Veteran Kyle Long returns fueled by Chiefs locker room culture

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It’s easy to forget that much of the excitement of the offseason for this year’s offensive line came with the signing of former All-Pro offensive lineman Kyle Long.

After being retired for a year, Long returned to football, but his return was quickly interrupted by an injury during OTA training in June – a broken leg forced him to make the PUP roster ( Physically unable to play) for the remainder of the offseason. and for the first six weeks of the regular season.

Long originally retired due to injuries that accumulated over the course of his career, so something like that could have easily sent him off the field. Long was never the case.

“I remember a lot of people like ‘so you’re done now, huh? “” Long told reporters at his press conference on Friday. “I was like ‘wait, wait. Absolutely not. I’ll continue” and here we are six months later; I’m back on the pitch.

This positivity is not only retrospective. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid acknowledged his attitude throughout the process.

“He’s so positive about things,” Reid told reporters at his press conference Friday. “That kind of injury, there aren’t a lot of guys coming back the same year. He’s powered by that thing and gets into a position where he can do it – and play. I think it’s a tribute to him and his work ethic … he does everything with such a positive attitude, it’s crazy. He’s so good for this room.

Long made it clear why he was so positive: he knows he’s part of a special organization.

“To be surrounded by such a great facility, with so many great players and great people, and to be under the tutelage of so many great coaches here,” said Long. “So many future Hall of Fame members are walking around. If you don’t have a smile and a positive attitude, you need to get checked out. I can assure you that the grass is not always greener.

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Reid also made a point that many would agree with: Long’s veteran, the All-Pro presence is understandably a positive thing for the talented youngsters who occupy most of the Chiefs’ starting offensive line. Yet Long believes the opposite to be true.

“I really think it’s about how they were able to help me,” Long replied when asked how he had helped his younger teammates. “You look at the rookies that we have in the room and the veterans – and on our roster and our room we have guys who work hard every day and focus on what they’re supposed to be doing; you saw him every Sunday. It was really fun being in a group like this, and they don’t grow on trees.

“I have attended every meeting since I got injured,” Long continued. “All there is to do, I did; I’ve put myself in as good a position as I can get – and relying on my great teammates and the offensive line room… that’s a special thing. I wish everyone could experience what an offensive line can do to a personality and an attitude. “

It’s not just the offensive linemen who fuel Long to come back and contribute to this Super Bowl hope.

“Being surrounded by superstars, I see there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into the success that we all experience and see on Sunday,” Long revealed. “It starts at the top with Big Red, and it goes down through all the staff. Bring energy and practice with a goal, the path [Patrick Mahomes] going about his business, and the way [Travis Kelce] go about their business, everyone here talks about only one thing: football. It’s fun and I love it.

It all added up to motivate Long in his final recovery from injury. This has allowed him to be on the training ground for weeks now, rightfully entering the mix, according to Coach Reid.

He’s now on the 53-man roster, which means he could be dressed and active on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Now is not the perfect time to get back in good enough shape for a game, but Long knows how to tackle the challenge.

“You just have to rely on your preparation,” Long stressed. “Have the utmost confidence in yourself and your teammates. If you’re in the field, you’ve done the work to make it happen – and you need to be confident in what you’ve done to prepare for it.

Long is content with his decision to walk the path to healing the wounds. It’s obvious he loves football – and he knows that if he stepped away after his injury this summer, he would be watching this team right now with one thing in mind.

“I would be sitting at home right now and say ‘I would be healthy now and I could maybe help this team’ – but I don’t have it now, because I’m here and haven’t missed No days These guys got me through that … they make work fun, and playing football is fun as it is; it’s a double whammy there.

Whether Long contributes onto the pitch right away or not, his return is vital for a team unwilling to repeat last year’s injury result along the Super Bowl LV offensive line.

This gives the team a veteran who will be highly motivated every time his number is called – because he wants to win for this team – a direct result of the incredible culture of this organization.


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