Kyle and Chris Long generally don’t talk football even when they’re just hangin’ out, so they’re definitely not going to talk shop this week.
Asked what kind of communication he would have with his brother this week, with the Bears playing Chris’ Eagles in a wild-card game Sunday at Soldier Field, Kyle’s answer was predictable.
“No good communication,” he said to laughter from a large group of reporters inside the Bears’ locker room Wednesday. “I’m sure I’ll get questions all week about my brother. But he’s on the other team, so I gotta figure out a way to beat him.”
The Long vs. Long battle is one of many interesting angles to the Eagles-Bears playoff matchup. Kyle will be starting at right guard. Chris is part of a strong three-man rotation at defensive end for the Eagles. Their dad, Hall of Famer Howie Long, will celebrate his 59th birthday Sunday.
It might be a more difficult day for the parents, with rooting interests on both sides. One of their sons will be elated and the other disappointed when the game is over.
“Man, it’s probably going to be pretty crazy for them,” Kyle said. “It’s gonna be a fun birthday for them. I don’t think my mom will be able to watch. She’ll be there, but she’ll probably have her eyes covered the whole time. They love their kids. They’re going to be happy to be here. I think everybody’s just happy.”
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The playoff game will be a milestone on multiple levels for Kyle. It’ll be his first postseason game in six seasons in the NFL, all with the Bears. He’ll be making his second start after missing eight games with a foot injury. And it’s a fitting reward after undergoing three surgeries last offseason following injuries in 2016 and 2017.
He has come a long way but isn’t ready to reflect on that journey. He has his game face on already.
“Just focus on what I’m supposed to focus on,” he said, “the basics, my techniques and trying to help my team win.”