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8 Things You Must Know About New Bear Kyle Long

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Peggy Kusinski/NBC Chicago
    First-round draft pick Kyle Long visited Halas Hall the day after he became a Bear. He was Phil Emery's top pick on the offensive line because of his athleticism.

    You may not agree with Phil Emery picking Kyle Long with Chicago's first round pick. Too bad. He's a Bear now, so why not learn these eight facts about Long.

    1. Long was nearly a member of another Chicago team. A powerful, left-handed pitcher in high school, Long was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2008. He instead chose to go to Florida State for football but was dismissed from the school for academic reasons.

    2. At 6-foot-6, he's continuing the trend of taller linemen joining the Bears. Jermon Bushrod, Eben Britton and Matt Slauson all joined the Bears during 2013 free agency, and all stand at 6-foot-5 or taller.

    3. His father is NFL Hall-of-Famer Howie Long, and his brother Chris plays for the Rams. Long knew his son was destined for something special.

    "When you throw 95 [miles per hour] in high school and you're 295 [pounds] in high school and running a 4.8 and you can jump out of the building and tomahawk dunk a basketball, the question then becomes what direction do you go and how important is it to you? It became obvious to us over the last few years it was very important to him," Long said after his son was drafted.

    4. Long wasn't a starter for all of his games in his one year at Oregon. However, as a writer who covered Oregon's football team closely pointed out, their offense relies on heavy rotation, and he saw as much playing time as starters.

    5. At 24, he's the same age as Gabe Carimi and J'Marcus Webb, two players with much more NFL experience who Long will compete with for a job.

    6. 2009 was a very rough year for Long. He was dismissed from Florida State, arrested for a DUI, and entered rehab.

    7. Oregon won the Fiesta Bowl in 2013, and Long was one of five Ducks who were drafted over the weekend. Two were first rounders: Long and Dion Jordan.

    8. He's an avid Twitterer and has been using it to talk to Bears fans and learn about the city. Follow him here, and while you're at it, follow Grizzly Detail, too.