New Bear Kyle Long: ‘Living out my dream’

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By Brad Biggs Tribune reporter
Kyle Long arrived at Halas Hall Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the Chicago Bears made him their surprise first-round draft pick.”I am extremely grateful to be a Chicago Bear,” Long said Friday. “The last 18 hours have been unbelieveable. … I’m so blessed to be in the position I am in.

“I’m living out my dream.”

“This is a teammate we’re very happy to have,” Bears GM Phil Emery said Friday. “When I look at Kyle, I think of two things. One: I’m glad you gave up that baseball thing. And two .. I’m glad you gave up that quarterback thing, too.”

Long will wear No. 75.

Long said several Bears, including Jay Cutler and Robbie Gould, have already contacted him to welcome him to the team.

Long, a guard from Oregon, is being counted on to play a starting role in an offensive line that is  under construction with three new starters projected for the unit this season. General manager Phil Emery said Thursday night he would leave it up to the coaching staff which side he plays on.

Teams typically like their more athletic guard on the left side but veteran Matt Slauson started at left guard for the New York Jets the previous three seasons.

Where Long lands on an offensive line that will be anchored by new left tackle Jermon Bushrod wasn’t the first topic when he was introduced to the media. The son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and younger brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long has a big personality and was thrilled with his whirlwind adventure.

Dad Howie Howie Long joined his son at Halas Hall.

Kyle Long also said he decided not to play for the White Sox, who drafted him in 2008, because he wanted to get a college education.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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