Allen Park — The turmoil surrounding the Chicago Bears hasn’t put a damper on right guard Kyle Long’s sense of humor.
Long, whose primary responsibility Sunday will be blocking Ndamukong Suh, said the Lions All-Pro defensive tackle should come to Chicago when he becomes a free agent.
“Come on down. Play with us, man,” Long said in a teleconference with Lions reporters Thursday. “We’ll take him.”
Long had some success against Suh in a 34-17 Lions’ win on Thanksgiving as Suh finished the game without any tackles or sacks. But Long and the Bears recognize that Suh’s impact extends far beyond statistics.
“He brings that nonstop motor,” Long said. “People always use the word motor and I feel like it’s overused, but you want to talk about Hemi, that guy’s got one. And he’s going to go every play, and he’s going to try to break your will.
“He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played, and I respect the hell out of him for it. And that’s why it’s so much fun to play against him.”
Sunday could, of course, be Suh’s last game against the Bears in a Lions uniform. He’s given no indication about his future, and whether with the Lions or another team, Suh will likely sign a contract in the neighborhood of $100 million this offseason.
During last Sunday’s win over the Vikings, fans near the Lions’ bench screamed, “Don’t go Suh,” toward the end of the game. Fellow defensive tackle C.J. Mosley even joined the chant and was caught on camera telling Suh, “Don’t go, baby.”
“He’s irreplaceable,” Mosley said. “There’s only a few guys that can really dominate the game like that.”
Suh said he wasn’t paying attention to the pleas from the fans, saying he was focused on a game that was still up in the air.
“I told C.J. to be quiet,” he said.
On Sunday, Suh’s matchup against Long will be pivotal. The Bears drafted long 20th overall in 2013, and coach Marc Trestman acknowledged that part of the team’s decision was knowing Long had the ability to neutralize one of the better defensive players in the NFL.
Long will be blocking for a different quarterback — Jimmy Clausen — and there’s already speculation about the job security of Trestman and his staff after a 5-9 start. But Long knows all of those external problems won’t play a role in his matchup.
“The bottom line is I know Suh is still going to be lined up as the 3-technique on Sunday and that won’t change,” Long said.