Kyle Long walked away from football recently, but don’t think he is going to be away for too long.
The eclectic Long has a variety of interests and no shortage of platforms of which he can be seen and heard. So it isn’t a stretch to believe that his appearance on Ian Rapoport’s podcast figures to be the first of his many forays into the media world.
But between it being the first since his announcement that he was stepping away from the game, as well as some of the topics Long touches on, this is a must-listen:
— Westwood One Sports (@westwood1sports) January 16, 2020
I have included a link below so you can listen to it in its entirety. But first, some highlights.
EXPLAINING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HIATUS AND RETIREMENT
Long sets the record straight regarding his decision to get walk away from football, and it is one that is a bit of an eye-brow raiser.
“I keep hearing the word retirement, and the air quotations “retirement,” and what that entails,” Long said. “I think I’m more just hiatus. Trying to figure out what’s next for me, and what’s right for me and my family. It’s been a fun process with football. I was blessed to play seven (years), and maybe three and a half of the seven realistically. Now I’m done and can heal up, and figure out what is next for me.”
For the record, Long never used the word retirement. And that’s smart on his part, as to keep his options open. Injuries have taken a toll on his body, and thus, his career. So would a year off to fully rehabilitate and rest put him in a place where he would want back in? Well, funny you should ask.
“Could I play more? Absolutely? If I took a year off, could I play three or four more years? No doubt in my mind. Do I want to do that? That remains to be seen, which is why I used the term hiatus.”
To be sure, Long has options. There are plenty of things he can get into should he not want to get back into football. Between the possibility of getting into broadcasting and other mediums, eSports, and other interests – including those he couldn’t contractually get into while he was in the NFL – the world is out there for Long to explore. Here’s hoping he gets to live his best and fullest life outside of the game.
WINNING WITH MITCH TRUBISKY
As Long moves away from the NFL and does more media hits, he will certainly be asked questions about the future of Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Few people have as close of a relationship with Trubisky as Long, who took the rookie under his wing with his leadership and saw the leap he took from his time with John Fox to his first year under Matt Nagy. Of course, Long saw Trubisky take a step back in his third year as a pro. So when asked about if the Bears can with with Trubisky under center, Long was quick to point out they already have.
“The Bears have won with Mitchell Trubisky. So that question, it gets asked all the time and it’s a fair question because people have to ask these questions, especially in a huge market like Chicago. But Mitch doesn’t have to answer to anyone. All he has to answer to is showing up every day and getting better, which we’ve seen. We all regressed this year, but unfortunately, heavy lies the head that wears the crown. And Mitch is the captain, Mitch is the quarterback. He’s also suited to take the stuff he has to deal with, and that’s what I love about Mitch. He can deal with the noise and he’s young, so young. I’m looking forward to seeing what another set of eyes, from a coaching perspective, can do for Mitch.”
Long really hits the nail on the head here. Trubisky regressed in 2019, but his struggles weren’t the lone reason why the Bears went from a 12-win team to an 8-win outfit. It’s just that he, as the quarterback, wears it the most because of the position he plays and where he was drafted.
The most important thing Long might have offered was his belief that Trubisky was built to take the stuff being thrown on his plate and in his direction, as far as critiques and criticisms are concerned. If Trubisky is truly built to get up after being knocked down the way he was this past year, it would go a long way toward the Bears bouncing back in 2020.
For more from Long on Rapoport’s podcast, you can check out more here.