The 2014 Chicago Bears have been Disappointing with a capital D, and there have been questions asked about general manager Phil Emery's ability to evaluate talent in light of the widening gulf between the Bears and the Green Bay Packers, but one thing Phil seems to have got right was taking raw, athletic O-lineman Kyle Long in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Congrats, @Ky1eLong! RT @ChicagoBears: Bears G Kyle Long voted to Pro Bowl; first Bears player to make it in first two seasons since Hester.— Lyndsay Petruny (@LPetruny) December 24, 2014
According to STATS Kyle Long has yet to allow a sack this season, and our own Lester concurs with this impressive tally.
Long is the only one of the four Bears from last year's Pro Bowl to repeat the trip to Hawaii, the others being Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Tim Jennings; Adam L. Jahns points out that Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett and Stephen Paea also were also in contention for places and may end up being invited to attend as replacements, as indeed Long himself was last year.
ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright makes the case that Forte and Jeffery were snubbed, and deserved to go in place of LeSean McCoy and A.J. Green and T.Y. Hilton, respectively. He also praises Long for being part of an O-line that's helping set franchise historic or near-historic statistics in the passing game, but... ah, this isn't meant to be about Jay Cutler.
A few bits and pieces of interest from Tribune Bears beat reporter Brad Biggs on Twitter:
Long becomes 10th #Bears player named to Pro Bowl in their first 2 seasons. Last two were Devin Hester and Brian Urlacher.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 24, 2014
Others on that list? Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers and Mike Ditka.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 24, 2014
...while at least one of the aforementioned Bears who missed out wasn't impressed:
It's funny how a NT with 6 sacks (that gets double-teamed every other play) don't make it to Pro Bowl. Not even Alternates.— Stephen Paea (@PAEA92) December 24, 2014
Check out the entire Pro Bowl roster pool here. Do you agree that Kyle Long is deserving, and what do you think of the possible snubs to Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Stephen Paea, and Martellus Bennett?