The Kansas City Chiefs have made yet another addition to their offensive line. Veteran guard Kyle Long has signed a one year deal with the team, worth up to $5 million according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The former Chicago Bears blocker last played in 2019. After that campaign, he retired after seven career seasons. Suddenly, plans changed.
Macon Gunter of the Green Light Podcast is the one who really got fans thinking about Long’s return. He tweeted out the following last week: “Three-time Pro Bowl OL Kyle Long is returning to the NFL. He is 315 lbs., healthy, nasty, and shredded, and has signed with Jeff Nalley of Select Sports Group.”
Let’s now look into how this signing impacts the Chiefs. What plans may they have for Long? Plus, what kind of play style could Kansas City fans be expecting from the veteran offensive lineman?
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What Does This Mean For Chiefs?
Overall, the team is likely nowhere near done with adding to the offensive line. Andrew Wylie has been tendered a contract, and will be back as a depth signing. Meanwhile, their only other outside signing besides Long, is Joe Thuney. The Chiefs are not just looking to add impact starters. Moreover, they are looking for deep competition and plenty of depth options overall.
One would imagine that Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is viewed as more of depth piece. Or, at least is starting spot at right guard is not guaranteed, after returning from his opt out from last season. The angle of what the team thinks of him overall, will be rather interesting to monitor.
Furthermore, the team has added plenty of technically sound and athletic players to the interior of the offensive line. Yes, there is an injury history surrounding Kyle Long. However, he brings many similar factors to what Thuney could bring to the team.
What Are The Team’s Plans For Long?
As mentioned above, Kansas City wants to revamp the unit. So, they are looking to add quality depth, not just impact starters. For Kyle Long, one would imagine he would only be competing for the right guard spot. He did play right tackle in 2015. That was the only time he did that across seven years with Bears, however.
The Chiefs will likely be bringing in Kyle Long to try and win the right guard spot. Ideally, you would then have Duvernay-Tardif and someone like Wylie serve as bench options. Maybe Long does not start right away. Though, the reports on his health and body shape appear to be stellar. The team must like how he stands in that regard, given how quickly they pounced on signing him. Finally, with how aggressively and quickly they targeted Long, that is another reason to believe he will start. They did not necessarily pay him a hefty contract. Nonetheless, this just appears to add up to him being entrenched at right guard.
Play Style And Traits
There are some similiarities and differences that Kyle Long brings to the table, as opposed to the other recent signing in Thuney. What is similar? On one hand, Long is technically sound. He uses a solid and sound base. Generally against power rushers, he stands his ground and reacts swiftly. The way this blocker moves in space is quite exceptional. Not only can he pull, reach the second level or powershift, but Long also has solid mirroring skills in pass protection. The footwork is usually stout.
What are some differences in Long’s game, compared to Thuney’s? The power may not show up on every single rep. Nonetheless, Long has a sort of nasty attitude and mentality surrounding his game. That has been evident since his early days with the Bears. Additionally, Long executes finishes and buries opponents into the dirt. His finishing blocks will flash off the tape more than say Thuney’s will. In the end, I would venture to say that Long, if healthy, brings just a bit more athleticism to the table as well. Kyle Long should be a terrific fit in the Andy Reid offense, overall.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs articles this weekend. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.