August 1, 2011 by Post Team
Chris Spencer, After 13 years and six Pro Bowls with the Bears, Olin Kreutz was over. The Bears broke off negotiations with Kreutz, an unrestricted free agent who was seeking a salary and $ 4.5 million and instead signed former Seahawks center Chris Spencer as his replacement.
The Bears reportedly not rise more than 4 million and Kreutz, who for most of the decade was the leader, not just the offensive line, but also the team as a whole.
“It was easy to follow (him),” offensive tackle Frank Omiyale said. “It was always one on the front, always the one in the weight room, so if there was any doubt about what he had to do to get ready, all you had to do was check and see where I was.”
Kreutz, a third-round pick of Washington in 1998, has a current of 134 consecutive games at center and a total of 183 starts, second in franchise history to 184 Walter Payton.
Kreutz started all 16 games in 10 different seasons, and in the last 10 seasons he missed a single game. It was a week after undergoing an appendectomy, and was back in the starting lineup the following week.
Even Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, who pulled the plug on Kreutz, admits that the Bears will miss the veteran.
“Will it be a loss? Yes it will be a loss,” said Angelo. “It will be a temporary loss, but we have to regroup. We are bringing Chris Spencer to come here and compete for the central point of departure.”
Spencer is entering his seventh NFL season and has started 70 games, including 16 last years, only the second time that you started all games in one season. The product of 29 years, Mississippi is 6 feet 3 and 309 kilos.
The offensive line allowed the Bears more sacks than any team in the NFL last season and was one of the reasons the team was a lowly No. 30 in total yards and No. 28 in passing yards.
Without Kreutz, this group is worse than it was a year ago, despite the Bears to use this year’s first round pick offensive tackle Gabe Carimi Wisconsin.
Because the strike ended the season, Carimi has had only a couple of days to learn the playbook of the Bears and receive training, so it will be difficult for him to make an impact early.
Kreutz, who took and 2 million fewer bears Miami Dolphins offered him the last time he was an unrestricted free agent, who provided the glue of a constantly changing group.
That defies explanation how the same team that forked a combined season and $ 13 million for the tight end and running back Brandon Manumaleuna Chester Taylor finally decided pinch pennies when it comes to a loyal, long may end up in Hall of Fame.
That and $ 13 million, the Bears got a 2.4-yard rushing average Taylor (267 yards on 112 carries), which may soon lose his roster spot to the newly signed Marion Barber. And they had five receptions for 43 yards and a handful of blocks Manumaleuna, who failed his physical and was released last week.
“I think that Olin is a necessity,” said safety Chris Harris, one day before the Bears gave up Kreutz. “We have to bring it back here. His presence … I cannot really put into words.
“He is the leader of this team. He is well respected. He is one of the most respected men in this team. It would look so different without him here.”
Later, when the divorce was finalized, Harris Twitter: “In my 7 years. NFL career Olin Kreutz is the toughest football player I’ve ever played. PERIOD.”
Angelo acknowledged the consequences of his peers have long talked Kreutz value in the field and in the locker room.
“It just tells how he was revered, and I could put in the forefront of that,” said Angelo. “He meant a lot to this football team, but there comes a time when it will be closing.
“No one lives forever, no one is gone forever, which is the nature of business. If the next year or the year after that, it will be this time. This is the time.”
Harris was hardly the only player angry and disappointed by the loss of Kreutz and how it came out.
Long right guard Roberto Garza, who has aligned himself with Kreutz for the past six years, filled in in the middle of the first two practices in training camp. However, Garza was not party in a NFL game since 2005.
“It would be a difficult position to fill,” Garza said when asked on Friday about the possibility of entering the season without Kreutz.
“His leadership skills and what he brings to this team, that makes everyone around him better. And I hope you do not have to go through that.”
Asked if Spencer represented an improvement over Kreutz, Bears coach Lovie Smith said: “Spencer is a good football player. I cannot compare with Olin. Olin is not an option for us right now.
“We could not agree with him. Could not be. This is a good option for us. We’re always trying to improve our club. That is the position which of course we need a player and we feel good about it.
“Every year is a different year, is a different team. You have to go, we’re going to do.
“We have a good football team. Other kids move in that role.”
The Bears have plenty of players who can snap the ball, but none of them can play the role played by Kreutz.
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