Friday marked a big day for the New Orleans Saints as they were able to put some of their woes at center behind them after losing Jonathan Goodwin to the 49ers earlier in the week. With two young players in Matt Tennant and Cecil Newton prepared to step up, the Saints still lacked veteran experience at the center spot. Former Chicago Bear Olin Kreutz came forth and in his very first move, showed the leadership the Saints were hoping to find.
Kreutz signed his deal on Friday and reported to training camp the very same day showing he is ready to get started with his new team. Coach Sean Payton also made it known that he is here to win.
“He looked at this as an opportunity, and he left a couple of other options on the table that paid a lot more money,” Payton said.
In his first day with the Saints, Kreutz immediately started taking reps with the first unit offense. All those snaps had been the responsibility of second-year player Tennant until then. The young center is excited about the addition and knows the learning curve behind Kreutz will actually be very beneficial.
“I’m loving it right now because he is an unbelievable player,” Tennant said. “When I go in to watch film, he’s the guy that I watch. I look at it like a great opportunity to learn from a future hall of famer.”
Chicago surprisingly cut the veteran which led a lot of players and fans very upset in Bears territory, but sometimes decisions are all about business. Speaking of business though, Kreutz actually had an offer from the Bears to return and was being looked at by the Baltimore Ravens and other teams as well. Much more profitable offers were on the table for him, but he liked what the Saints had going as a team.
“Of course, Payton has put together a terrific team, and there is a tremendous amount of talent on the offensive line,” Kreutz agent Mark Bartelstein said. “It was more about him coming in and hopefully having a big impact, and we’ll take a look at the future after this year.”
That kind of attitude is exactly what has made the Saints so successful over the past few years and just what the team needs to continue doing so moving forward. This New Orleans squad is overly unselfish and one that prides itself off of working together as a team and not looking for personal accomplishments.
Kreutz turning down more money to go somewhere he believes he’ll have the best chance of winning shows that he’s already got that “Sean Payton” spirit instilled in him.
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