View from the Moon: Olsen improving blocking

View from the Moon: Olsen improving blocking

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011
11:34 AM

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'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.

Training Camp Daily: Defense still “picking” on Bears QB’s in rainy practices


Training Camp Daily: Defense still “picking” on Bears QB’s in rainy practices

Training Camp Daily: The Bears put the pads on for Sunday's practice on another wet day in Bourbonnais. Bears insider John 'Moon' Mullin & producer Paul Aspan discuss Mitchell Trubisky's accuracy, which continues to be a work in progress. Plus Anthony Miller & Kevin White turn heads, while Aaron Lynch suffers yet another injury setback when the Bears are already thin at pass rusher. 

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Aaron Lynch misses Bears practice with hamstring injury

USA Today

Aaron Lynch misses Bears practice with hamstring injury

The Chicago Bears are thin at outside linebacker after only signing Aaron Lynch to provide a pass rush opposite Leonard Floyd this season. 

Lynch was considered a risky signing in March because of his injury history. He's appeared in only 28 games over the last three years and he's already off to an injured start with the Bears.

Lynch was one of several players to miss Sunday's practice with a hamstring injury, a list that includes fellow starter, Danny Trevathan.

Lynch and Trevathan missed Saturday's practice, too.

Other Bears who sat out on Sunday were Sherrick McManis (hamstring), Daniel Brown (ankle) and Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder). First-round pick Roquan Smith remains a holdout.

Lynch is in a training camp battle with Sam Acho for a starting job and will have to hold off Kylie Fitts and Isaiah Irving as well. The more time he loses to injury, the less and less likely the chances are that he'll become an impact player on defense.

It's still early, and the Bears have an extra week of training camp because of the Hall of Fame game. There's plenty of time for Lynch to get healthy and put this hamstring issue behind him.