Despite Early Success, TE Greg Olsen Believes Seahawks Have Work to Do Offensively
Coming out strong in Week 1, the Seahawks enjoyed plenty of success in the air against the Falcons, allowing Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson to take control of the game and pass for 322 yards along with four touchdowns.
Adding several new weapons on offense, including veteran tight end Greg Olsen, Wilson looked extremely comfortable spreading the ball around to a variety of players throughout the opener. As a result, the six-time Pro Bowler was able to lead his team to a convincing 38-25 victory during their season opener.
Finding instant success during his inaugural game, Olsen didn’t waste any time becoming a reliable target for his new signal caller, as he caught a crucial nine-yard pass on third down that ultimately helped the Seahawks score their first touchdown of the game. Though these last couple months have been exhausting at times, the former Panther admitted it felt great to be back on the field in a meaningful game and gaining additional trust with the six-time Pro Bowler.
“It was a great start, it’s always nice to know that the quarterback feels comfortable and comfortable enough with you to kind of trust you and kind of throw a ball before you even turn around,” Olsen mentioned. “I kind of joked that I didn’t really have much of a choice but to catch it because if I didn’t it would’ve probably knocked my face mask off.”
Making his highly-anticipated Seahawks debut, Olsen caught four passes for 24 yards, with five of those yards coming after the catch. In addition, the 35-year old also produced his first touchdown reception of the 2020 campaign, which was also his first catch in the end zone since September 22, 2019.
Showcasing his trust with the three-time Pro Bowler, Wilson knew exactly where he was throwing the football before the 6-foot-5 tight end even finished his route at the goal line. Faced with double coverage, the Miami standout explained how he was supposed to run a few yards deeper into the end zone but was forced to come off his route a little early. Still, his work with the superstar quarterback over the offseason helped them find each other for the score late in the third quarter.
“It was great timing, I got a little jammed up there, I was supposed to be a little deeper, there was some traffic and had to break it off a little early and Russ [Wilson] just had a great window through the line there and just trusted that I was going to come out of the break and when I turned my head it was right there,” Olsen explained. “So it was nice for the first game to start developing some of that timing and rhythm and knowing that we’re building on that trust each and every day.
“We got a lot of work to do, I still got a lot of things to learn within the framework of the offense, but overall it was a good first start.”
Without any preseason games, Olsen was only able to build chemistry with Wilson during a three weeks worth of practices and Seattle’s three mock games, which isn’t ideal for someone joining a new offense. Considering these challenges, it’s very encouraging the duo found success in Atlanta, as they quickly formed a strong connection on the field.
With that said, the offense’s work is far from finished and the Seahawks will need to clean up a few things before their prime time matchup against the Patriots. Referencing Wilson's ability to erase his team’s mistakes, the 14th-year pro admitted he and his teammates must be better in Week 2 to take some of the pressure off their signal caller, especially late in games.
“There’s a lot of work still to be done, we by no means played flawlessly,” Olsen discussed. “We had some mistakes, we had some miscues that sometimes don’t pop out on the screen, Russ sometimes can make some mistakes kind of go away. He’s kind of like an eraser to a degree.”
Aside from a pair of drops from receiver DK Metcalf and a few blown assignments in pass protection, Seattle’s offense performed quite effectively during their first meaningful contest of the season. Despite this solid performance, there’s seemingly always room for improvement, especially for a team that has championship aspirations.
Citing the type of work that needs to be completed, Olsen explained how it’ll be important to take the knowledge learned in the film room and apply it out on the field. While that’s usually easier said than done, taking that approach will help the offense develop and continue enhancing their chemistry throughout the entire season.
“There’s a lot of work for us all to do, just understanding timing, understanding landmarks, understanding adjustments and sometimes the only way to learn those things is to do them,” Olsen detailed. “You can sit there and talk about it and watch tape and discuss it, but until you go through those live reps time and time again, practice and then of course games, that’s where you start building that chemistry. So as an offense we still feel like we have a lot of room to grow.”