Reid Compton/USA TODAY SportsKyle Long plans to report to training camp on Wednesday ahead of the veterans.Chicago Bears rookie Kyle Long has heard the talk that he likely will start at right guard, but the first-round pick isn't buying in.
"You listen to that kind of stuff, you internalize it, but what you do with it is what differentiates good players from guys who are not going to be able to play," Long said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I'm just going to go out there and work my tail off, take in the playbook, immerse myself in the offense and hopefully good things will happen."
Veteran Matt Slauson, signed as a free agent in the offseason, is expected to start at left guard, leaving right guard up for grabs between Long and James Brown.
Long, who plans to report early to training camp on Wednesday in Bourbonnais, acknowledged that he might be at a disadvantage in competing for a starting job at the start of camp after missing the offseason program due to an NCAA rule. The Oregon product had to sit out the offseason program until the school's final exams were completed.
Does he expect to be starting right away?
"Put yourself in my shoes. I wasn't allowed to go to OTAs," Long said. "I haven't seen anyone else on our offensive line. They are all NFL players so obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for the other guys in the offensive line room. I'm looking forward to getting to work with those guys, great vets like (Roberto) Garza and (Jermon) Bushrod."