Ruben Brown rips Bears for not keeping Olin Kreutz
Ruben Brown, a former Pro Bowl guard for the Chicago Bears, took time out from his motorcycle ride across the county to support charities he’s involved with to weigh in on the franchise’s loss of center Olin Kreutz.
The Bears tried to bring Kreutz back with a $4 million, one-year contract but he turned the club down because he didn’t get the right “feel” for the situation. It’s created questions on the offensive line and in the locker room where the 13-year veteran was the undisputed leader.
“I think it was a horrible decision on their part, especially with all the turmoil that they've had on the offensive line for a long time," Brown told WSCR 670-AM in Chicago. "They finally got a quarterback in (Jay) Cutler and they get rid of probably the most important piece to the offensive line and that's Olin Kreutz and his leadership, and that's going to be really tough to replace.
“It's going to be ugly because now the leadership on that team is going to be manufactured. They're going to try to maybe put it on Jay, they might as the season goes on find another senior guy there to try to be the leader of the offense, maybe (Matt) Forte as the running back, whoever.
"It won't be authentic the way you need to be when you're a winner. On defense, everyone knows Brian (Urlacher) is the guy. Brian generally is the leader of the entire team. But Brian needs a strong supporting cast. And there was no stronger supporting cast than Olin Kreutz.
"The Bears weren't willing to say, 'Hey Olin Kreutz, keep playing until you want to retire.' That guy is priceless. That's a totally priceless person that you let go. You're going to get another center, you're going to get another guard, tackle, but you're not going to get another Olin Kreutz. That guy is really special and he's going to go down and do great things in New Orleans."
The Bears have moved quickly to replace Kreutz with veteran guard Roberto Garza. It won’t be surprising if Garza inherits the captain role Kreutz played before. But it’s clear Brown believes there is a real void.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune