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Uncle Chip: Long Knew Kelly Would Succeed

Posted Dec 21, 2013

Chip Kelly wanted to see Kyle Long.

Long and tight end Colt Lyerla botched the blocking on a screen pass during a practice at Oregon. Kelly called them over and pulled out a piece of paper. On the paper, Kelly drew a square and a circle within the square. The head coach said that the circle was a pizza, which he divided into two slices - one belonged to Long, the other to Lyerla. Kelly told Lyerla that Long just stole his slice and ate it. What should Lyerla do? Complain, or go steal Long's slice in return?

Just like that, Kelly explained the concept of blocking on a screen play in such a simple way that Long vividly recalled the story. If Long blocks Lyerla's man, then Lyerla should go take out Long's player and vice versa.

"Those of us who have played for Chip understand the kind of person he is and the kind of coach he is," said Long, who is the Bears' starting right guard. "Coach Kelly is like an uncle to me. He almost seems like one of my relatives. It was a different kind of dynamic that we had."

The son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, Kyle Long chose to play for Kelly at Oregon because the coach wasn't enamored by his last name.

"I love to earn things on my own and I feel like Coach Kelly made me earn everything that I got there," Long said. "I think it's made me a better man and a better competitor because of that."

Long has watched Eagles games this season when he can to check out the offense. The Monday night opener against Washington made Long feel like he was at Oregon as he was calling out the plays while watching the blistering offensive pace.

"Step one is getting people on the ship," said Long of Kelly's NFL transition. "Step two is getting people moving ... After that first game, I said, 'Well, he's got that figured out.'"

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