Tuesday, August 3, 2010

8/3 Bust of the Day: Greg Olsen


Trivia time! Of course you remember the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams offense of 1999-2001, right? Kurt Warner. Marshall Faulk. Torry Holt. Isaac Bruce. Az-Zahir Hakim. But who were the tight ends?

Give up?

Remember Roland Williams and Ernie Conwell?

Didn’t think so.

The reason I bring it up is because the architect of those offenses, Mike Martz, is now the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, which spells bad news for tight end Greg Olsen. Martz simply doesn’t utilize his tight ends as pass-catchers. He didn't in those halcyon days in St. Louis, or any other stop along the way. Want more evidence? When Martz spent 2008 as the 49ers’ O.C., Vernon Davis caught 31 passes. Davis had 52 catches the year before Martz got there, and 78 the year after he left.

Olsen, a terrific talent and great target at 6-foot-4, was supposed to have his breakout last year with Jay Cutler at the helm of the Bears' offense, and he did lead the team with 60 catches. But there’s a good chance Olsen will regress under Martz, who’s already brought in TE Brandon Manumaleuna from his later Rams days to – you guessed it – block. That's a shame, because Olsen has top-10 talent but will hard pressed to be a top-20 performer this season.

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