2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Long brothers line up vs each other in Bears-Rams

By RACHEL COHEN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-21 15:04

When Chris Long studies video of the opposing offensive line this week, searching for tendencies and vulnerabilities, he can't also help but notice strong plays by the Bears' right guard.

And the Rams defensive end wells up with pride.

Long and younger brother Kyle play against each other for the first time Sunday, and their Hall of Fame father, Howie, will watch from a suite. The elder Long has always felt sympathy for another former NFL player, Archie Manning, when his quarterback sons face one another.

Yet the Longs will endure a true head-to-head tussle that the Mannings never can. Chris and Kyle will likely slam into each other along the line of scrimmage at least a few times in St. Louis.

Howie Long would normally be in a Los Angeles studio on a fall Sunday. His employer, Fox, insisted he take the day off, though Long will still briefly appear on air as the network televises the game. He'll go from commentator to interviewee, from analyzing the story to part of the story.

Kyle, listed at 6-foot-6 and 311 pounds, has started every game as a rookie for Chicago. Chris, 6-3, 270, has 48 1/2 sacks in six seasons for the Rams.

With an age gap of almost four years, the two have never shared the same field in uniform. Not surprisingly, these two large, competitive, athletic guys have tangled in plenty of ''melees,'' as Howie puts it.

Their worst fight, Kyle said, ''probably had to do with something I may or may not have mumbled under my breath to my mom regarding taking the trash out.''

''I'm going to leave it at that,'' he added. ''I don't talk back to my mom anymore, and I keep my distance from my brother when I'm being asked to do things.''

Kyle is happy to go into vivid detail about a rivalry at the family's vacation home in Montana. The brothers try to see who can push a jeep 30 yards the fastest.

Kyle can even remember the exact times for last summer: He did it 9 1/2 seconds, Chris in 11. Kyle was so pumped that he ignored exhaustion to sprint away in celebration, trash-talking the whole way. In this telling, Chris just sat on the ground, pouting.

Chris contends the differential was a half-second.

''When I adjusted the fact that he weighs 58 pounds more than me, maybe, I think I won,'' he said. ''That's my claim, at least.''

Frequently during the season, one brother will get a 10-minute break between meetings and text the other.

Even this week.

''Why would that change?'' Kyle said. ''We're still brothers. It might be a little more smack talk.''

There will be some of that between plays Sunday, too, he promised. Kyle plans to warn fellow rookie right tackle Jordan Mills, who will likely wrangle with Chris the most, what not to say to his brother.

''I've heard from his point of view of what offensive linemen can do to your psyche, and that kill switch comes on and nobody wants that to come on during the game,'' Kyle said.

Watching and listening to his older brother over the years offered Kyle a how-to course in NFL life. Those jeep pushes aren't just friendly competition but an example of necessary offseason workouts.

Kyle has always idolized Chris, which makes him think of a sports-referencing lyric in a song by rapper Drake: ''And that's around the time that your idols become your rivals.''

''It's a blessing and it's a curse,'' Kyle said. ''I know my mom and dad are going to be worried sick up there in the suite at the Jones Dome.''

Brotherly quarterback matchups get the most attention, but siblings have met in the trenches before, too. The second of three NFL generations of the Matthews family - Bruce, an offensive lineman, and Clay, a linebacker - regularly butted heads as divisional rivals in the 1980s and '90s.

Howie remembers the message he always gave his three sons around the dinner table (Howie Jr. works for the Raiders) about the importance of family: ''These people at the end of the day would jump in front of a bus to save you.''

The Longs have about 40 friends and relatives flying in for the game. Howie and his wife will do an interview from the stadium during Fox's pregame show, when the elder Long would normally be opining on the afternoon's matchups.

This time, he'll be speaking as a parent, not an analyst.

''Fox NFL Sunday'' producer Bill Richards said Howie had agreed to be shown in the suite a couple of times during the game, but the camera won't be cutting to the father immediately after, say, Chris beats Kyle for a sack.

Richards recalled how the boys used to visit the set in their Halloween costumes, and how pregame colleague Terry Bradshaw is like an uncle to them. Viewers will have to judge whether the personal ties of this game seem endearing or awkward on air.

Richards promises if one of the Long brothers ''messes up, you'll hear about it.''

On a typical Sunday, Howie always keeps one eye glued to a monitor - or two - showing his sons' games. He'd prefer to mostly avoid taking part in discussions about matchups involving the Rams and Bears.

He worries about his sons' health but comforts himself that he taught them proper technique. Both Howie and Chris tried to push Kyle into baseball, well aware of football's physical toll, and he initially decided to pitch at Florida State. Somehow he still wound up in the NFL, taking a circuitous route through a DUI arrest, academic troubles, junior college and just five starts at Oregon.

He's such a natural, he was the 20th pick of the first round of this year's draft.

Chris made a far more direct trip, drafted with the second overall selection in 2008 out of Virginia. Kyle had to live up to the pressure of following both Howie and Chris. Then again, at least he doesn't play the same position as his father, who starred at defensive end for the Raiders from 1981-93.

