CBS Sports Network’s That Other Pregame Show has added a new studio analyst, recently-retired Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long. Long (seen above with the Bears in 2018) will join panelists Adam Schein, Amy Trask and London Fletcher; Schein and Trask have been there since the show’s 2013 beginnings, while Fletcher joined in 2014. Brandon Tierney (who had been with the show since 2013, and was mentioned as still there back in May) isn’t mentioned in that release, so it looks like he may be shifting his focus to his other CBS roles. Here’s more from the release on the addition of Long:
“As a recently retired player, Kyle brings a knowledge straight from the field of today’s game coupled with the mindset of its current generation of athletes,” says Harold Bryant, Executive Producer and Senior Vice President, Production, CBS Sports. “His experience as an offensive lineman also will contribute a unique point of view which will complement that of his colleague London Fletcher, who spent 16 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL.”
“I am very excited to begin my broadcasting career by joining the CBS Sports family and the TOPS team,” says Long. “I look forward to bringing my experience and perspective as a recent player coming right off the field to the show each and every Sunday of the NFL season.”
It’s interesting to see Long added here, as there aren’t a lot of former offensive linemen on most NFL pre-game shows. For analysts, CBS’ broadcast network pregame show The NFL Today has two former quarterbacks (Boomer Esaison and Phil Simms), a former coach (Bill Cowher, who was a linebacker in his playing days), and a former receiver (Nate Burleson), while Fox’s main Fox NFL Sunday has a former quarterback (Terry Bradshaw), a former coach (Jimmy Johnson, who was a defensive lineman in college), and two former defensive ends (Michael Strahan and Howie Long; Long is Kyle Long’s father), and their earlier Fox NFL Kickoff has a former quarterback (Michael Vick), a former tight end (Tony Gonzalez), and a former coach (Dave Wannstedt; however, Wannstedt was an offensive lineman in college and during one NFL season where he was only on the injured reserve, so he’s the closest it comes).
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown features a former quarterback (Matt Hasselbeck), a former receiver (Randy Moss), a former linebacker (Tedy Bruschi), and a former coach (Rex Ryan, who was a defensive end in college). So Long will definitely be bringing a different positional perspective than what we’ve often seen on these shows. And he was initially a defensive lineman at Florida State before switching to the offensive line during his time at Saddleback College. He then went on to an OL career with Oregon and then the Bears, but he has some history of playing DL as well.
Long also is someone who’s played at a high level. He was the Bears’ first-round pick (20th overall) in 2013, and that marked the first guard they’d drafted in the first round since Roger Davis in 1960, but he lived up to that billing, recording three Pro Bowl nods (2013-15) and a second-team All-Pro pick (2014) and spending all seven of his NFL seasons with them. (He was injured partway through last year’s season, was placed on injured reserve, and then retired in January). He also proved to be a media and fan favorite during his time in Chicago, and that should help him adjust to this new role as an analyst. We’ll see how he fits in with the TOPS cast and what he brings to the studio.