Friday, September 20, 2013
Long ready to talk smack with Bradshaw
By Doug Padilla
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears rookie lineman Kyle Long is ready to take some jabs at family friend Terry Bradshaw this week.
With the Bears headed to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Sunday night, Long figures it's a good time to reach out to Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame Pittsburgh quarterback who is a longtime FOX Network studio host with Kyle's father, Howie Long.
"Maybe I'll shoot Terry a text, send him a warning and let him know how it's going to go off," Kyle Long said laughing Friday. "Talk some smack."
Perhaps one of the more fitting locations for Kyle Long's first NFL road game is Pittsburgh, where Bradshaw forged a Hall of Fame career.
Asked about his first memory of the Steelers when he was growing up, Kyle Long mentioned the "Immaculate Reception," a moment of NFL lore that happened nearly two decades before he was born. The Steelers were playing the Oakland Raiders that day, the franchise his father would join almost a decade later.
Howie Long might not have been playing that day, but Bradshaw was at quarterback and it was his pass that was deflected into the hands of Franco Harris, who plucked the ball off the top of the artificial turf and took it to the end zone for an improbable touchdown.
"I used to watch NFL Films and stuff," Kyle Long said. "Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw and those guys. Obviously the defense with Jack Lambert and all those guys. They were just a bunch of beasts."
Kyle Long knows, though, that come Sunday night, the lighthearted texts and memories of old grainy television replays will be replaced with a business-like approach.
"Lining up inside this week it will be a different kind of test," Long said. "There will be a girthy group of guys across the ball from us. A lot of savvy vets. They know the ins and outs of their defense. Also, there's Dick LeBeau, a tremendous defensive coordinator and somebody who has been in the league for a long time, so I'm sure we're going to see some tricky stuff."
As for a hated team growing up, and one team name that was not allowed to be said in the Long house, it wasn't the Steelers, despite some big games between Oakland and Pittsburgh.
"You'd be surprised at the amount of respect that my dad has for all the teams they played against," Kyle Long said. "Now the Chiefs on the other hand, they don't get along. I guess Chiefs and Raiders don't mix.
"Obviously the Steelers are another franchise, like the Bears, that have been around for so long and have such a great history and such a winning tradition and a team that prides itself on toughness and physicality, so I'm excited for that."