– We caught up with Oregon OL Kyle Long, brother of Chris and son of Howie, back at the Senior Bowl in Mobile last month. Not much has changed for him since then but he has arrived here at Lucas Oil Stadium intent on putting on a show for teams and impressing them in interviews.
– Long talked on Thursday afternoon about a number of topics, including the influence of his brother, former Saddleback CC teammate Menelik Watson, how he fits in the NFL and much more. Here’s some tidbits with some of his thoughts on Watson saved for a later piece.
(On giving up baseball to become a football player)
I couldn’t find the strike zone as a pitcher so I think I’m in the right place as a football player. I love what I’m doing right now.
(On how he can stand out amongst his peers)
Come with the attitude that you want to outwork everybody. You can’t hold the guy down that is going to outwork the world. There’s dozens of guys that are more talented, bigger, stronger, faster than you but if you come in with the intent of working harder than the guys next to you, usually things tend to work out for those guys.
(On how competitive the Long household was as a kid)
I’m sure most households with three boys, things are very competitive. Add to it the fact that my mom is extremely competitive as well. She was a swimmer and stuff in high school so she was an athlete and my dad played a little bit of sports. Things were very competitive. You grow up in that house and you are bound to want to compete whether it’s racing up the stairs when you get home, anything, we compete. Just like most of the guys here, all the guys here. We are all competitors.
(On who has a better Twitter feed between he and his brother)
My brother went to the University of Virginia so he’s kind of a nerd but after being at the University of Oregon for a year, I feel like that helped out my ability to express myself on social media but yeah, Chris has a pretty entertaining Twitter.
(On what makes his brother stand out)
His last play is going to look like his first play. That’s the guy you want to play against but at the same time you don’t want to play against because he’ll make you better every time you step on the field with him.
(On how he can improve)
Technique and knowledge of the game. I feel like the physical tools are there. I consider myself a pretty good athlete and if I can combine that with some good technical stuff and get the X’s and O’s and football stuff figured out I will continue to progress as a football player.
(On what he learned from his struggles at Florida State as a baseball player on and off the field)
I’ve grown a lot as an individual. I was definitely immature and was not independent. I feel like I have grown up a lot as a man the last few years. I take responsibility for the things I have done. It was the worst thing and the best thing that ever happened to me. I have been through hardship and I fought my way back and I am standing here on this podium today as somebody who is at the NFL Combine and I am pretty proud of the things I’ve done. I don’t plan on stopping making progress anytime soon.
(On working at center, something he plans to do before his pro day at Oregon)
I am open to try new things.
(On former Saddleback teammate and highly regarded FSU OT Menelik Watson)
He’s going to open a lot of eyes when he runs and does all that kind of stuff. He’s a great athlete.
(On the fortunes of he and Watson arriving at Saddleback at the same time)
They have great coaching. Mark McElroy the head coach there does a great job with his players developing talent. But I just felt like it was an instance where we just happened to be dealt the right cards. Menelik was a sponge and responded very well to the coaching that he got at Saddleback and any criticism that he got, he took it with a positive attitude and translated it into progress. He was a student of the game.
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