BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Kyle Long’s offensive linemates are given to joking that it wouldn’t matter how big the second-year guard got, because the former baseball standout would always be able to run. At 313 pounds he went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
So as they were going their separate ways in the break before training camp, Long joked back: “I said, ‘I’ll see you guys at camp and I’ll be 345 [pounds].”
He didn’t quite make that but he fit, literally and figuratively, with the Bears’ strategy of getting bigger without sacrificing speed. And with occasional gentle nudging from Jay Cutler.
Long, who missed the first week of practices with a viral infection and is expected in pads for Saturday’s practice, is up to about 330 pounds doing heavy cardio work, which allowed him to eat more. He changed the type of cardio, doing bicycling and other drills, and joined Midtown Athletic Club in Bannockburn (“They have great amenities for what I wanted to do”). As important, his body fat is down to 17 percent.
“It’s not just the weight number. It’s all [strength and conditioning coordinator] Mike Clark and [strength and conditioning coach] Jimmy Arthur getting us right, having us eating the right kinds of things, doing the right kinds of workouts.
“And Jay staying on top of what we’re eating.”