Bears

Kyle Long provides peek into Bears' voluntary workouts

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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."

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

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USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."