Kyle Long hasn’t been able to help as much on the field as he’s wanted to in recent years, but new Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand notes that the three-time Pro Bowl lineman is still finding ways to help his fellow line-mates.
“He comes in the meeting room every day with a smile on his face, looking forward to working,” Hiestand said of Long, via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. “He’s very interested in helping the other guys. After I’ll say something, the meeting will break and they’ll be walking out to get a break and he’ll be talking out there with the young guys. That part’s been really good about him.”
Long has been a limited participant during the offseason training program, but the Bears’ offensive line could use all the help it can get – even if it’s in the form of assistance from the sidelines. Mitch Trubisky was sacked on 8.6 percent of his dropbacks (31 times in total) and Jordan Howard had his struggles running to the right side of the line, which was decimated by injuries throughout the year.
Even though Long courageously tried to play through various injuries last season, the star lineman has missed 14 games over the last two years. Long’s 2017 started slowly as he made his way back from ankle surgery in 2016, but his season still ended early due to the mounting injuries. Still, this allowed him to undergo neck, shoulder, and elbow surgeries during the offseason.
Long has shared a bunch of encouraging updates regarding his health during the offseason. He said he was feeling well back in January, shared some optimism in April while noting it was the healthiest he had felt in years, and offered a most encouraging update in May. Most importantly, Long is expected to go full speed when training camp starts in a few weeks. Now, that will be a quite the positive sign once it happens.