As far as crowning achievements go the history that will be made Sunday by right guard Kyle Long and right tackle Jordan Mills isn’t something either is content to brag about.

Long will become the first starting rookie right guard in a Chicago Bears season opener during the Super Bowl era while the duo of Long and Mills will insure the team starts multiple rookies at any position in an opener since 1998. The fact that they will play side by side makes it even more remarkable.

The reality though is that this type of history will be made at the moment of the first offensive snap which means the accomplishments technically will be sealed before either makes contact on an NFL field for the first time. In that sense neither wants it to go down as their shining moment.

“I try not to focus on that kind of stuff” Long said Wednesday. “It’s really good trivia and everything and a good tidbit to know but right now I’m so focused on who to block on inside zone right. That stuff is far more important to me at this point.”


While Mills is equally focused on the gameplan he knows there will be other elements also at work on the first drive of the season.

“The first series is to get the nervous jitters out of the way” Mills said. “The veterans are veterans for a reason. They know the feeling already. For us we’re coming into a new league a different tempo. You just want to get those jitters out of the way with the first hit the first drive and after that it should be smooth sailing.”

Well there is the matter of a Cincinnati Bengals defense that emerged as one of the league’s best last season. The Bengals set a franchise record with 51 sacks and 43 of those were contributed by the defensive line. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins and his 12.5 sacks leading all NFL interior linemen have the attention of the Bears rookies.

“You grow up watching Geno Atkins so to get the opportunity to play against him will be a real test” Long said. “The whole defensive line will be lining up against him a lot. It will be a good opportunity. Luckily we have great guys that we practice against every day and it gets us ready to good for Sundays.”