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Long thrilled to join Bears

Kyle Long grew up in Virginia and last played in college at Oregon, but he said Friday that he was well aware of Chicago's reputation as a football-loving city.

“I just know that Chicago is one of the most historic football towns in the country," Long said Friday at Halas Hall. "There are Chicago Bears fans everywhere in the world.

"The 'C' on the helmet is synonymous with success and tremendous football. That’s what I’m most excited about, coming to Chicago and being part of the Bears organization.”

Long, who will wear No. 75 for the Bears, spoke in front of several dozen media members as well as his parents, Howie and Diane. Howie Long played for 13 seasons in the NFL and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

"I've been saying this to his mom since he was 4 years old: He’s kind of a freak of nature, physically," Howie Long said with a smile after his son's news conference. "God just puts the hand on some people, puts the hand on their shoulder and says, ‘You’re gifted. Now what are you going to do with it?’ And that’s Kyle."

Long is expected to play guard for the Bears during his rookie season. He said he already had received text messages from several of his new teammates, including Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall.

The draft will continue Friday night with Rounds 2 and 3.

-Tom Musick

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