It Looks Like Kyle Long is Ready to Make the Leap and Other Bullets

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It Looks Like Kyle Long is Ready to Make the Leap and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears News

I’m happy that you’re hoppy, Kyle:

  • Sure, Jordan Howard has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in the first two years of his professional career … but imagine what he would’ve been able to do with a healthy Kyle Long clearing space on the right side of the line. Make no mistake the Bears have missed Long’s presence the last two seasons as he has missed time with a variety of ailments. Long had a handful of offseason surgeries, and the hope is that he’ll be better after an offseason of getting work done. Long is expected to be a full-go when training camp gets under way in July.
  • The Bears’ strength was on the left side of the line, evidenced by Howard’s 4.7 yards per carry when running left. But when he was going right, Howard averaged just 3.5 yards per attempt. To put it in perspective, let’s extrapolate those averages out over 276 carries – which was Howard’s workload last season. If he rushed right 276 times, he’d come away with just 966 yards. Solid, but not spectacular. But if you apply the math to his numbers going left, we’d be looking at a 1,297-yard rushing season. Now do you see the difference a solid right side of the line could make?
  • It didn’t matter who was on the field when the Bears were in the red zone, Howard was getting in that work:

  • I can’t express this enough: Matt Nagy’s improved offense starts with the line. If that group plays well, then it will go a long way to the Bears justifying the overwhelming round of good grades they have received for their offseason of change. Kalyn Kahler of’s The MMQB gave the Bears an “A” grade, which says a lot considering what the other teams in the NFC North did during the offseason. This division is loaded with talent, so it would come as a surprise to see the Packers or Vikings run away and hide with the division – even after they addressed their offseason needs.
  • Eventually, these offseason analysis pieces will take a back seat to things that happen on the field. Truth be told, someone from this grand free agent class is bound to be a disappointment. And over at Bleacher Report, Doug Farrar fingers wide receiver Allen Robinson as that guy. Robinson received a big-money contract despite appearing in just one game last season. The Bears clearly took a leap of faith in that Robinson would be fully healed from a season-ending ACL injury that happened on the third offensive snap of the season in Jacksonville. Robinson posted big numbers three seasons ago, took a step back in 2016, but still looked the part of a WR1. There’s a bit of risk the Bears are taking on by rolling the dice with Robinson, and he’ll have to produce if he is to avoid being labeled a disappointment.
  • Ugh. I hate when this happens:

  • Michael Johnson of Fansided’s NFL Spin Zone sees Anthony Miller as someone who can grow into Mitch Trubisky’s favorite weapon. There are a handful of players who can fit this role. Earlier, we discussed tight end Trey Burton possibly sliding into being Trubisky’s top target because of how successful he was targeting big-bodied pass-catchers as a rookie. Miller figures to operate over the middle, an area where Trubisky was pretty accurate in college but a bit disappointing as a rookie. If Trubisky can recapture the magic of throwing dimes across the middle of the field and put Miller in a spot where he can rack up yards after the catch, Miller could be sneaky good out of the gates.
  • Joe Marino of FanRag Sports highlights five players who are the most important to the Bears’ future, the of whom are already listed above. The Bears’ offense will be key in getting the Bears back into being a competitive bunch, but the defense staying among the top third of the league will help ease some of the pressure off a still budding offense. Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith is one of those players whose future could dictate where the Bears are headed.
  • Speaking of Smith, “Meet The Rookies” debuts tonight. Here’s a sneak peak:


Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.