Greg Olsen outlines the perfect blueprint for Carolina Panthers' growth

The former tight end had a lot to say...

Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen laid out a perfect blueprint for the new power couple of Dan Morgan and Dave Canales to follow.

Greg Olsen was part of some special groups during his stint with the Carolina Panthers. It's been a long time since fans had a team to be proud of. But the former tight end turned FOX Sports analyst believes better days might be ahead under the guidance of Dan Morgan and Dave Canales.

While many were shocked to see the Panthers go in this direction, it's a sign that David Tepper is looking for a different ethos within the building. Couple this with the impending arrival of Brant Tilis in the not-too-distant future, Carolina has a structure in place that's proven to be successful around the league.

Greg Olsen wants gradual growth for the Carolina Panthers

Olsen also laid out a blueprint for sustained growth when speaking to Joe Person of The Athletic. This included bringing in the right characters and not just big names. He also put a strong emphasis on the importance of coaching players up to reach or far exceed the level anticipated.

"Everyone gets really excited over a big-time, No. 1 receiver. We’ve seen in the playoffs, look at Green Bay. They have some young (receivers) that are crazy talented. But none of them are first-round picks. They didn’t go out and sign some big-time free agent. They have a great system. They drafted really well. Look at the Lions. Amon-Ra St. Brown’s an All-Pro player. I don’t think you need to panic and go out and pay $25 million to whoever the top free-agent receiver is just to check that box. I don’t think they’re one player away. I think it’s gonna be roster depth, great drafting, signing the right free agents. And then it’s going to be about coaching and playing to the strengths of the guys you already have under contract. They developed a lot of talent on defense, a lot of guys that weren’t expected to play. And I would argue they played well above expectation. That’s coaching. That’s what the NFL is."

Greg Olsen via The Athletic

The Panthers aren't the most attractive destination at the best of times, let alone after going through a two-win campaign and suffering the embarrassment of handing over the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. Overpaying players is always seen as a desperate move for teams in smaller markets - almost a necessity in some cases to get their preferred targets. However, as Olsen stated, this is not going to be a quick fix for Carolina.

Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Morgan and Canales must build a competitive team gradually. Giving the head coach a six-year deal to prise him from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers indicates there will be a level of patience if things don't go well immediately. Although where Tepper is concerned, anything is possible.

Build through the draft. Surround quarterback Bryce Young with the weapons and protection he needs to thrive. Find out ways to enhance the options already at Carolina's disposal. Maintain the high defensive standards whether Ejiro Evero sticks around or not. Those are all attainable objectives for Morgan and Canales.

Getting a period of good grace would also be beneficial. That might be difficult considering the disillusioned fanbase has been dragged through the mud ever since Tepper bought the franchise from Jerry Richardson in 2018. But if Canales and Morgan demonstrate legitimate progress - no matter how small - it would represent a glimmer of hope better days are ahead.

As for Olsen? He's also embarking on a journey into the proverbial unknown. He's about to depart his lead analyst position as FOX moves forward with Tom Brady. It's extremely harsh given his outstanding transition to the booth. Whether this results in a switch to another network or being a secondary option on game days is another matter.

One thing's for sure. If Olsen somehow ended up in the Panthers' front office, nobody would complain.

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