Howie Long says what son Kyle did this season ‘was mind-boggling’
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter January 29, 2014 8:20PM
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Updated: March 3, 2014 4:17PM
NEW YORK — Fox TV analyst Howie Long talked like a Hall of Famer and proud parent when discussing his son Kyle, who made the Pro Bowl as an alternate as a rookie guard for the Bears this season.
Speaking to reporters with other Fox analysts during Super Bowl week at the Sheraton Times Square, Long raved about his son’s rookie season but also gave a nod to his teammates, including center
Roberto Garza, quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall.
‘‘What [Kyle] did was mind-boggling,’’ Long said. ‘‘For a kid who had no OTAs because of Pac-12 restrictions on attending OTAs, having never played right guard or been in a right-handed stance, to slide over there in a divi-
sion that’s loaded at defensive
tackle, in a complex offense . . . and [get] great support from his center, who I think is an untold story.
‘‘Garza is not only a guy who’s a smart guy and a guy who has played a long time and I have a great deal of respect for, but I have a newfound respect for guys like him and [offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod] and Jay Cutler.
‘‘Jay is probably one of those guys who a lot of people outside of the football team maybe don’t get or don’t understand. But all I can base my opinion on is Kyle’s perception of him as a teammate, and Kyle raves about him . . . and Brandon Marshall — guys that maybe you have a preconceived notion about.’’
Kyle Long, the Bears’ first-round draft pick (20th overall) last spring out of Oregon, made NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt’s all-rookie team. With him starting all season at right guard, the Bears ranked fifth in the NFL in points and set franchise records for total yards (6,109), passing yards (4,450) and passing touchdowns (32).
Howie Long said he is hopeful his son can build on that next season.
‘‘Here’s what I’ve told Kyle: I think Kyle is an iceberg,’’ Long said. ‘‘What you see now is just 20 percent that’s above the surface. If Kyle’s fortunate enough to stay healthy and continues to grind away and want to be great individually and as a team and win championships and play in big games, that’s up to Kyle. I think Kyle can be as good as Kyle wants to be.’’