Q&A with Bob Wylie

Bears offensive line coach Bob Wylie discusses Olin Kreutz and what makes him one of the game's best centers during an exclusive interview with Jason Klabacha.

Olin Kreutz, who was a Pro Bowl alternate in 1999 and 2000, earned his third consecutive trip to his native Hawaii. He's the fifth Bears player at his position to be selected to the team (Jay Hilgenberg, Mike Pyle, Larry Strickland and Bulldog Turner).

Kreutz is known as a gritty performer and has started 45 of the last 46 regular season contests for the Bears at center with his only absence coming after having an appendectomy (at St Louis) in 2002 after.

Coming off the field after finding out he had been selected to the Pro Bowl Kreutz turned to Wylie and playfully said, "It's all coaching."

BR: Are you surprised that Olin Kreutz made the Pro Bowl despite the Bears offense being ranked 32nd?

Wylie: "No, I'm not because when he plays and the guys that he goes up against (know what kind of player he is). A recent opponent said after the game, ‘I don't want to play against Kreutz every week.' So they recognize the caliber of player he is. When he's out there he leaves it out there and he's a good leader. The whole thing about him is he's a true professional football player."

BR: Has Kreutz held the offense together this year considering he's played with three different quarterbacks and dealt with numerous o-line changes?

Wylie: "He makes sure that they're all where they're supposed to be in the huddle and what they're supposed do. He's the guy that calls the signals and he takes pride in doing that."

BR: Is Kreutz the closest thing the offense has to a coach on the field?

Wylie: "In the huddle I can't control what happens, so Olin has to control what happens in the huddle for me. So he's like my spokesperson in the huddle and he knows exactly what I think and what I need them to do. He gets them to do that. They can't talk to me, but they can talk to me him in the huddle so he keeps them all together in there."

BR: With so many young players on the line do you still spend time coaching Kreutz?

Wylie: "Oh yeah, we still work on things. Every day that we have practice he'll work on something that he didn't do well in the last game. Whether it's footwork, maybe it's a punch, whatever it is he'll work on that one thing until it feels more comfortable for him that's what the true pros do. You see a lot of the young kids (look up to Kreutz and) I try to install that in them when they come out to do their footwork, when they do their punching and their sets and stuff. It's not an exact science."

BR: Do you expect to receive a present from Kreutz?

Wylie: "The first year he (got me something). I don't know what's going to happen this year. I'm just happy he made it, I don't look for anything from my players. My job is to coach them, if they do well (that's great) those guys play I'm just helping them go through it."


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