Chicago Sun-Times

Players talk about the finality of Olin Kreutz

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The mood was somewhat somber here at ONU, as the players trickled in and out of the cafeteria.

While many stars often beeline past reporters, several of them stopped to comment on Olin Kreutz, who will not be returning for a 14th consecutive season with the Bears.

"It's sad," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "I learned a lot from Olin.

"I don't play o-line but just watching him as a rookie and watching the way he works, plays hurt, plays injured, never complains. He just practices and does his job. It's too bad we couldn't get it done."

That's the thing.

Usually, a team has an offensive and defensive leader. Sometimes, there's one on special teams.

At Halas Hall, though, there was one.

Urlacher is the unquestioned leader of the defense, but he was reverent when talking about Kreutz.

Asked who will fill Kreutz's leadership role, Urlacher said, "No one.

"No one's going to be like he was, I'll tell you that much. It's going to be a lot of guys who will have to do it. We'll get it done somehow."

Among offensive linemen, Roberto Garza would appear to take over the group.

"I'm the old guy now, you know?" said Garza, 32. "I've been here the longest and been around a great leader. Tough to fill his shoes, but you've got to step in to the role that's asked."

But several players said there's no shortage of leadership on the Bears, noting it's a veteran team. But what about a need for a vocal one?

"That stuff doesn't really mean to much to me," Urlacher said. "The rah-rah guys; we've never had any guys like that, who run around, yapping their mouths all the time. We just have guys who go out there and do their jobs."

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Anyone who thinks that we lost a great player in Kreutz has not been paying attention to the way he has performed over the last 3 years. If he is so great, how come no one else is bidding for his service?

As a fan watching, I could clearly see that he routinely missed blocks, missed calls on blitzes, and was simply overpowered by the other DT. The coaches dissect the films after games and do an overall evaluation of each player at the end of each year. Don't you think that they saw what a casual obsever like me saw?

Of course they are not gonna go on record criticizing Kreutz out of respect for him, but I can guarantee you that they came to this decision together. No way he is gone if Tice, Martz, and Smith really wanted him back. Angelo took it on the chin because he had the dirty job of making the announcement.

As far as the players go, they gonna say what you'd expect them to say. They're not gonna "throw him under the bus." Besides, they're probably intimidated by him, not wanting to end up with a broken jaw like Fred Miller did.

People, we got rid of a thug who is no longer a good football player. The Bears are a better team without him.

I agree with the above assessment, in part. OKreutz was not the player he once was. Additionally, his temper , and stupid penalties, cost the Bears crucial yards several times. He had gotten to the point were he was costing them more to put him on the field, than to return him there. I believe this move is a plus.

interesting comments from people who have never played the game and if they did they were the ones that faked injury to sit out realizing there minimal level of "play ability".

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 1, 2011 3:18 PM.

Urlacher: Kreutz departure 'sad'; But he'll move on was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears still have $24 million in salary cap space is the next entry in this blog.

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