clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kyle Long will "carry the torch" of leadership from Roberto Garza

New, comments

With the Chicago Bears releasing Roberto Garza earlier today, the team loses a respected leader in the locker room. Lucky for the Bears they have a player ready to step up and assume a leadership role.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Roberto Garza has played in 206 games, making 176 starts, in his 14 year NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears. Atlanta picked him in the 4th round of the 2001 NFL Draft and the Bears signed him in 2005. He was one of the most respected players on the Bears, not only for his work on the field and his leadership in the locker room, but also for his charitable work around the community.

Garza has been the leader of the offensive line since taking over for Olin Kreutz in 2010 and it was his role as mentor that greatly affected teammate Kyle Long. Check out this string of tweets from Long.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Some things are hard to believe. Can&#39;t say I&#39;ve been around a more humble hard working guy. <a href="https://twitter.com/Roberto_Garza63">@Roberto_Garza63</a> will always be a legend.</p>&mdash; LXXV (@Ky1eLong) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ky1eLong/status/583654375731683329">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>From the first day I got to the Bears he showed me and told me what it took to be accountable and respected in the NFL He did it right(cont)</p>&mdash; LXXV (@Ky1eLong) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ky1eLong/status/583654567411380224">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>All the time. First man in, last man out. A lot of people claim that kind of thing but he lived it. Luchadores for ever brother. Love ya bro</p>&mdash; LXXV (@Ky1eLong) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ky1eLong/status/583654752774389761">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Speaking of Luchadores, both Long and Garza got at kick out of the photoshop from our very own David Taylor, Los Luchadores.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I promise to carry the torch with the same charisma and dedication that <a href="https://twitter.com/Roberto_Garza63">@Roberto_Garza63</a> did for so long in Chicago. LUCKENBACH TEXAS ✊</p>&mdash; LXXV (@Ky1eLong) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ky1eLong/status/583655339058454529">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I understand that it&#39;s a business, but this is family I&#39;m talking about. He took a broken dumb kid and turned him into a man. Grateful 4 him</p>&mdash; LXXV (@Ky1eLong) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ky1eLong/status/583655886616449024">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Los Hermanos Para Vida <a href="http://t.co/dKLt4Kk1nB">pic.twitter.com/dKLt4Kk1nB</a></p>&mdash; LXXV (@Ky1eLong) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ky1eLong/status/583657892458450946">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Los Hermanos Para Vida means Brothers For Life.

Kyle Long has played two season with the Bears, making 2 straight Pro Bowls. He's one of the hardest working players on the team and he is ready to assume a leadership role for the franchise. He and his teammates should be fortunate he had such a good example in Roberto Garza.

Garza released a statement via social media.

<blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://instagram.com/p/0-f0gnM00L/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">Thank you to the Chicago Bears and Bears fan base for an incredible ten years</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Roberto Garza (@rgarza63) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2015-04-02T14:50:29+00:00">Apr 2, 2015 at 7:50am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote>

<script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

Here's the statement from Chicago general manager Ryan Pace.

"We have a great deal of respect for what Roberto has brought to the Bears over the last 10 years," general manager Ryan Pace said in a statement. "He has been a great player, teammate and leader. We wish Roberto and his family the very best as he continues his career."