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The 10 Most Important Bears in 2010 - #8 Olin Kreutz



There simply is no clear cut way to measure one players worth over another.  It's fun to try, and even better to get some good discussion going on the topic, but by no means is my Top 10 list the be all end all of lists.  Who really knows who'll need to contribute the most for the Bears to have a successful season.  This is just my subjective look at the team.

On field impact, position depth, leadership;  the intangible stuff sometimes can weigh more heavily than the stats.  In the terms of number eight on my list it's exactly what places him where he is.  

#8 - Olin Kreutz - Center

I've been very adamant in defense of Kreutz's play, he hasn't been to a Pro Bowl in a few years now, and he may never be again, but he is a solid NFL center.  His football I.Q. has been his best attribute the last few seasons, and with a new offense he'll need to be as sharp as ever.  Mike Martz probably has more protection schemes in his playbook than any other coordinator.  And those schemes will change on a week to week basis.  Kreutz will have to be ready.

Olin Kreutz took on the responsibility of making all the line calls for the Bears early in his career, and I don't see a change taking place this season.  His understanding of blitz packages (who's coming when), who to assist against an even-man front, and his understanding of which of his teammates will be staying in to help pass protect will be critical to keeping Jay Cutler off his back.

He's started all but 1 game for Chicago since 2001, with 167 starts in all.  If he plays in all 16 games this season he'll tie Steve McMichael for tops all time as a Bear.  Reports are that he feels better than he has in some time after having some clean up surgery done, and new offensive line coach Mike Tice has been all smiles when ever talking about Kreutz. 

They do have Josh Beekman waiting in the wings for when ever Olin decides to hang them up, and Beekman may be able to hold down the center spot for a while, but with the new offense in place, having Kreutz step his game up will be an important factor to the success of the Bears.


The list so far:

#10 - Robbie Gould - Kicker
#9 - Matt Forte - Running back
#8 - Olin Kreutz - Center