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TE Greg Olsen - Carolina Panthers

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

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 at TB 45 3 22 0 0 2.2

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 17 vs TB (4 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)

After snagging a bullet pass from Cam Newton on the first play from scrimmage, Greg Olsen had a rather inauspicious performance. On a deep target in the end zone, the tight end was penalised for offensive pass interference; to be fair, the football was far above his head and he had no chance of coming down with it. He fed on scraps for the majority of the game, rising to the occasion on a fourth down play to keep the game alive with a quick-hitting catch over the middle. Olsen was unfortunate to lose his footing on the game-deciding two-point attempt, with Newton having predetermined his read. He fired it in to Olsen, only to see the old reliable trip and the ball get deflected incomplete by a Bucs defender.

2016 Week 16 vs ATL (12 / 6 / 59 / 0 rec)

It was a memorable occasion for Greg Olsen on a personal milestone basis, as he became the first tight end in NFL history with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. However, an all-too-typical down day from the offense meant he was limited to short catches over the middle as the Falcons' comfortable lead allowed them to play conservatively. Any time Olsen was targeted downfield the pass was either too high due to a scattershot Cam Newton's accuracy, or there was a miscommunication between quarterback and tight end. Olsen briefly left the game after making a routine catch, but was held in check by a combination of the offensive struggles and having to stay in and block to cover up the offensive line's issues.

2016 Week 15 vs WAS (9 / 6 / 85 / 0 rec)

With the offense clicking, Greg Olsen went from afterthought to key cog as the Panthers settled in early. The tight end played his part in getting his quarterback into rhythm, beating the Washington zone coverage on Cam Newton's first pass with a simple deep crossing pattern. Nobody was near Olsen as he made the catch for a big gain. It would be a sign of things to come. Olsen was targeted twice in the red zone, but on both occasions the Washington coverage was tighter; Olsen had the ball batted away from him at the catch point. In the second half he produced another chunk play, a catch and run after successfully juking a defender out of his shoes with a subtle shoulder fake. It was an efficient outing for Olsen, who feasted on a below average Redskins defense.

2016 Week 14 vs SD (7 / 4 / 87 / 0 rec)

With the recent offensive struggles in mind, perhaps it was no coincidence that offensive coordinator Mike Shula opened up with a Cam Newton pass to Greg Olsen, his favourite target. Olsen ran a lovely route from the right slot, fooling the defensive player with his crisp route and bending to the sideline for a first down catch. He repeated the trick later in the half, separating easily at the top of the route. An early seam pass kick-started the offense after the half, with Olsen reaching high to secure a floated Newton pass for a big gain. The tight end was targeted in the red zone on a quick-hitting inside pattern, but the defensive back broke on the football quickly and Olsen had no chance.

2016 Week 13 vs SEA (7 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)

On a putrid offensive night for Carolina, Greg Olsen became lost in the mire of ineptitude. With the Panthers' offensive line shorthanded coming into the game, Olsen was relied on often as a blocker. Even when he went out into patterns, the Seattle underneath coverage was able to take him away and force Cam Newton to hold on to the ball. Olsen made a spectacular catch on an intermediate crossing pattern as Newton zipped the ball into traffic, shooting the ball past the ear hole of a Seattle defender's helmet. Newton's other targets for Olsen went often erratic in terms of accuracy and placement, leaving the tight end to pick up scraps as the game rolled toward a finish.

2016 Week 12 vs OAK (5 / 4 / 45 / 0 rec)

Greg Olsen had to work his way into this game like the rest of the Carolina offense. A first half of sleepwalking offensive production put the team in a hole, 24-7, so Olsen was targeted often in the second half. Olsen made his usual array of impressive sideline catches, showing off his uncanny body control and soft hands to make Cam Newton's off-target passes look like bullets between the numbers. A beautiful leaping catch was ruled out by a holding penalty, and Olsen was unfortunate not to haul in a high pass over the middle on the Panthers' final drive to set up a potential game-tying field goal. The pass was just a little high even for someone of his height to reel in.

2016 Week 11 vs NO (7 / 4 / 33 / 0 rec)

In a rather inept offensive display for Carolina, Greg Olsen was unable to slice out a big piece of the small pie. Cam Newton went to him in key situations, including a pivotal catch on a deep out pattern to set the Panthers up at the Saints one-yard line. Newton went back to Olsen on a subsequent red zone opportunity, but the window was very tight for the high pass to fit in and it flew over his head. Olsen converted a pair of key third downs in the second half as the conservative Panthers offense played keep away from the Saints. Olsen was unable to haul in a zipped pass for a potentially spectacular diving sideline catch, as the ball came free from his grasp.

