|Rookie TE Olsen making good impression on Bears|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 17 August 2007 13:45|
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) -The Chicago Bears hadn't drafted a player at his position in the first round since taking Mike Ditka in 1961, so Greg Olsen figures comparisons to Da Tight End won't stop anytime soon.|
``Chicago's never going to forget Ditka,'' he said.
Olsen hopes the city will remember him, too.
He brings size and speed to the Bears, who took him with the 31st pick in April. The team that has relied on the run the past few years seems poised to open up the offense a little more.
With his speed and glue-like hands, the 6-foot-5 Olsen has done nothing but impress during the preseason.
He had two catches for 17 yards in a limited appearance during the preseason opener at Houston - a 5-yard pass from quarterback Rex Grossman on the first play from scrimmage and a 12-yarder later on that possession.
Olsen has mostly practiced with the second team but has taken some snaps with the starters. And he's made several eye-popping plays.
``He's a great player, he's fit in real well, he's a smart guy,'' Grossman said. ``He's picked up the offense real well, and he's got unbelievable athletic ability. He's a weapon that we're going to use.''
Olsen grew up around the game.
His father, Chris, coached at Wayne Hills High School in New Jersey, and Greg and his older brother, Christian, spent a lot of time on the sidelines and in the locker room. They were waterboys and ballboys who eventually starred for their dad before heading to Division I schools.
Christian played at Virginia, while Greg wound up at Miami (Fla.), former home to standout tight ends such as Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow.
Olsen did his part.
He caught 87 passes for 1,215 yards in three seasons and was first-team all-ACC as a junior last year before entering the NFL draft - a decision about which he's had no second thoughts.
``I learned a lot about the game and how to prepare and what it takes to be a good player from an early age,'' Olsen said.
He said he feels ``100 times'' more comfortable with the Bears' system now that he knows where to go and when. He's no longer second-guessing himself, wondering if he made the right cut.
He's fitting in - on the field and away from it.
``The thing that he's done the best is realize what his role is,'' said veteran offensive lineman John Tait. ``He knows he can learn from older guys like (veteran TE) Des Clark and his coaches. You like to see that from a guy like that.''
Meanwhile, the hype builds and comparisons continue, though Olsen has a long way to go to reach Ditka's level. The two haven't met, but, Olsen said, ``If I ran across him that would be pretty neat.''
He knows they will be linked as long as he's a Bear, that Ditka's name probably will continue to come up in every interview. Not that Olsen minds.
``He's that kind of figure in this city, what he did for the Bears and what he did in his personal life,'' Olsen said. ``He's kind of an icon around here and that just comes with the territory.''
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