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Bears expect better days soon for Kyle Long at right tackle

Given the circumstances, offensive coordinator Adam Gase thinks right tackle Kyle Long should cool it with his harsh self-evaluations. Gase thought Long’s first start in his new position went about as well as could be expected.

“I felt like he did better than what he’s giving himself credit for,” Gase said Thursday after practice at Halas Hall. “I know he’s going to be harder on himself. I thought he did a great job. There’s a couple things he needs to clean up, which he will in time. I feel like he’s going to be a top-tier guy really quick.

“As far as what he did last week in practice, he did a great job. And then in the game, his first experience out there, I thought he did a good job.”

Long made his share of mistakes and struggled to contain Green Bay Packers outside linebackers Julius Peppers and Mike Neal in the season opener.

But the Bears are expecting considerable improvements from Long Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Another week’s work at tackle should help refine his techniques and eliminate assignment errors.

Long already has proved to be a quick study, turning into a two-time Pro Bowl guard after having limited experience at Oregon.

“He’s a little bit more comfortable,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “The communication aspect is going a little smoother for him. The nerves of just going out there and playing that first game is over, and now, he can settle down. He knows what he is getting in to. He knows what to expect on Sunday for the most part so now it’s a matter of getting better each and every day.”

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Email: ajahns@suntimes.com