Kyle Long is healthy and was back to doing what he loves on Friday as the Chicago Bears kicked off training camp with the first practice session of the summer.
"I got to hit other guys, and that was fun," Long said after practice.
Full go for Kyle Long on day one of camp. pic.twitter.com/cW8Z6z45qL— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) July 20, 2018
Long, who's one of the most recognizable players on the Bears and the team's most outspoken personality on social media, confirmed Friday that the locker room now belongs to quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
"He's really taking ownership of this locker room. It's not something that's forced; it's organic. The guys believe in him. We're lucky to have him."
Long joked that Trubisky's maturation included a beard and a deeper voice.
"He’s a grown man now. He’s got some facial hair. He has some bass in his voice."
Trubisky's growth on the field will be just as important as what he's done off of it since January.
There will be a few bumps in the road early in training camp. Defense is usually ahead of the offense for the first week or so. Combine that with Trubisky learning a new system, and the first few days will probably have more negative than positive offensive reviews.
It’s Mitchell Trubisky in charge from day 1 this year. pic.twitter.com/yCcV4Vw7EO— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) July 20, 2018
And that's where the confidence Long is talking about is so important. If the team believes in Trubisky, he'll have the opportunity to work through the lows and get the offense where it needs to be by Week 1 without any locker room whispers.
With Long watching his back (both on and off the field), Trubisky will be just fine.