(WSCR) It has already been well documented that many current players on the Bears are not happy with the team’s decision to cut ties with long-time center Olin Kreutz. Now, former Bears are starting to weigh in as well.
“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,” former Bears lineman Ruben Brown told 670 The Score’s Joe Ostrowski Sunday night. “I mean, 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.”
Brown believes it will be tough for the Bears to find leadership elsewhere on offense.
LISTEN: Ruben Brown with 670 The Score’s Joe Ostrowski
“It’s going to be ugly because now the leadership on that team is going to be manufactured,” he said. “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 it 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.”
Brown believes the Bears are going to look back on their decision not re-sign Kreutz and regret it.
“The Bears had an opportunity to keep them and they just didn’t want to have to to go that length,” the former lineman said. “They’re going to look back and regret not going that extra distance to pay (him). It’s going to be cheap in the long run with the number that they were negotiating over, but they’re going to be sad that they didn’t pay that money to keep a legend.”
How valuable does Brown think Kreutz was? He believes the center was the reason why the Bears made Super Bowl XLI, when Brown was still a part of the team.
“That was due to the guidance and leadership of Olin Kreutz — and Olin Kreutz getting the other guys like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs and the different guys that were leaders to buy in,” Brown said. “The coaches came in and tried to work us hard, but they couldn’t have worked us harder than the way Olin did.”