Howie and Chris most appreciate Sunday's moment because of Kyle's unlikely presence in it.

''He's messed up once or twice and gotten knocked down once or twice and taken a long path,'' Chris said. ''But, heck, for a guy that's been at one college and a juco and changed sports and played one year of major college football, he's doing a hell of a job. I've just been proud of the way he's handled everything and the man he is.

''It really has nothing to do with football for me. But I'm just really proud because I know how hard this job is.''

---

AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Lake Forest, Ill., contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Robert MeachemJul 28 07:03p

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and OG Ben Grubbs (undisclosed) did not participate in practice Monday, July 28, but head coach Sean Payton said both should return [ More ]

Josh GordonJul 28 07:03p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has hired attorney Maurice Suh to help with the appeal of his impending suspension, according to a source. Suh helped Seattle Seahawks CB Richard [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinJul 28 07:03p

New Orleans Saints C Tim Lelito and C Jonathan Goodwin split reps at center with the first-team offense during practice Monday, July 28.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 28 06:32p

Kansas City Chiefs OG Rokevious Watkins (back) cleared waivers and was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list Monday, July 28.

Ezekiel AnsahJul 28 06:32p

Detroit Lions WR T.J. Jones (shoulder) and DE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) are making progress in his rehab, but there are timetables for their returns, according to head coach Jim [ More ]

Quentin GrovesJul 28 06:23p

The Houston Texans signed LB Quentin Groves (Browns) to an undisclosed contract Monday, July 28.

J. VanderveldeJul 28 06:12p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk (undisclosed) and OG Julian Vandervelde (undisclosed) did not participate in practice Monday, July 28.

Terrell ThomasJul 28 06:03p

The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to terms with CB Terrell Thomas (Giants) on a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Michael CrabtreeJul 28 05:53p

The San Francisco 49ers will try to sign WR Michael Crabtree and OG Mike Iupati to contract extensions before they become unrestricted free agents next offseason, according to general [ More ]

Josh HullJul 28 05:42p

The New England Patriots released LB Josh Hull Monday, July 28.

DeMarcus LoveJul 28 05:32p

The New York Giants have claimed OG Mark Asper off waivers from the Buffalo Bills. The team also waived OT DeMarcus Love.

Gary BarnidgeJul 28 05:32p

The Cleveland Browns activated LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) and TE Gary Barnidge (undisclosed) from the Non-Football Injury list Monday, July 28.

Teddy BridgewaterJul 28 05:12p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater will receive playing time with the starting offense during preseason games, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. The team will need that information to [ More ]

Christian PonderJul 28 05:12p

The Minnesota Vikings are willing to trade QB Christian Ponder. Ponder has performed well during training camp but probably will be the No. 3 quarterback.

Tyler GaffneyJul 28 05:02p

The New England Patriots claimed RB Tyler Gaffney (Panthers) on waivers Monday, July 28.

Tony HillsJul 28 04:53p

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent OT Tony Hills (Raiders) to an undisclosed deal Monday, July 28.

Evan RoysterJul 28 04:32p

Washington Redskins RB Evan Royster (hamstring) did not participate in practice Monday, July 28, because of a strained hamstring. He was able to do some light work on the side with the trainers.

Patrick PetersonJul 28 04:01p

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will be used strictly on defense this season and will not see time in any offensive situations. The Cardinals have excess capacity at wide [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 03:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) has a bone bruise, according to head coach Ron Rivera. There is swelling in the knee but nothing is structurally damaged.

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:37p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller will be used much like Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was last season. That means he should see quite a few passes headed his [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 28 03:32p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's contract extension discussion will be put on hold until the end of the season, according to a source.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 03:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) missed practice Monday, July 28, to receive treatment for his injured hamstring. Head coach Tom Coughlin said Beckham probably has some tests scheduled for the hamstring.

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 03:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams looks to be a longshot for the final roster, because he is not a good special teams player and would have to help on [ More ]

M. BernadeauJul 28 02:43p

Dallas Cowboys OG Mackenzy Bernadeau has been working at left guard with the first-team offense, because OG Ronald Leary (hamstring) has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Bernadeau and [ More ]

Dan WilliamsJul 28 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Dan Williams (knee) is not expected to participate in practice Monday, July 28, but the team does not believe his knee injury is serious.

Everette BrownJul 28 02:22p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent LB Everette Brown (Cowboys). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 28 02:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers are confident that they will be able sign QB Ben Roethlisberger before his current contract expires, according to general manager Kevin Colbert. Colbert said he expects [ More ]

Anthony GaitorJul 28 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free-agent CB Anthony Gaitor (Dolphins) and undrafted free-agent DT Jibreel Black (Michigan). Terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but all contracts signed [ More ]

Alshon JefferyJul 28 01:32p

Updating a previous report, Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) left practice early Monday, July 28, because of a sore foot.

Matt CasselJul 28 01:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder have been evenly splitting reps during the early part of training camp, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 01:23p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's (knee) left knee injury isn't expected to be serious, and head coach Ron Rivera is optimistic that Benjamin won't miss much time. Benjamin is [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group