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Originally published Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 5:13 PM

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Olin Kreutz, ex-Chicago Bear and Washington Husky, praises Brian Urlacher | NFL

Ex-Washington Huskies center Olin Kreutz, who played for the Chicago Bears, recalls the difficulty of trying to block ex-Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher.

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CHICAGO — Olin Kreutz had an awkward exit from the Chicago Bears during training camp in 2011, shortly after the league lockout ended.

Thus the six-time Pro Bowl center who played college ball for the Washington Huskies can relate to Wednesday's announcement the Bears could not reach a contract agreement with middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.

The news was surprising to Kreutz, who hoped to see eight-time Pro Bowl selection Urlacher play another season for Chicago.

Asked to recall his time together with Urlacher, Kreutz went back to the third week of the 2000 season, when Urlacher was a rookie and he moved from strongside linebacker to the middle because starter Barry Minter was sidelined by an injury.

"I remember the first day in practice ... his first play, I jumped out to try to block him," Kreutz said of Urlacher, who was born in Pasco. "He just ran by me like I wasn't even there. He was so fast. I knew then. I remember going back to the huddle and telling Big Cat (Williams), 'This guy is going to be unbelievable at this position.' His speed was just so unreal.

"Lach is probably the most gifted linebacker to ever play the position. Size, speed, everything. ... I know there is Walter Payton and Dick Butkus and all of these guys. But if you want to talk about one of the greatest Bears of all time, you've got to talk about Lach. He was that good."

Notes

• Cleveland running back Trent Richardson, 21, has been sued by two women who contend they were assaulted at his home.

The civil suit by Krystal Jones and Kathleen Hunter also named Richardson's brother, Terrell; his girlfriend, Sevina Fatu; and two other women.

Jones and Hunter said shortly after they left Richardson's home Dec. 6, he emerged and cursed them for slamming a door.

They allege Richardson banged on the hood of Jones' vehicle, causing damage, and that his girlfriend and the two other female defendants — urged on by Richardson — hit and kicked them, resulting in injuries.

• Houston signed six-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler, 36, previously with Oakland. ESPN said the deal was for three years and a maximum of $5.5 million.

• Chicago agreed to a one-year contract with safety Tom Zbikowski, 27, who played for Indianapolis last season.

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