Kyle Long is his own harshest critic:
I have allowed a 3-13 culture to creep into the locker room. I'm sorry for that. I will alongside other senior leaders see success through.
— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) March 31, 2017
Long later added that when he came to the Bears there were valuable leaders in the locker room and good players on the field.
But now, in their absence, he believes that folks need to step up and take on that added, but crucial responsibility. And don’t think Long is pointing any fingers, either. In a later tweet, he mentioned that mentoring the team’s younger players falls squarely on his shoulders.
In other words, he plans on taking on a bigger leadership role in 2017.
- Matt Eurich of 247 Sports shares an entire series of Long’s tweets, in which the Bears’ Pro Bowl offensive lineman takes responsibility for the team’s recent losing culture. Long is never shy to share his feelings on social media, and it’s refreshing to see a player take an open and honest look at himself as it relates to the team’s situation. But he shouldn’t be too hard on himself. Long is already leader on the offensive line and on the offensive side of the ball. And with as much turnover as the Bears have had, it can’t be easy to find that foothold. Perhaps Long, and some of the other leaders on the team, can establish a new culture with more stability through the addition of young players who may be looking for guidance in 2017 and beyond.
- If you feel bad about the remaining holes on the Bears roster, consider that every team has them at this point in the offseason. It’s why the draft is of the utmost importance this time of year. Over at Bleacher Report, Brent Sobleski offers up every team’s biggest red flag. And while I imagine limiting the Bears to just one might have been a challenge, the wide receiver uncertainty was the one that went down as the biggest problem. After investing in a new quarterback, Mike Glennon, the Bears pieced together a wide receiver corps with two free agents on short term deals (Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright), a returning undrafted free agent (Cameron Meredith), and a receiver who has played four games in two seasons (Kevin White). The Bears have a handful of pressing concerns, but the lack of inspiring options for Glennon to target sticks out for the worst possible reasons.
- To that end, the Bears still need to look internally for improvement. Whether it’s Meredith taking another step forward (after his breakout season) as a receiver, Jordan Howard repeating his rookie year feats, Leonard Floyd using his athleticism to help refine his technique … we could go on. John Mullin of CSN Chicago writes that the Bears – despite all the offseason noise — will end up having to look into the mirror for further improvement in 2017. Whether it is a change in the workout routine to improve on team health or players taking it upon themselves to make strides in their game, there is much to improve upon throughout the organization.
- Adrian Peterson is set to visit the New England Patriots on Monday, where the fit makes sense on the surface. At this stage of his career, Peterson isn’t a three-down back. However, he still might have enough to be a premier two-down back — and that might work for New England, which values versatility in its backs in third-down situations. Peterson could replace LeGarrette Blount, who doesn’t look to be in the Patriots’ long-term picture. It will be odd not seeing Peterson line up for the Vikings, but he won’t be missed in Chicago after a career in which he averaged 111.6 rushing yards and scored 14 touchdowns in 14 games against the Bears.
- March Madness isn’t just for basketball – at least, not in the eyes of the NFL. Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune takes us through the headline craziness during the Month of March – highlighting stories and headlines that caught our eyes, whether they should’ve or not.
- And finally, safety prospect Jabrill Peppers (who put on a show at Michigan’s pro day) is putting some great expectations on himself with this player comp:
What type of player is @JabrillPeppers?
He has his answer. pic.twitter.com/sI5CO6U0bL
— NFL (@NFL) April 2, 2017
Would you, now?