Carolina Panthers: 3 role players that will thrive in Joe Brady’s offense
Carolina Panthers Player No. 2: Ian Thomas (TE)
Longtime Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is now with the Seattle Seahawks after a prolific career with the organization. This leaves Ian Thomas with the opportunity to step up as the team’s No. 1 option at the position.
Thomas has performed well in his limited playing time. But he will be asked to do more than he has ever done at the NFL level in 2020.
As mentioned before, Teddy Bridgewater is at his best when throwing the ball on short routes in the middle of the field. This is where tight ends thrive and Thomas will be expected to become the former first-round pick’s security blanket in critical situations.
Thomas must prove that he is a reliable receiving option in order for Bridgewater to trust him on third-and-short situations to keep the chains moving. Olsen was such an impactful playmaker for Carolina because he came up with big catches when the team needed it the most. Now a lot of third down and red zone plays will be up to their third-year tight end.
Joe Brady relied on his tight ends at LSU a great deal last season. He would often line them up in the slot position in a spread offense rather than have them right next to the offensive line in a three-point stance. This helped them to create separation easier and get open across the middle of the field.
The tight end position was heavily targeted by Joe Burrow with the Tigers’ in 2019. So one would expect much of the same from Bridgewater and the Panthers this year.