Kyle Long has never been shy about his feelings for Jay Cutler, who he consistently defended during his tenure as the Chicago Bears quarterback. He wasn't shy about how much he respected and appreciated him when he was released, either.
On Thursday night, Jay Cutler made his return to Soldier Field for the first time since his departure following the 2016 season. And no one was happier to seem him than Long.
Check out the bro hugs:
Cutler played eight years in Chicago and finished his time as a Bear with a 51-51 record. He's the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards (23,443) and touchdowns (154) but never quite elevated the team to the heights expected when then-GM Jerry Angelo made the blockbuster trade to acquire him in 2009.
None of that matters now, at least not to Long.
Of all the major sports figures in recent Chicago sports history, Jay Cutler may be No. 1 in terms of scrutiny received. The former Bears quarterback played eight seasons in Chicago, winning just one playoff game along the way.
No matter what he did on the field, Bears fans seemed to always complain about Cutler. Some scrutinized him for having a bad attitude, though many of Cutler's teammates tended to disagree.
Friday, Nikki Junewicz of Fox Nashville posted a video on Twitter which detailed a story about Cutler. In the video, a woman with Junewicz explains how Cutler paid for the duo's meal bill at a restaurant.
Good on you, Jay Cutler.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.
Jay Cutler appeared as a guest on the 'Waddle and Silvy' show on Wednesday and revealed that he will be making his return to Soldier Field on September 5. Cutler is attending the Bears-Packers season opener as a fan, looking to enjoy the experience of taking in the game from a new perspective.
Culter stated, “I’ve never really watched a game from the stadium from that view. So it’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
The last time Cutler was at Soldier Field was Week 8 of the 2016 NFL regular season.
The Bears came into that matchup against the division rival Minnesota Vikings with a 1-6 record, struggling with quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer in the absence of Culter, who returned in Week 8 after a severe thumb injury. Cutler was solid in that game, completing 20 of his 31 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown in a Bears win.
Cutler is surely hoping to bring that same winning energy to Solider Field on September 5 when his former team takes on Green Bay. He had a career 2-11 record against the Packers, so Cutler will have some extra motivation when he is (hopefully) cheering on the Bears.
There is no word yet on exactly where Cutler will be seated or what tailgates he will be attending, but his presence in the building for the Bears' season opener is sure to add some intrigue.