Kreutz a free agent when NFL lockout ends
Kreutz a free agent when NFL lockout ends
Will Bears allow heart of offensive line walk?
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter 7:26 p.m. CDT, May 9, 2011
Olin Kreutz turns 34 next month so he doesn't mind a little down time in what would be the heart of the offseason program any other year.
But the veteran center, who will be an unrestricted free agent when the NFL resumes business, knows the effect the lockout is having.
"You miss being around the guys, but it's a nice break for an older guy," he said. "But young guys are really losing out and that's the scary thing. Hopefully they will figure this out soon."
The lockout is two months old and no one can say when it will be lifted or how the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will handle the case it's reviewing June 3.
"You follow a little bit of it, but I am just as lost as everybody else," Kreutz said. "It's ridiculous. It's crazy. It's gone overboard."
Although he's not allowed at Halas Hall, he is working out regularly and talked before a session Monday morning. Coach Lovie Smith more or less announced the team's plans to re-sign Kreutz in February at the scouting combine when he said, "Olin knows we need him."
The team had a brief conversation with his representatives and no negotiations took place before the lockout. Do the Bears still plan to sign Kreutz, who with one more start will tie Walter Payton at 184 for the most in franchise history?
"Love Olin Kreutz," Smith said. "Every time you've heard me talk about Olin, I've said the same thing. I think that is pretty easy to say."
Eventually, the club will have to put its money where Smith's heart is. Whether it's a one-year contract or a short-term deal remains to be seen. Edwin Williams has been mentioned as a possible replacement, but right guard Roberto Garza is probably the only player line coach Mike Tice would trust without Kreutz. Free-agent possibilities are scant.
"There is no one else that can play center on our roster right now," Garza said. "We have a couple young guys, but to do what Olin has done, that's hard to replace."
Where is Kreutz on the issue?
"When we come out again I will be a free agent," he said. "And we'll see what happens."
The Bears began their line makeover by drafting Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi in the first round. General manager Jerry Angelo could add another lineman in free agency and it's impossible to tell who will line up where. In a shortened offseason, turnover is going to be challenging for Tice and that's what makes Kreutz more valuable because the center is the traffic cop for the line.
"It's hard to when you're a free agent, so I'm not going to talk about the team," Kreutz said. "But I expect that line to keep improving, especially with coach Tice and the guys they have there."
Kreutz still has a burning desire to play and there is no mistaking him for a guy trying to squeeze a salary out of a team for one more year. He traveled to the University of Tennessee last month to spend a few days with former line coach Harry Hiestand during the Volunteers' spring program. Kreutz observed and helped break down film.
"There are very few people in the NFL who understand football techniques and schematically know the game as well as him," Hiestand said.
A couple of years ago, Kreutz would have told you he had no desire to coach. Now, he says "we'll see what happens." If the Bears can identify an heir apparent, he'd probably handle a mentoring role well.
"Olin is always willing to help a guy who wants to work hard, period," Hiestand said. "It's never about him. It's always about the team, the O-line being as good as possible.
"He didn't pick all the people he's played around while he's been there. Every time he's gone out there, he's made the 10 players around him better."
Bears' Garza welcomes increased competition
By Brad Biggs Tribune reporter
2:47 p.m. CDT, May 9, 2011
Chicago Bears guard Roberto Garza has started 77 of the last 80 regular-season games, but as he sees it, no spots are being reserved for anyone when the NFL gets back to business.
“Nothing is guaranteed,” he said. “We all have to go in and compete and earn jobs.”
Garza took note of the Bears selecting Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi in the first round of the draft and said he wouldn’t be surprised if the team adds another player to the mix. Carimi was targeted with the 29th pick and the Bears didn’t think he’d fall to them unless everything went their way.
“(Carimi) is going to step in and try to help us right off the bat,” Garza said. “We’ve got some improvements to make, obviously, off what we did last year. We’ll go from there. They talked about bringing in some guys and that’s what they’re going to do.
“Obviously, we gave up a lot of sacks but we were still able to get to the NFC Championship Game. We’re not too far off. We have to make improvements and get a couple more guys in there. We’ll see what happens.”
Garza said he took one week off after the team lost in the NFC Championship Game and then was back to work before Super Bowl XLV was played. He spoke to the Tribune before a workout Monday morning.
“I came in and started doing all the little stuff, the range of motion, just getting the body back to feeling halfway decent so I could start working out again,” he said. “Now, I’ve got nothing better to do.”
When the lockout was lifted for 24 hours at the start of the draft, the Bears informed veterans that the voluntary offseason workout program would start today -- a month after the original date coach Lovie Smith had selected. Instead, players are forced to get their work in on their own.
“This time of year we’re used to working out with the guys and seeing everybody and getting into a mood where we’re getting ready for football,” Garza said. “I’m still doing the same thing, working out, running, trying to get ready for the season.
“We should have gotten started today, but obviously we can’t.”
Last edited by dabears54; 05-10-2011 at 06:08 AM.
Do think both will be back in 2011- kreutz more because of , as biggs said, no F/A center's out there, and even if like we hope- we grab 1-2 of the UDFA center's, sure would not feel comfortable with that the only choice for 2011.. kreutz a good "bridge" to the future and any Center would be privledged to learn behind kreutz for a year before taking over... or even 1/2 a year and seeing a swich over the guy.
Same for garza- while know mnay are not his biggest fans, he is functional and "at worst' quality back up that knowsthe players/scheme here- So if we get a F/A Guard, still good esp for 2011 to have him in reserve or comepting for a job, get the 5 best out there, only only helps with starting rotation, but in case of injury not much fall off
No replacement of note, and if we can get him some help on his left and/or right, we might get another year or two out of him.
and that's why do think will be back- and doubt either side is looking to screw the other, bears will make a 'fair offer" and kreutz will counter with a "fair offer( or offer he got soemwhere else) and think they split the difference if there is one and he comes back,, we did this before when Miami tried to sign him
Originally Posted by Henry Burris
heart of the oline lmfao maybe 5 years ago. An oline that allows the most sacks in the league has no heart. Carimi is step one in the right direction. The FA rules arent clear yet but if Kalil ends up a FA that would be another move in the right direction which will leave us with three more moves to go to get the oline up to par with the rest of the league. My guess he ends up being back cause JA lack of credentials on bringing in olinemen
motown, the panthers used the 'franchise tag" on kalil, not just a RFA tender, so really doubt no matter what rules they do use, the franchise tag is going anwhere, even if F/A goes 4, 5 or 6 years. So think kalil is out, by any rules they ulimatey use... and no other decent centers around
Originally Posted by motownbear
The choice was Kalil, who was tagged as the franchise player and will make $10 million in a one-year deal, which is the average of the five top paid centers in the NFL. The Panthers do not want any of the three to get out on the open market, but Kalil was the one that made the most sense.
Do Olin's workouts include daily sparring sessions with Fred Miller? Just wonderin'.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
High Fives / Like - 1 BEAR DOWN!, 0 Dislikes
naww.. the FBI doesn't like violence at their places anymore : )
Originally Posted by soulman
At least they do not acknowledge it.
Originally Posted by dabears54