Sunday, November 24, 2013
Long brothers involved in scuffle
By Michael C. Wright ESPN.com
ST. LOUIS -- The first matchup between Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long and his brother, Chris Long of the St. Louis Rams, received attention entering Sunday’s game, but a scuffle in the second quarter shined the spotlight directly on the duo.
During Chicago’s 42-21 loss to St. Louis, quarterback Josh McCown absorbed a vicious hit while attempting to throw a pass to Tony Fiammetta, with Kyle Long becoming involved in somewhat of a mini-brawl with Rams defensive end William Hayes away from the play.
During the scuffle, it appeared Long kicked Hayes.
Rams defensive end Chris Long, left, talks to his brother, Kyle, a Bears guard, after St. Louis' win.
That led to Chris Long sprinting off St. Louis’ sideline to grab his younger brother and pull him away from the fight.
Kyle Long declined to discuss the incident after the game, saying, “Look, I’m here to talk football. So if there are any football questions you guys have, I’d love to answer those.”
He later apologized on Twitter.
“I want to apologize to the fans for losing my cool today,” Long said. “Not a representation of the person that I am or the Bears. Shouldn’t happen.”
Bears coach Marc Trestman said Long calmed down quickly.
“I looked over at him once [offensive coordinator] Aaron [Kromer] got a hold of him, and he seemed to quiet himself down,” Trestman said. “I think I’ll be able to talk more about that tomorrow, because I really didn’t see everything that happened. I saw Kyle lose his temper. I don’t know why. I was on the other side of the field.”
Given that Kyle Long appeared to kick a player during the scrum, it’s fortunate for the Chicago Bears that officials didn’t eject him. Asked why Kyle Long was allowed to continue to participate, referee Jerome Boger said, “O.K., I was one of the covering officials on that play, and what I had the unnecessary roughness call was for piling on, that he piled on onto a player who was already on the ground. I didn’t see a kick by him.”
Chris Long wasn’t forced out of the game or penalized, because there is no automatic ejection for coming off the bench in the NFL.
“It’s tough. One of your best friends and your brother,” Chris Long said. “They’re two of the strongest people I know. I’m just glad everybody got out of there O.K. It was just a heated game.”
Asked whether he helped his younger brother by pulling him from the pile, Chris Long said he was simply trying to pull an opponent away from a teammate.
“If pulling him out of the pile and yoking up is helping him ... I’m trying to get him off my teammate just like any other situation that would arise,” he said. “I don’t want us to get a flag, and one way to defuse that situation is to get everybody out of there. He happened to be the body that I saw.”