CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hall of Fame defensive end Howie and mom Diane were on hand to watch son Kyle play in his first NFL game Friday night. In the tunnel afterwards, dad and son talked over some of the goings-on in the game against the Carolina Panthers, interrupted by the Bears’ 2013 No. 1 pick waving fellow rookie and defensive end Cornelius Washington over to meet his dad.
If Washington was a little awestruck at meeting a Hall of Famer at his position, he was not the only wide-eyed Bears rookie Friday night. Kyle Long was bug-eyed much of the evening, beginning in the locker room before the game.
“It was really unbelievable,” Long said. “Just looking around the locker room and thinking, ‘Wow we’ve all got C’s on the helmet. We’re on the freakin’ Bears.’
“I said to Gabe [Miller, tight end] standing next to me, ‘Dude, it’s the weekend right now. Everybody else is sitting on the couch, hanging out, and we’re playing for the Chicago Bears.’”