GLENDALE, Ariz. — Bears guard Kyle Long felt the pain of victory in his second Pro Bowl on Sunday night.
Long played left and right guard for “Team Irvin” but suffered a hand injury in the second half and did not play in the fourth quarter as Team Irvin rallied for a 32-28 victory over “Team Carter” at University of Phoenix Stadium. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Saints tight end Jimmy Graham with 3:10 left to lead Team Irvin the victory.
“Man — lining up next to All-Pros and Pro Bowlers, it’s amazing,” said Long, who was on the losing team last year. “Everybody here is great. It’s the best of the best. A tremendous opportunity. I’m tremendously grateful to be here.”
Long had his left hand wrapped in ice for much of the second half.
“I think we’re going to get it checked out. Some fingers went some ways they weren’t supposed to go,” Long said.
But he was not concerned about the injury.
“No. I’m not even trippin’. It’s football. We got a win,” Long said. “I’ve got a lot of Sundays off between now and the next time I’ve got to show up hit somebody.
Long made the most of the week with so many great players around. He has made the Pro Bowl twice, but still has only played two seasons of pro football.
“I picked a lot of guys brains,” he said. “A lot of guys who have been here before, they’re just here to let their hair down and relax. For a young guy like me trying to learn the game, it’s a unique opportunity to learn, learn learn, learn, learn.”Long said he won’t take much time off before getting ready for the 2015 season. Things will happen quickly with a new coaching staff under John Fox.
“I’ll take about a week-and-a-half off, hopefully not get too fat and get right back after it,” Long said. “I’ll be training out of here in Chandler (Ariz.) with LeCharles Bentley and Jordan Mills and various other guys around the league. I think it’s a great opportunity to grow.”
Bears tight end Martellus Bennett had five receptions for 25 yards for Team Carter.
“It was cool,” Bennett said. “I guess it was fun. We lost. It was Ok. It was a cool week. It’s not Disneyland. But I met a lot of cool people. I had a lot of fun. It was good to be around a lot of great athletes.
“It was hard to play in that game, because there’s no tempo, you’re rotating every play, you don’t really know the playbook. I didn’t get to go deep much, but I did my job. Overall, it was cool.”
This was Bennett’s first Pro Bowl in his seven NFL seasons.
“I’d like to come back several times. I thought the guys were great — seeing all these guys, that was fun. And just preparing to play with these guys. All these great quarterbacks and great receivers and running backs and offensive linemen behind you; the defensive player are really good. It was fun to be out there with them.”
Bennett said he plans to stay in the Phoenix area to watch his brother — Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett — play in the Super Bowl. He has internships at “major animation studios” in the offseason.
“Other than that I’ll be chillin’ and working out and trying to stay sexy,” he said.
Bennett said he is predicting a Seahawks victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.
“I think it’s going to be 31-24 [Seahawks],” he said.