Amidst a whirlwind day in which the Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace, one story that dominated social media dealt with a player who hasn’t suited up at Halas Hall in over a decade.
Olin Kreutz created a stir on NBC Sports Chicago’s “Football Aftershow” following the Bears’ season finale against the Vikings, by sharing a story that the Bears had offered him a job during training camp to help then offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. The problem was Kreutz asserted the team offered him a paltry $15/hour.
So on Monday, George McCaskey was asked about his reaction to hearing that story.
“I’ve learned over the years to take just about anything that Olin says with a grain of salt,” McCaskey said. “I look forward to hearing that story again. I hope he includes it in his Hall of Fame induction speech.”
When asked to clarify whether he was saying Kreutz’s claim wasn’t true, McCaskey took a long pause before responding:
“That’s the way it is sometimes with Olin. You don’t get the whole story. Olin knows (what) the story is.”
Unsurprisingly, it did not take Kreutz long to respond. And also unsurprisingly, he was not happy. Less than an hour after McCaskey’s press conference concluded, Kreutz appeared on 670TheScore to share his thoughts on the Bears chairman’s answer.
“I’m not surprised guys, honestly,” Kreutz said on 670TheScore. “I’m not surprised. I think what George was trying to tell you there at that point of the press conference was, is, that he doesn’t like me. I guess George McCaskey doesn’tー and I know I’ve had some run-ins with George in the building when he was in charge of the ticket office.
“So I understand that George doesn’t like me. He’s telling you that he doesn’t like me as a person and he doesn’t think I am a good person, and he thinks I’m a liar, I guess.”
But Kreutz’s biggest problem comes with another assertion: that McCaskey didn’t do his diligence to look into his $15/hour claim, and that McCaskey didn’t reach out to him to try to clear up any miscommunications.
“He doesn’t talk to me since I left the building in 2010 or ‘11,” Kreutz said. “I immediatelyー because now I am thinking to myself, maybe I got the story wrongー so I called Harry Hiestand and he confirms the story to me. And I called Ryan Pace and I talked to Ryan Pace about it because that’s what guys do, right? Guys who are leaders, guys who are in charge, guys who are worried about their character, they call people and actually talk to them.
“What George McCaskey should have said right thereー because maybe the story didn’t get to himー what he should have said is, ‘Maybe I need to talk to Harry and Ryan about what happened with Olin. Maybe this was a misunderstanding.
“If he had any respect for me, he would say that.”