The Aftermath: Part II

Chicago Bears players react to another lost season and discuss the future of the team. Next up, our final BR Rookie Diary of 2013, with first round offensive lineman Kyle Long.

Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long had a very productive first season in the NFL and grew as the campaign evolved. Yet the season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers tainted an otherwise solid rookie campaign.

Bear Report caught up with Long after yesterday's defeat.

"It's always tough when you lose a game like this. Not only was it a rivalry game on our home field but it was for the division. Not feeling real good right now but once this has a chance to settle in a bit hopefully there will be some positives to take away."

Guys on the defense were trying to take the blame for this loss.

"It wasn't their fault. Coming up short against the Packers is something we all need to take the blame for. I'm sure when we look at the game film there will be areas where we each could have stepped up more.

"How many total plays are there in a game? I don't know that number but I can definitely tell you that there were a lot of them. It's the culmination of each and every play that determines whether you win or lose. I think it's pretty rare when you can single out just one or two plays and say that is what lost the game.

"There are a lot of free agents on offense and we don't know for sure at this point who will be coming back next year and who won't. I want to say that Jordan {Mills} and I would never have made the progress that we did our rookie year without the help of these vets. In a perfect world they would all be coming back but of course at this point nobody knows the answer to that.

"I don't even want to think ahead to this upcoming week without practice. It's great to be around these guys doing what we all love. That is why we're in this profession. It's a special atmosphere that I thrive on. I guess for the immediate future I'll take a little break. Then I'll go back to working out. I've learned so much this first year and I want to build on that and become more productive from here on.

"We're still the Bears and going on we're going to approach competition the way we always have, with heart. We've got a strong nucleus and we're still moving forward. Today it came down the simple fact that they scored more points than us. You can pick apart anything that happened but at won't change the result.

"It's very tough, especially if people try to start pointing fingers. We're a team and we'll move forward during the off eason. We'll come back bigger, faster, stronger, more mentally tough and ready to approach the next season.

"This has been an up and down year for sure. The one constant is that we're willing and eager to show up every day for work. That's why I love being with these guys. It's a blessing that we get to do what we do.

"The upside today shows this is one of the beat offenses in the league. Just look at the film and that will prove me out on that. We can only get better from here so I am definitely looking forward to next year.

"We play hard and that's all you can ask from a team. You ask anybody how hard we play. If we didn't it would be hard to sleep at night, though tonight I think it will be tough to sleep regardless.

"It's tough to be so close and fall short but we've learned a lot that we can use from here on. Hope we get these guys back so we can continue. That decision is upstairs and we all understand that.

"We don't want the doubt, don't want to hear the naysayers. We were playing against one of the best teams in the NFL.

"We'd love to have Jay [Cutler] back. He's the heart of our offense. Everybody knows how we feel about Jay so there isn't much more I can add to that.

"I would like to thank the fans for their support. We are sorry things didn't turn out the way we had hoped they would. We're in this for you 100 percent and appreciate you being at our games."

Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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