2016 Week 10 vs KC (8 / 5 / 39 / 0 rec)

Greg Olsen was utilized more as a blocker against the Chiefs, as the Panthers continued to compensate for their reshuffled offensive line. Olsen made a couple of uncharacteristic drops, including a poor concentration one on a simple toss. A pair of early receptions in traffic failed to get the ball rolling, with Cam Newton instead picking on the cornerbacks outside with Kelvin Benjamin. Olsen scooped up a low pass in the second half, showing excellent hands to go to the turf and secure it. For the most part, however, his role was limited by a combination of extra blocking assignments.

2016 Week 9 vs LA (7 / 5 / 52 / 1 rec)

Greg Olsen hardly put a foot wrong and cashed in with the Panthers' lone touchdown of the game in a bruising affair. The soft-handed tight end made it look easy when given the opportunity, going low and high to reel in off-target Cam Newton passes. Olsen's touchdown came in the red zone as he was flexed away from the formation, set in the right slot. He beat the defender instantly off the line of scrimmage with a hard step outside opening the gate to get inside leverage. The high safety cheated to the other side of the field, allowing Newton to find Olsen for an easy strike over the middle. Olsen made a beautiful grab on a high pass down the seam from Newton later and provided a steadying presence despite the pressure Newton and the offensive line had to deal with.

2016 Week 8 vs ARI (3 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

The Panthers took a different tack offensively against the Cardinals, eschewing the passing attack early to pound the football between the tackles. Greg Olsen saw fewer opportunities as a pass catcher as the Carolina rushing offense and defensive pressure led to an unfavorable game script. Olsen was targeted by Cam Newton in key situations, including a deep shot down the right sideline. The pass was left too short, however, and the defensive back intercepted it only to have the call reversed upon video review. Olsen's lone reception came on a beautiful leaping sideline catch on a key third down. It appeared as though the tight end failed to tap a second foot in bounds, but the play was not challenged.

2016 Week 6 vs NO (7 / 6 / 94 / 0 rec)

With Cam Newton distributing the ball all over the field in the Panthers' comeback effort, Greg Olsen was certain to play a big role. The Saints linebackers and defensive backs struggled to keep tabs on the wily Olsen, who consistently found seams and bamboozled defenders with his route-running prowess. He had to work in the underneath portions of the field very often, taking small chunks as the Saints defense looked to avoid giving up the big play. Olsen should have the recipient of a touchdown pass, but instead the defensive back committed pass interference to set the offense up at the Saints 1-yard line. It was a clinical display from one of the best in the game.

2016 Week 5 vs TB (13 / 9 / 181 / 0 rec)

Greg Olsen was the straw that stirred the drink for the Panthers offensively, thriving all over the field against a lackluster Buccaneers unit. The veteran tight end found countless soft spots, exploiting them time after time. Olsen picked up where he left off in the dying embers of the Atlanta loss last week, connecting early and often with Derek Anderson. Where Olsen won was at the break point in his routes, as Bucs linebackers and safeties struggled to keep pace. He made a terrific twirling adjustment to a back shoulder throw down the seam in the second quarter, adjusting his body to haul in the pass as he fell to the turf. When the Panthers offense reached the red zone, Olsen was the apple of Anderson's eye. The two narrowly failed to hook up on a deep shot at the end of the first half, with two Buccaneers defenders bracketing Olsen in the end zone as the ball sailed into his area. Olsen kick started the offense in the second half, sneaking in behind the line of scrimmage on 3rd-and-1 to get open in the flat. Anderson lofted him a quick pass and Olsen had nothing but green grass ahead of him. Eventually he was wrestled down inside the Bucs 35-yard line. Were it not for an inaccurate ball on a simple throw, Olsen would have had a touchdown on one of the ensuing plays. Anderson's pass, however, was too far behind Olsen for him to reel in on the run. The Bucs defense continued to find new ways to let Olsen get open, and he found a huge void down the right sideline as the game wore to a close. Olsen was the target of another end zone shot from Anderson, but the pass was rushed and Olsen was doubled; it was intercepted, ending the Panthers' hopes, but Olsen had no chance to make a play.

