Sam Mustipher is learning from the best. The third-year center for the Chicago Bears has been working out with team legend Olin Kreutz this offseason. It’s the second straight season the young offensive lineman has worked with Kreutz, who played 14 seasons in the NFL, 13 with the Bears.
A perennial fan favorite during his time in the Windy City, Kreutz was named a first-team All-Pro in 2006, and he made six Pro Bowls. He also was the epitome of durability, playing less than 16 games in just three of his 14 seasons — one of which was his rookie year.
Mustipher being mentored by and learning workout tips from one of the best and most durable offensive linemen in Bears history certainly bodes well for the young center — and for Chicago’s offensive line in general this coming season.
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Mustipher is All About Preparation
A former undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame, Mustipher spent his rookie season on the Bears’ practice squad before getting an opportunity in 2020. Injuries decimated Chicago’s o-line last year, but Mustipher stepped in, stepped up and made the most of his opportunity, playing in nine games and starting seven.
“I’ve always had the mindset that I was going to go into an offseason preparing to play football,” Mustipher said when speaking to the media during OTAs on June 9. “Whether that be on the practice squad, whether that be on the active roster, whether that be as a starting center, each offseason I prepare with that exact mindset and I’ve got to be great to play.”
The 24-year-old center’s game steadily improved over the season, with his pass blocking and overall grades from PFF going up as the year progressed.
“Last year, you know, the fruits of my labor showed,” Mustipher added. “And so I really feel like this offseason, it was critical for me to have that live film against other NFL defenses to understand the things I need to work on and improve on. We still have some time left to improve on those things.”
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Mustipher Working Out With Kreutz for Year No. 2
For the second year in a row, the young o-lineman has been spending his offseason training with Kreutz, who remains a well-respected football mind. Mustipher also noted he has been adding some muscle.
“Last year I trained with Olin Kreutz, this year I did the same. I have a lot of people that I trust and there’s a great group of guys that I’m able to train with week in and week out. And just being back in the facility … that was critical for me. I like to eat and there’s a lot of good food in Chicago, so that was definitely critical for putting on the muscle,” he said with a smile.
In fact, Mustipher said getting stronger was a primary goal of his this offseason.
“Getting stronger. This offseason was all about gaining strength. I put on 10 pounds of lean mass, so it was a great offseason. So now June and July is going to be just trimming the fat down and trying to maintain the muscle I put on to withstand a 17-game season and hopefully longer than that.”