Kyle Long apologizes for play in which brother Chris intervened
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter November 24, 2013 11:57PM
ST. LOUIS — Kyle Long sat at his locker, embarrassed.
“It was very stupid on my part,” he said. “Very stupid.”
When the Bears kicked off Sunday against the Rams, it seemed half the world knew the story line: the Bears’ rookie right guard and his older brother, Rams defensive end Chris Long, were facing each other for the first time on any level.
Their father, Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, was in an Edward Jones Dome luxury box with four dozen or so friends and family members.
The brothers grew annoyed with the week’s worth of attention — “A lot of microphones,” Kyle said — but had embraced the rare matchup.
But then in the second quarter, the whistle had blown — or had it? — and Kyle was hit in the back, about 30 yards from where fullback Tony Fiammetta and Rams players had scrambled to pick up what would be ruled an incomplete pass.
The fight started, and Kyle wound up on top of Rams defensive end William Hayes.
“It’s tough,” Chris said. “One of your best friends and your brother.”
Chris was on the Rams’ bench during the play but sprinted in anyway, which is, somehow, legal in the NFL.
Chris pulled his brother off Hayes just as Kyle appeared to try to kick at him.
Had his brother not intervened, Kyle might have connected — and surely been ejected.
“I don’t want us to get a flag, and one way to defuse that situation is to get everybody out of there,” Chris said.
“He happened to be the body I saw.”
He was asked if he came to his brother’s aid.
“If pulling him up out of the pile and yanking him up is helping him,” he said. “I’m trying to get him off my teammate just like any other situation that would arise.”
Chris said, after the Rams’ 42-21 victory against the Bears, that it wasn’t “the first time I’ve restrained” Kyle, and that he and Hayes “probably needed to be.”
Kyle was penalized 15 yards for piling onto a player already on the ground, but not for kicking.
“I didn’t see a kick by him,” referee Jerome Boger said.
Kyle was lucky but apologized afterward — “I lost my cool,” he said — and seemed genuinely bothered that the fight generated so much interest.
“To have success in athletics,” Kyle said, “you need to be able to control and harness your emotions and your aggression.
“And I failed to do that at one point during the game.”
And there he was, fighting with his brother’s team.
“I know these guys, y’know?” he said. “I know these guys.
“It’s weird. It’s just tough.”
While the officials took what seemed like 20 minutes to sort out the flags — the Bears had three penalties — Kyle’s teammates calmed him down.
Left tackle Jermon Bushrod said the Bears “didn’t want anything catastrophic to happen” to Kyle, told him to “keep his poise, keep his cool” after the fight.
“He’ll be fine,” guard Matt Slauson said. “He’s just gotta stop earlier.”
Kyle admitted to not pulling out far enough on the Bears’ failed fourth-down attempt. Chris was relatively quiet, deflecting one pass and coming up with one tackle for loss.
And the two made peace quickly, talking the rest of the game on the field and talking with their dad outside the Bears’ locker room a half-hour after it ended.
“Kyle is just a fiery type of guy,” Bushrod said. “He’s a passionate person, loves his team.
“It’s a great thing. If I’m going into a street fight, that’s the guy I want.”