Chicago Bears: Unnecessary NFL Rule Costs Kyle Long Valuable Practice Time

By Andrew Fisher
Kyle Long
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing that Chicago Bears‘ first round draft pick Kyle Long lacks, it’s experience. After switching from baseball to football, and changing schools, Long didn’t exactly get a full college career under his belt at Oregon. Obviously, there’s going to be some extra work involved with bringing the young offensive lineman along, so the more practice time he can get, the better.

The problem? There’s a goofy NFL rule in place, which will prohibit Long from attending offseason workouts and minicamps, until finals are over at Oregon. The school uses a quarter system, and their finals don’t end until June 14th. This date falls just after Bears’ minicamp, which runs June 11-13. The rule allows draftees to attend rookie minicamps (like the one taking place this weekend), but not OTAs or regular minicamp, until school is finished.

I don’t like this rule. Why does it have to be a blanket rule? Why can’t it be up to the players and their respective teams to decide? For the many players like Long, who could probably care less about school at this point, why should they be penalized?

The young lineman is going to miss a total of 13 practices, very valuable practices, I might add. I get why (in theory) the NFL wants players to attend finals, but it just doesn’t make sense as a blanket rule.

All is not lost, though, as offensive line coach Tony Wise is expected to continue working with Long in private, over the next month.


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