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TE Greg Olsen - Carolina Panthers

6-5, 255Born: 3-11-1985College: MiamiDrafted: Round 1, pick 31

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Photo: Mike DiNovo, US Presswire

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Dec 15): In the stormy seas of tight end this year, Olsen has been a shelter with only a couple of down weeks and a big game when his owners needed it in the semis. Against a declining Browns teams in Week 16, he'll be close to an elite TE option.

General News (Wed Dec 17): had 15 passes of 10 or more yards in Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and six of Anderson's passes of 10 or more yards went to Greg Olsen, who had 10 catches for 110 yards in the game. Anderson tends to lean more on Olsen as he holds the ball longer in the pocket and goes through his progressions. Olsen had eight catches for 83 yards in Week 1 when Anderson started.

Week 16: vs Cleveland Browns

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Derek Anderson did a fine job (again) in relief of Cam Newton, winning his second start of the year during Week 16 with 25/40 for 277 yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown during the 19-17 victory. Greg Olsen (13 targets for 10/110/0 receiving) and Kelvin Benjamin (13 for 8/104/0) were his main targets last week, but Jerricho Cotchery (five for 5/57/1) handled the lone TD pass from Anderson. The early word on Newton this week is as follows: head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday 'I don't want to put a guy out there that can't protect himself. By that it's being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way, stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get away. That's all part of it. That's all part of the decision that went into the first Tampa Bay game.' The team has a rehab program for Newton, and his status will be determined based on if he can meet the rehab goals during the week. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News as we get closer to the weekend to determine if Newton will start on Sunday or not. Anderson is doing a good job for Carolina as the interim starter, so there is no need to rush Newton back into action. The Browns' D faces this situation - with rookie Johnny Manziel under center, the Browns' offense couldn't sustain drives during his first start, leading to a 38:52 to 21:08 time of possession disparity in favor of Cleveland last week (leading to fatigue for the Browns' over-worked defenders). As Manziel is in the saddle to stay for this season, their defense is likely to face another endurance test this week - Cincinnati piled up 45/244/3 rushing in the other phase of the game last week. If Carolina can do something similar, whoever is under center won't need to pass the ball much on Sunday. This is a neutral matchup as of midweek because we don't know if Cam will be running the football on Sunday - if his back can take ball-carrying duties. It is likely that either quarterback won't need to throw the ball a lot as the Cleveland offense is currently a horrid mess with a new rookie quarterback facing his second NFL start this week.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPRECYDTDFumL
13 at MIN 5 59 0 0
14 at NO 10 72 1 0
15 vs TB 10 110 0 0
16 vs CLE PROJ-Dodds 6 * * *
16 vs CLE PROJ-Tremblay 6 * * *
16 vs CLE PROJ-Bloom 6 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 13 vs MIN (9 / 5 / 59 / 0 rec)

Greg Olsen's fortunes continue to go as this offense goes: in other words, not very well. Olsen and his quarterback riffed well in the two-minute drill and no huddle against the Vikings, but in general Olsen was policed well by a strong defensive effort from Minnesota as they were intent on not allowing the consistent tight end to beat them. That Olsen finished the game as the leading receiver with a mere 59 yards says a lot about the sorry state of a Panthers offense that, quite frankly, has no teeth. Olsen, due to his unselfishness as a blocker, has seen his opportunities wane in recent weeks; the trend looks unlikely to change as long as this offensive line continues to struggle.

2014 Week 14 vs NO (11 / 10 / 72 / 1 rec)

It proved to be another consistent performance for Cam Newton-s favourite target. On a day the Panthers offense finally came to life, Olsen was instrumental in its success. The tight end gave Newton a big target between the hashes early on and hooked up with his quarterback on some simple timing throws to establish a rhythm. Olsen produced arguably one of the finest catches of his career, a sprawling one-handed effort as he was falling to the turf in the flat. It only resulted in a minimal gain, but it was highly impressive. Olsen continued to be a thorn in the side of the flagging New Orleans defense as he was peppered with passes. Olsen-s solid play was rewarded when another defensive lapse cost the Saints. Lined up in-line in a heavy set, Olsen sneaked behind the Saints coverage into the end zone for an easy pitch-and-catch touchdown. The play fake was well executed by Newton, but the eye discipline of the Saints - or lack thereof - allowed Olsen to sneak in behind to cap an excellent performance.

2014 Week 15 vs TB (13 / 10 / 110 / 0 rec)

A constant thorn in the Buccaneers' side throughout, Greg Olsen worked the short and intermediate patterns to perfection. It was a clear emphasis of the Panthers' game plan to feed Olsen early and often, not only to get Derek Anderson into a rhythm but also because the matchup against the Tampa Bay linebackers and safeties was one they felt they could exploit. They were right; Olsen dominated the one-on-one matchups and Tampa Bay had no answer to Olsen's subtlety in his route-running and soft hands. The timing was excellent between he and Anderson; the ball was exactly where it needed to be time and again. Lined up wide, Olsen was a threat on outside breaking routes, where he once again gained position on the trailing defender. In one of his most complete games of the season, Olsen performed a key role in the Carolina victory.

More

Latest News

Panthers | Derek Anderson leans on Greg Olsen (Tue Dec 16, 06:39 PM) - Carolina Panthers QB Derek Anderson had 15 passes of 10 or more yards in Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and six of Anderson's passes of 10 or more yards went to TE Greg Olsen, who had 10 catches for 110 yards in the game. Anderson tends to lean more on Olsen as he holds the ball longer in the pocket and goes through his progressions. Olsen had eight catches for 83 yards in Week 1 when Anderson started.

Our View: Hey, we give it up to Anderson for his performances while Cam Newton has been out. When Anderson starts, he forces the ball to both Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin...and that's not a bad thing.
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Panthers | Greg Olsen will play against Bucs (Fri Dec 12, 05:02 PM) - Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (knee) practiced in full Friday, Dec. 12, and is probable for Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Panthers | Greg Olsen limited during practice (Thu Dec 11, 02:49 PM) - Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (knee) was limited during practice Thursday, Dec. 11.

Our View: Olsen should be fine this weekend and a good start against a poor Tampa Bay team. The one downside is the presence of Derek Anderson under center, as that doesn't engender confidence. That said, Olsen is the most reliable weapon in the offense so he should still perform as a good TE1. Looking back at Week 1 (against Tampa and with Anderson starting), Olsen performed like a top-tier tight end.
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Panthers | Limited status for Greg Olsen (Wed Dec 10, 04:43 PM) - Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 10.

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Carolina Panthers Team Links

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Staff Dynasty Rankings

TE Dynasty - 5, 5, 7, 8
Overall Dynasty - 80, 66

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Schedule

16vs Cleveland Browns
17@ Atlanta Falcons