2016 Week 4 vs ATL (13 / 6 / 76 / 1 rec)

After initially being shut out as the Panthers offense struggled to find its footing, Greg Olsen exploded into life. By the time it happened, however, Carolina had already resorted to an up-tempo approach. Olsen found soft spots in the Atlanta zone coverage and hooked up with Cam Newton on a simple pitch and catch down the seam early on, after two previous targets had been wayward due to the constant pressure on the quarterback. Newton began to look to Olsen with regularity as the Panthers approached the red zone in the hurry-up offense, peppering him with passes. It wasn't until Derek Anderson came in at quarterback that Olsen produced his finest play of the game and quite possibly his season. Set up in the red zone, Olsen lined up against Falcons rookie safety Keanu Neal. Olsen gave a quick nod to the outside, before shooting down the seam. The pass from Anderson was intentionally high, and the big tight end had the skill to stab the football in the air, killing its momentum, before securing it with his other hand and tapping both feet in bounds. It was a majestic catch and show of coordination. Olsen converted a two-point play subsequently, as he and Anderson started to click. With the offense firmly in pass-first mode, Olsen hauled in a few more short receptions as the Falcons surrendered underneath patterns. A final end zone target was too far over Olsen's head to catch as it sailed to the back left pylon.

2016 Week 3 vs MIN (10 / 6 / 64 / 0 rec)

One of the lone bright spots on an otherwise drab day for the Panthers offense, Greg Olsen was a steady presence for his quarterback. The Vikings played disciplined defense throughout, with their two-deep looks forcing Olsen to make his hay on underneath routes. Olsen did an excellent job using a linebacker's leverage to beat him to the outside, resulting in a nice pitch and catch that he took up the sideline. He continued to find success outside the numbers, as he and Newton exploited gaps in the coverage. No passes threatened downfield, however. Olsen was only targeted once on a potentially big play, a prayer heaved up by Newton with time ebbing away at the death; the pass was too far ahead of Olsen to even contemplate catching.

2016 Week 2 vs SF (8 / 5 / 122 / 1 rec)

In addition to being a thorn in the side of the San Francisco defense for his work in the short to intermediate range, Olsen produced a bigger play to get the Panthers back on track. Lined up in the slot right, he got a free release and took advantage of a missed assignment by a 49ers safety to streak down the middle unmolested. Cam Newton instantly recognized it and floated a lovely pass for Olsen to run on to for a 78-yard touchdown strike. When Olsen wasn't finding wide open space to run into, he was punishing 49ers defenders, lulling them to sleep with his routes before breaking quickly and securing the football. Olsen had great success operating as the single receiver on the backside in the Panthers' three-by-one sets. The 49ers played a lot of off coverage, allowing Olsen room to operate. Set up in the red zone, Newton targeted Olsen for what might have been his second touchdown. Olsen streaked down towards the back pylon and the ball appeared to be in good position, but the 49ers cornerback sunk underneath the route and almost intercepted the pass. Olsen stayed alive to help out an under duress Newton in the fourth quarter as the Panthers iced the game. Newton missed Olsen running down the right sideline in the early stages for what could have been a 30+-yard completion, the ball sailing too far as Newton threw on the rollout.

2016 Week 1 vs DEN (9 / 7 / 73 / 0 rec)

If Cam Newton and Kelvin Benjamin had chemistry in this game, then Newton and Olsen had something of a sixth sense. After a steady start offensively that saw the Panthers take a 7-0 lead, Olsen slowly crept his way into the game. He and T.J. Ward had a back-and-forth slugfest throughout, with Olsen giving as good as he got. An early target Olsen's way was too far inside for him to catch, but Ward's coverage and the pass rush meant it was a rushed throw from Newton. Olsen's first catch showed the kind of mind meld he and his quarterback have developed. Under pressure, Newton rolled left. Olsen, aware his quarterback was in peril, sneaked away from his pass blocking assignment and leaked up the field on a wheel route. Newton identified it immediately and lofted a beautiful first down pass to his tight end. Olsen absorbed a big hit from Ward to secure a catch that set the Panthers up inside the red zone for their second touchdown. A savvy Olsen produced one of the headiest plays of the game late in the first half. With only seconds remaining and the Panthers in field goal range, Olsen caught a low pass and smartly rolled out of bounds to stop the clock before a Broncos defender could touch him. Olsen found his spots in the second half, but the entire offense seemed to stutter and the tight end suffered for it.


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