Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
By John Mullin
Dan, Dan, Dan, Christmas is over but the Grinch is still here.
Checking in with Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel for our regular Thursday visit on WSCR-AM 670s The Danny Mac Show and poor Greg Olsen, whos developing into a respectable all-around tight end gets a shelling.
Listen to John 'Moon' Mullin's complete appearance
Olsen has clearly gotten and read the memo that blocking matters in the Mike Martz offense. While Olsen is not yet going to invite comparisons with Mike Ditka or John Mackey, Spiegs and I think that Olsen merits a stroke or two for getting it and improving at something hes not exceptional at.
Mac isnt having it, giving Olsen a hockey facial for not figuring this all out until this, his fourth NFL season. But my thought here is that Olsen was in a Ron Turner West Coast scheme his first three years and that system exploits defenses with the pass-catching of tight ends. Bill Walsh always maintained that the tight end was the overlooked key to why his system was especially dangerous.
My sense of Olsen is that hes akin to Val Kilmer look-alike Ryan Wetnight, an undersized tight end who played for Turner at Stanford and with the Bears. Wetnight was an exceptional receiver who still ranks in the Bears top 25 all-time in catches (172). Olsen has flown past Wetnight this year and ranks 17th all-time with 194.
Danny, leave the boy be. He'll be fine.
Whether the Seahawks will be is another matter and I dont think Seattle gets past the Bears this weekend. I also thought that the Hawks are a sort of pocket-Americas Team, a total underdog in a football-loving nation that loves underdogs.
Spiegs I think changed my thinking. First, there are too many people stung by the perceived injustice of a 7-9 team even being in the playoffs, let alone getting a home game (vs. New Orleans). He thought the Packers were more likely Americas darling-to-be and I think I agree with that. Aaron Rodgers is likeable and colorful (and, like, really really good) and any team with 14 players on IR, including eight starters, is an underdog by definition.
Likeable probably doesnt apply in large measure to Jay Cutler, which is a topic of amusement in a week awash in football. Cutler doesnt care about his public perception, or at least that whats said, and which I dont particularly believe, but thats for another time.
Cutler is certainly aware of what a good public face can mean to a post-football career in broadcasting but thats just not him. Never has been, not here, not in Denver. If hes not catering to image, hey, he makes 10 million a year and if he wins, the imagell be fine.
It does surprise me a little that he doesnt have more fun with those media sessions the way Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher do, even if they dont necessarily like doing them. But thats him and thats his choice.
Assuming the Bears keep playing, well check in next Thursday at 10.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.