Oregon guard Kyle Long spoke to the Chicago media via conference call Thursday night after being chosen by the Bears in the first round of the draft. The following is the complete transcript:
"I'm very excited and grateful to be a Chicago Bear. I didn't expect to go this high in the draft. I'm just very excited to join an organization with such a great history and such a great fan base. Not enough can be said about the Chicago Bears organization."
On if it is a good or bad thing having famous father (Hall of Famer Howie Long) and brother (Rams defensive end Chris Long):
"Well, like with anything, you take the good with the bad. Obviously the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. With the wealth of knowledge they have in the game of football, they've been able to help me a lot through this process and I'm obviously grateful for having them and their knowledge."
On his pre-draft visit with the Bears:
"I wasn't surprised I ended up being picked by the Bears. I had a great visit with Coach Kromer and I really enjoyed my time in Chicago. I had a great opportunity to sit down and get to know the people within the building. I got to O'Hare, I was getting ready to fly back home and I had a great feeling about Chicago. Obviously, Coach Kromer is a great coach and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to try to earn the respect of my teammates and hopefully be able to help the Chicago Bears."
On why he didn't expect to be drafted this high:
"You never really expect to go - I was just trying to keep an open mind. In high school I sat through 23 rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft waiting to hear my name called every pick, so I just tried to keep my expectations pretty low and keep an open mind about what happens, but I was so thrilled and I was ecstatic to hear the Chicago Bears drafted me."
On how not playing a lot of D-I football games has affected him:
"I think it is a good thing and a bad thing. My inexperience can be looked at in two ways. It can be looked at in the light of I feel like I can get a lot better with coaching and with the right guys around me and I feel like I have that opportunity in Chicago. I'm really excited to get to work with Coach Kromer and the rest of the staff."
On addressing the questions about his off-the-field troubles in the past:
"I was a young kid and I was just dealing with some stuff off the field that I had to work through. I'm past it now. I am four-and-a-half years removed from the spoken issues, so I feel like my best ball and all of that is ahead of me. I'm real excited just to be a part of the Bears organization. I'm grateful for them; the fact that they've given me an opportunity."
On if there was ever a feeling that other teams stayed away from him because of his past and how the Bears handled it with him:
"The Bears were just very straight forward. They liked what they saw in me as a football player and nothing from what they had heard led them to believe anything different in regards to off the field. I feel like I'm a pretty stand-up guy. I'm an honest guy. I'm very forthright. I'm very blunt and we had a great meeting and I was able to answer some of the questions that they had. It was a good meeting overall."
On what his best position is along the offensive line and if he feels he can win a starting job as a rookie:
"I'm just an offensive lineman. There's a lot of emphasis put on tackle or guard or center but you can only travel a certain number of guys and I just hope to come in and earn a spot somewhere."
On who first addressed him with the Bears organization after he was selected:
"Robyn (Wilkey) and then I got on the phone with Coach Trestman. Robyn who was obviously doing the point work for the Bears today. I got a phone call and I heard her voice and she said, 'We're going to put you on hold and Coach Trestman is going to get on the phone with you and that's when I got all hot and sweaty and excited and fired up. I got to speak with Coach Trestman and it has been an exciting night for my family and myself. I'm just really happy."
On what Coach Trestman said to him and how he feels he can help the Bears offensive line:
"Coach Trestman - it's been clear from the beginning in conversations with him that I am a very raw player. They are on the same page with me in that my best ball is ahead of me. They're confident in their staff - as I am - that they can get me ready to play. I just want to come in and work day-in and day-out to try to earn the respect of the guys around me and the people in the building over there in Chicago. Hopefully good things happen."
On adjusting from Oregon's offensive system to the Bears:
"It's 11 guys playing against 11 guys. It's football still. You still put your hand on the ground. You still line up in your stance. There is a cadence and there is a football out there. There's a quarterback, there's a running back and I feel like not much changes in that regard. Obviously the tempo that we played in at Oregon turned some heads and got a lot of attention nationally from football fans, but when it comes down to it, it's still football."
On hearing that he is the best athlete in his family:
"I don't know about that. I'm standing next to a guy who is doing dishes right now who is a pretty dang good athlete in my dad (Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long) and my older brother (Chris) was there tonight. I've got some good athletes walking around my house. I think they're kind of blowing smoke."
On if he can still play baseball for the Chicago White Sox, who previously drafted him:
"Well, I'm here to play football now. I'm a football player but who knows, down the road, maybe."