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Bengals’ Geno Atkins praises Bears rookie Kyle Long

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) gives thumbs up prior an NFL preseasfootball game against Indianapolis Colts Thursday Aug.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) gives the thumbs up prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

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Updated: September 4, 2013 8:44PM

One of the most feared defensive tackles in football will line up across from a rookie Sunday.

But to hear Geno Atkins tell it, the Cincinnati Bengals star has a healthy respect for Bears rookie right guard Kyle Long.

“He’s big and he’s physical — very aggressive and a strong player,” he said on a teleconference Wednesday. “And by watching him, you can tell he likes to get after D-linemen. He likes to get off, be aggressive and show his strength.”

Atkins — who signed a five-year, $55 million extension this year — praised the Bears offense as a whole.

“They’ve got tons of playmakers like (Jay) Cutler, (Matt) Forte, (Michael) Bush. The offensive line is pretty stout. They’re a big group.

“And Brandon Marshall. They’re already loaded, so we just have to get after them.”

To stop Forte, he said, the Bengals need to “have 11 hats to the ball and wrap him up. Don’t miss a tackle and let him be able to cut it back.”

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