Greg Olsen is quickly emerging as one of the top pass catching tight ends in the NFL. Olsen was selected by the Chicago Bears as the thirty-first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft and is the latest installment of top-shelf tight ends from the University of Miami. These recent editions include Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, and Kellen Winslow II. Consequently, Greg Olsen is now set to carry the torch of this proud tradition at tight end.
However, Olsen’s entry into the NFL was marred by the brash outlaw arrogance that also became a staple of “The U” Football, beginning with Jimmy Johnson. The football player participates as a rapper beneath his “G-Reg” stage name amidst the bawdy 7th Floor Crew track that would force Uncle Luke of the 2 Live Crew to start blushing.
Olsen has since made amends for the unfortunate incident – labeling the recordings as the machinations of an immature freshman that was simply caught up in the moment. Yes, Greg Olsen has matured both on and off the football field as he enters his third NFL season.
Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears Tight End Scouting Report
Olsen, 24, is a pass catching tight end.
The 6-5, 255 pound athlete is a precise route runner and his 4.5 40-yard dash time is remarkable for a man of his size. Olsen is a threat to move the chains from any position within the passing game. The versatile playmaker may line up as a traditional in-line tight end or flexed into the slot. Olsen has even motioned into the backfield as an H-back and split wide of the formation as a receiver.
Essentially, Greg Olsen is a match up nightmare.
He is too fast to be covered by lumbering linebackers and is too physical for secondary coverage. Greg Olsen started 7 out of 16 games in 2008 and caught 54 passes for 574 yards and 5 touchdowns. The smooth tight end was the Bears premier touchdown maker and second leading receiver per catches through the air last season.
Greg Olsen put it all together to contribute towards two key victories versus NFC North rivals during 2008. In week 5, Olsen caught 3 balls for 87 yards to torch the hapless Detroit Lions. He then dominated the Vikings for 6 catches, 74 yards, and one touchdown, shortly thereafter in week 7.
Production wise, Olsen is just a shade beneath the upper echelon of NFL tight ends that includes Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, and a healthy Kellen Winslow. Indeed, the young Bear was named as a second alternate to the 2008-2009 Pro Bowl at his position. These feats are quite impressive, considering the fact that Olsen is essentially splitting playing time with Desmond Clark.
Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears Tight End must get Physical
Greg Olsen is currently listed as the second tight end behind 11-year veteran Desmond Clark per the Chicago Bears depth chart.
Although Olsen’s measurements are comparable to fellow Hurricane Jeremy Shockey – this pass catcher has never been mistaken for a menacing road grader. Run blocking at tight end will be of particular importance for the Bears this season, considering the age of 33 year old Orlando Pace at tackle.
Olsen must learn to get down and dirty as an in-line blocker to compliment his game and vary the Bears offensive attack. For example, defenses will key upon the pass to combat offensive formations that feature Olsen as the lone tight end; and overload towards Clark’s alignment at the line of scrimmage with run support to challenge two tight end sets.
Of course, predictability from the offensive side of the ball is par for the course at Chicago.
Olsen must elevate his play even more so for the Bears to win games and advance into the NFL Playoffs. Although Chicago landed the Prize of the 2008 NFL offseason with quarterback Jay Cutler – the Monsters of the Midway are nearly devoid of talent at wide receiver. Devin Hester remains a mystery at WR #1 and Rashied Davis may be described as maddeningly inconsistent, at best.
Bears Nation should accept nothing less than 850 receiving yards from Greg Olsen during 2009. To do so, Olsen cannot afford to get dominated and outmuscled by strong side backers and defensive ends up front. For his part, Cutler will subjugate his vertical gun slinging mentality and recognize that working the seams to his gifted tight end is actually the strength of this roster.
Certainly, Greg Olsen is up to the challenge.
Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears Tight End Profile and Scouting Report, Sources:
Greg Olsen Profile, http://www.nfl.com/players/gregolsen/profile?id=OLS094822
The Official Web Site of the NFL, www.nfl.com
The Official Web Site of the Chicago Bears, http://www.chicagobears.com/index.html
ESPN, NFL Football, http://espn.go.com/nfl/
Pro Football Reference, NFL Stats, http://www.pro-football-reference.com/