Kyle Long provides peek into Bears' voluntary workouts


Kyle Long provides peek into Bears' voluntary workouts

It appears the main reason Bears guard Kyle Long was asked to phone in to yesterday's "Rich Eisen Show" was to talk about former Oregon Ducks, from Marcus Mariota's leadership and charisma to the culture Chip Kelly instills in his teams. The methods to Kelly's madness is an ongoing national topic now that he's blown up and pieced the Philadelphia Eagles back together despite back-to-back 10-6 seasons. 

But we here in Chicago are more concerned about what's going on at Halas Hall, now that this week marked the start of voluntary, off-field workouts under the new coaching regime. Through most accounts by hearsay, attendance is strong despite the absence of running back Matt Forte, who appears to be making whatever statement he can about working out elsewhere as he enters the final year of a four-year contract. The training facilities are open to veterans under contract for supervised weight training, and rehabbing injured players get to work with the training and medical staffs. Perhaps most importantly of all, the new coaching staff gets a fixed amount of daily classroom time with the players about the schemes they're implementing.

[MORE BEARS: Kyle Long's tweets perfectly capture Roberto Garza's lasting impact on Bears]

It's certainly safe to call Long a long-term cornerstone to this offense, no matter how and where he'll be implemented. And while being careful to respect the previous regime that brought him to Chicago, the two-time Pro Bowl guard further fueled optimism when sharing the culture change in the building.

"The guys we're playing for now are just older versions of us," Long told Eisen. "They understand what we're going through ... They do a great job of balancing work and your life outside of football, and they're also football guys. They're crazy about it and John Fox is hitting biceps curls next to me, talking smack, telling me to put weight on the bar. I think we got the right guys in the building.

"They're a bunch of 'men's men' upstairs. They love football and everything that comes about with football. That's apparent here."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans]

To be fair, Marc Trestman promoted that balance between work and life outside of football, but the execution of that concept was never fully realized, and the on-field execution crumbled with each passing week. 

"We need to score more points than the other team, and defensively we need to allow less points than we're scoring," Long said. "If we can't play defense, if we can't play offense or special teams, good things aren't going to happen. I feel we have the right people in the building to achieve that. It's been very evident the past two days it's a different culture here."

Report: Bears have ‘been in touch’ with Bengals about Andy Dalton trade

Report: Bears have ‘been in touch’ with Bengals about Andy Dalton trade

As the Bears look to acquire a veteran quarterback to push Mitch Trubisky, one name that’s been thrown around is Andy Dalton.

According to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., the Bears have “been in touch” with the Bengals regarding a potential Dalton trade.

Dalton comes with a hefty cap hit ($17.5 million) and is only under contract through 2020, but Trubisky being on his rookie deal would help the Bears stomach his salary. The 32-year-old threw for 3,494 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season, sporting 78.3 passer rating.

Adding Dalton would give the Bears insurance in case Trubisky’s 2019 struggles persist next season. Dalton is an established veteran who is familiar with Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. The two worked together from 2016-18, when Lazor was Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach (2016) and OC (2017-18).

Dehner’s report doesn't offer any specific packages the Bears and Bengals have discussed. However, barring a surprise, Cincinnati will select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall in the NFL draft in two months. Considering Burrow is set to become the Bengals’ quarterback of the future, trading Dalton will give him the chance to play elsewhere.

The Bears have made it clear Trubisky is entering 2020 as their starter. However, someone like Dalton could usurp him if the former No. 2 overall pick can’t find his footing this season.

Black History Month: The courage to be a black quarterback


Black History Month: The courage to be a black quarterback

NBCS Chicago is celebrating Black History Month with special episodes to discuss the impact of the black athlete in sports. In the final episode of the series, Laurence Holmes is joined by his "Football Aftershow" teammate and former Chicago Bear Alex Brown to discuss, making coaching in the NFL more diverse, is the Rooney Rule helping, and the common practice of moving black quarterbacks to other positions.

(4:20) - Alex Brown on being pushed to not play quarterback in high school

(9:15) - Jalen Hurts asked would he be willing to change positions in the NFL

(17:03) - Alex Brown on playing in a Super Bowl that featured 2 black head coaches

(22:12) - Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy not being mentioned for a head coaching job

(26:00) - Does the Rooney Rule work?

(40:35) - Overcoming unfairness

(44:28) - Watching a NFL where there are successful black quarterbacks

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player  below:

Under Center Podcast


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