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updated: 8/10/2011 8:31 PM

Soon enough, Bears will claim line better without Kreutz

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You might hear it today. You might hear it Saturday night. You might hear it next week. But you will most certainly hear it.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo will smile into the cameras, nod his head, and with complete arrogance say, "See, we were right. We are better on the offensive line."

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In other words, "We didn't need Olin Kreutz. And, by the way, I told you so."

Or, maybe it will be subtler, leaving you to read between the offensive lines.

You will definitely hear it by the end of the season -- from Angelo or Lovie Smith -- because it's unlikely the Bears will allow 52 sacks again. It will be nearly impossible as long as Smith and Mike Tice keep Mike Martz from throwing Jay Cutler to the Lions -- and Packers.

And, of course, anyone with a brain will know it's not proof the Bears are better off without Kreutz.

It will be proof only that Tice is very good at this, and given time to make adjustments he will again make something out of nothing, provided he can find a competent center who grasps the offense, the offense maintains some balance and Cutler doesn't have to drop back to Peoria.

While telling you how smart they were to let go of Kreutz, the Bears will also want you to forget that it wasn't their idea to get rid of Kreutz, which stands directly in the way of their logic.

They did offer him $4 million, which sounds like something less than an invitation to leave, but in a game of who has the bigger yardstick, neither side would budge over a half-million bucks.

Did Kreutz overplay his hand? Obviously, because he's not here any longer, but of all the times to do it Angelo picked this moment to prove he was in charge and wouldn't be pushed around, after years of paying players like Brandon Manumaleuna $6 million to do precisely nothing.

An odd choice, to be sure.

To his credit, Angelo praised Kreutz and never said publicly what he could have, which is that Kreutz is not nearly the player he was five years ago, and that Kreutz has been overrated and overappreciated for years.

Nevertheless, the Bears -- because they have not developed another center -- were in a horrible spot and should have given in, knowing they now take a terrible line and subtract the best lineman.

Angelo has every right to pay a guy what he thinks is right, but sometimes you have to overpay when you've boxed yourself into a painful corner and have no leverage, and that's exactly where the Bears were with Kreutz.

There's fault on both sides here, but the Bears had much more to lose than did Kreutz.

Ultimately, the Bears will say -- and some fans already believe this -- that Kreutz couldn't have been that good if the Bears' offensive line was that bad in 2010.

This is the same brilliant reasoning that leads one to say Tice can't be that smart if the line was historically bad.

And these arguments are similarly idiotic.

If Tice hadn't made constant adjustments, and Kreutz hadn't managed to help some of his mates get their assignments occasionally correct, the line would have been even worse.

You got that. Without the genius of Tice and the glue of Kreutz, it would have been even worse.

Yeah, that's right, Cutler would have had oatmeal on the brain -- and for breakfast through a straw.

Thing is, the Bears' version of history, not to mention reality, is so often revised as to induce hallucinations, so prepare yourself for some classic Bearspeak.

You will hear it. You might even hear it by halftime Saturday, so if such duplicity makes you queasy, consider going light for dinner.

brozner@dailyherald.com

•Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM. Follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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