all 18 replies
      Argov82 1 week ago
      +A quality magenta chicken mask Patrick did have the second best card. The indentation of the letting was just slightly too deep. And Paul’s is, of course, the perfect depth. And the color, like canvas but smoother.
      Reply ·

      Solusist 1 week ago
      +A quality magenta chicken mask Please. The serif on Bateman’s card is too pronounced, and the text is too small. Allen’s font is miles ahead of Bateman’s. Allen’s card looks crisp, clean and professional. Look at Bateman’s phone number – the digits are a jumbled mess. It’s hideous.
      Reply · 1

  • AlbertInTucson

    Saturday would have been Doug Buffone’s 71st birthday.

    http://chgobrs.com/1Nn9E79

    • Trac

      I saw that.

    • BearDown100393

      Last season killed him.

  • BearDown100393

    #KillTwitter

  • BerwynBomber

    Man, the Sox are a mess. Williams and Ventura need to go. That won’t happen so Hahn would be smart to look for another job. Williams is setting him up as the fall guy. Kenny’s done this before. Watch your back, Rick.

    • AlbertInTucson

      10 games under .500, again.

      Very frustrating.

    • BearDown100393

      Williams is toxic.

  • The GP
    • BerwynBomber

      Mickleson’s toast and headed toward the Senior Tour but he will still be more popular than Tigger, which will piss off Blogfather to no end.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Damn.

    The Blackhawks just dealt Brandon Saad to Columbus.

    THAT is SAD news.

© Da' Bears Blog