Olin Kreutz knows football. He knows what “great” is supposed to look like on the field. Especially when it comes to lining up against defenses. This is the man who had to line up against Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Tommie Harris at their respective peaks. So when he gives compliments to front sevens in the NFL, he’s speaking as somebody who’s seen the best.
That is why his words regarding the latest incarnation the Chicago Bears have constructed has his full attention. While speaking on the Under Center podcast for NBC Sports Chicago, the six-time Pro Bowler gushed about how potentially lethal this unit can be in 2020 thanks to the arrival of pass rusher Robert Quinn. He certainly didn’t hold back his personal feelings.
“With this defense the Bears got, that front seven, now that they’ve signed Robert Quinn. I mean…Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Robert Quinn, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith…all healthy? I played offensive line. I do not want to see those guys on a Sunday. Holy crap, man. That is a legitimate front seven that’s going to fly around and hit you.”
Olin Kreutz understands the potential of this group
When looking at the Bears front seven, most agreed it was really good but it also had a significant weakness. That being the edge rusher spot opposite Khalil Mack. Leonard Floyd was an athletic player who was solid in coverage and played the run well. When it came to getting the quarterback though? He never measured up and too often opponents were able to take advantage of that. Especially last season when Hicks was out with his elbow injury and Mack played hurt.
The arrival of Quinn plugs that hole. At 29-years old, the man already has 80 sacks in his career including 11.5 for the Dallas Cowboys last season. In 14 games no less. He is a legitimate sack artist who doesn’t require constant single blocking to get the quarterback. Now put him on the same front as a healthy Mack and Hicks? This has the potential for the unit leaving devastation in their wake.
Throw in other underappreciated talents like Goldman, Trevathan, and Smith and it’s not hard to see why Kreutz is so giddy. This is the kind of front seven that can win a championship. All they’d need is a little health and a little help from the offense.