Column: George McCaskey impugns Olin Kreutz’s character over a 2018 part-time job with the Chicago Bears — and that makes even less sense than offering the 6-time Pro Bowl center $15 an hour in the 1st place

Just as he was working to wrangle himself out of a public-relations disaster, Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey created a new one by going after beloved former Bears center Olin Kreutz, an eight-time team captain and four-time winner of the team’s prestigious Brian Piccolo Award.

On a busy Monday for the franchise that began with the firing of general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy, McCaskey announced a streamlined organizational flow chart that will have the new GM reporting directly to him and not President/CEO Ted Phillips, who is spearheading the initiative to build a new stadium in Arlington Heights.

The search for a GM and coach, which McCaskey will lead, will begin immediately. But before he jumped into that, he chose a strange battle at an even stranger time when he insinuated that Kreutz lied while revealing last week on WSCR-AM 670 that the Bears offered him a part-time position in 2018 for $15 per hour. Former Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand verified that story.

“I’ve learned over the years to take just about anything that Olin says with a grain of salt,” McCaskey said more than 54 minutes into the 59-minute news conference. “And I look forward to hearing that story again. I hope he includes it in his Hall of Fame induction speech.”

Asked if the story was untrue, McCaskey paused before continuing: “That’s the way it is sometimes with Olin. You don’t get the whole story. Olin knows (what) the story is.”

Kreutz, a six-time Pro Bowl selection whom the Bears drafted in 1998, was angered by McCaskey’s assertion that his recounting was not accurate.

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“I have such a good life because of football, the Bears, the McCaskeys, (former GM) Jerry Angelo, Ted Phillips,” Kreutz said. “It disappoints you. I have always had a feeling maybe George doesn’t like me, and I confirmed that today. That’s fine. I don’t worry about him not liking me.

“I wouldn’t say ‘hurt,’ but just think to yourself, you run an organization and you say that about a player who, the last time I played for the Bears, I tore a Lisfranc ligament in my foot and I finished the game. What the (heck) are you doing?”

Kreutz suffered that injury during the NFC championship game loss to the Green Bay Packers after the 2010 season. That turned out to be the last game the Bears played before McCaskey replaced his brother Michael as team chairman.

“I went to (offensive line coach Mike) Tice — I’m a free agent after the year, I’m in my 13th year, (Jay) Cutler had already checked out that game — and I said, ‘I think I just broke my foot,’” Kreutz said. “Tice says, ‘We have no other center. Can you finish the game?’ You do all that … and that is the disappointment to me.

“George hasn’t even talked to me in 11 years, and he’s going to say everything I say, he takes with a grain of a salt? You don’t even know me anymore. You’re assuming I am this …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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