Kyle Long has seen some things during his five-year playing career with the Chicago Bears.
Long has played for two head coaches, three offensive coordinators, blocked two different 1,000-yard rushers, and protected eight different starting quarterbacks. All this before he even gets on the field with his third head coach (Matt Nagy), fourth offensive coordinator (Mark Helfrich), and countless new faces in the fold as he enters Year 6 of his professional career. Yeah, it’s safe to say Long has played through some things in Chicago.
And yet, there’s something about Mitch Trubisky (and some of the Bears’ other young studs) that stands out.
“Right now, he is as poised a young player I’ve seen in the league,” Long said in an interview with SI.com. “We’ve gotten lucky with a few really good, mature young players. Adrian Amos, Mitch Trubisky, Kyle Fuller … I’ve seen those guys grow.”
Trubisky’s teammates have tossed praise for his leadership abilities since his arrival at training camp as a rookie and the hits haven’t stopped coming as he enters his second season. I mean, what’s not to love about a quarterback who is willing to drag teammates to join him for workouts in California?
The waves of young talent are taking over and this movement is not lost on Long. Just think about how far this team has come in the last year regarding roster construction. While there was an uprising of young talent bubbling under the radar, last year’s camp featured a slew of veteran free agent signings who were clinging to starting roles. It’s out with the old (Mike Glennon, Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps) and in with the new (Trubisky, Fuller, Amos) as far as Bears camp is concerned in 2018, which leaves us to be excited about the upside and promise moving forward.
Trubisky has shown swagger on the practice field, scored points by taking command of the huddle with his potty mouth, and earned respect with a strong late-season push. Since then, new tight end Trey Burton applauded Trubisky’s leadership qualities and running back Jordan Howard has noted a difference in Trubisky’s command of the huddle and offense in Year 2.
Taking the next step has (almost) a tired cliché around these parts, but it appears as if Trubisky is ready to take that head on. And if he is as poised as Long makes him out to be, we’re ready to see it unfold.