There are new faces all across the Bears roster, and seemingly no one to stand out and lead the pack.
That’s not true. With the team’s biggest veteran names departed Kyle Long now becomes the face of the Bears and the leader of the team. Long has always been outspoken and willing to speak on touchy subjects ever since he was drafted and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
Now the grizzled veteran on a young team in flux Long must truly step up on the pedestal and all signs point to him being not only capable but willing to take on the responsibility of a leader. Just recently, Long came out and said that he blamed himself for “allowing 3-13 culture” to manifest within the locker room. Long undoubtedly has the respect of his teammates already too, what with making the Pro Bowl each year of his career (except last year) not to mention one of those appearances being as a right tackle when his natural position is right guard.
Long is unlikely to have any challengers for the leadership role either, because there are no incoming players who command the respect nor have the attitude. Do we really expect Mike Glennon to be the rah-rah type that can rally the troops in crunch time? No? What about Kendall Wright? Didn’t think so. A case could be made for Pernell McPhee but he actually has to be on the field in order to lead anyone.
Long being in the trenches on the offensive line and being the best on said line only furthers his standing among his teammates and while we can’t heap all the responsibility in Chicago on Kyle it certainly appears that responsibility and accountability in the locker room are his for the taking.