Panthers: Norv Turner could help Greg Olsen have career year
The Carolina Panthers tight end could benefit from Turner’s tutelage…
Lately, much of the talk about the Carolina Panthers new-look offense under Norv Turner has centered on how he will work with Cam Newton. To be fair, speculating how the offense is going to work around Newton is an important decision to have. He is after all the starting quarterback.
However, Greg Olsen deserves to be part of this discussion too. He is one of the most important veterans on the Carolina Panthers roster. He has not only put up numbers for the team, he has done it consistently and done it well over the course of his career. With 445 catches for 5,575 yards and 33 touchdowns to his name as a member of the Panthers, it is hard to argue otherwise.
Tuesday, Max Henson put together another edition of his “Three Burning Questions” positional segment. The tight ends were the topic of discussion for this one. One of the questions posed was how Turner would impact the game of Greg Olsen.
"The veteran offensive coordinator was the architect from afar of the Panthers offense that Olsen joined in 2011 (directed by Turner protégé Rob Chudzinski), and now Olsen gets to play for Turner. The two worked well together during offseason workouts, with Olsen taking the transition in stride.Turner was head coach with heavy involvement on offense during the heyday for Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, and Olsen has a similar skill set. Olsen can work the seams against a defense as well as anyone, and if Turner successfully emphasizes Cam Newton’s deep ball, the seams could increase inside. Turner also has been known to frequently use two tight-end sets."
This to me means a couple of things. First, if Olsen can get loose in the defense’s seams he could be able to put up a tremendous amount of yardage. From 2014-16 Olsen compiled three 1,000-yard seasons in a row. His highest total was 1,104 yards in 2015. He snagged 77 passes that year and seven touchdowns to boot. To put it simply, Olsen produced.
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This lines up with what Turner has been saying about him wanting the offense to become more of a vertical threat with Newton staying in the pocket more. If anything, the less scrambling Newton does, the better it will be for Olsen. That way, the latter can just get the football in his hands and run after the catch. With Olsen being so sure-handed, that would be an ideal scenario.
In addition, with a two-tight end set, putting Olsen in as a blocker would not be a bad thing either. He has the size to be able to provide extra protection for Newton and the running backs. With left guard being a position of worry heading into camp, having Olsen as an extra blocker can only be a benefit.
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It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for the Carolina Panthers. If there is one certainty, it is that Olsen will be in the middle of the action.