Once His Father's Teammate, DK Metcalf Building Bond with Greg Olsen in Seattle
The average NFL career is about three years, meaning 13-year veteran tight end Greg Olsen's career has spanned more than four times longer than the average player. Over three distinct tenures in different NFL cities - Chicago, Charlotte and now Seattle - the record-breaking Olsen may have broken yet another as the first to play alongside an NFL father and son.
Shortly after Olsen signed with the team in February, he joined Seattle's tight end room and reminisced on his first time "meeting" Metcalf on a call with Russell Wilson.
"I was like, 'Hey man, how's your dad doing?' And he's like, 'Oh, I just actually talked to him,' and I was like, 'You know he was my teammate in Chicago, right?' and he was like, 'Yes!'"
"So DK's dad, Terrence Metcalf, when I got drafted for the Chicago Bears, he was one of our offensive lineman, so I was like, 'Hey, how old were you when your dad played there?' and he was like, 'I was either eight or nine.'"
Olsen put it in perspective for his fellow tight ends, saying "That's like my kid growing and playing with one of you guys."
In a press conference last week, Metcalf was asked about the generational connection from his point of view.
“My dad played with him for two years," he said. "I didn’t have a relationship with him."
Born in December 1997, Metcalf would have been nine if he met Olsen in the fall of 2007. In other words, that's like a 2023 rookie meeting Russell Wilson's son Future, then playing with him 13 years later.
Metcalf continued by recounting their first in-person encounter, which only took place recently due to the coronavirus limiting travel.
"It was one day, like a month ago. Me and Greg worked out and I brought my dad up there with me, and they rekindled an old flame. They just started smiling and Greg was like ‘Oh I gotta tell you about some stories in the locker room.’ It looked like they had a pretty good relationship."
By signing with the Seahawks in February, Olsen became another tested veteran that could offer advice to the second-year star receiver, who has his sights set on taking his game to the "next level" after a stellar rookie campaign.
"Me just learning from Greg has been great. He’s been teaching me a lot this offseason, since he’s been in the league 20 years," Metcalf joked. "He’s a great player and TE just to learn from him is going to be special this year.”
Besides having a "small world" sort of moment, what's interesting about Olsen teaching Metcalf the ropes is that his towering build resembles a tight end more than wide receiver. Although Metcalf has played receiver since high school, at 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, he could easily pass as an NFL tight end.
In fact, comparing route trees of Olsen and Metcalf during the 2019 season proves that the two share similar strengths. Both ran a bunch of streaks and slants, gaining significant yards after the catch. Olsen had strong a comeback season after battling foot injuries in 2017 and 2018, while Metcalf quickly emerged as a star for the Seahawks. Having both line up alongside Wilson will make it difficult for opposing coordinators to blanket either player with double coverage, especially with Tyler Lockett also needing to be accounted for.
Long before Olsen's guidance, Terrence Metcalf mentored his son into becoming the NFL Top 100 athlete he is today. As a football coach in their hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, he has taught his son the fundamentals of the game since childhood. And when the former guard couldn't coach the budding wide receiver, he got his NFL friends to chip in.
"(DK) got to be around a lot of guys who were really good at the game," Terrence said in a 2015 interview. "When he was in about the second or third grade, (former Bears safety) Bobby Gray started working with him. At that age, when you're a parent trying to train your child, they don't want to listen to you, so you get them with someone else... The things he remembers helped him become a better receiver. He remembers all of the passing routes he was taught by the guys in the NFL."
Glad DK has found another mentor in a former Bears teammate, Terrence believes everything has come full circle. At one point, Terrence was the veteran who served as a mentor of sorts for a young Olsen, and now, the tables have turned with the veteran tight end eager to help a younger teammate.
“When you’ve got a really good vet that cares about the game and the team and the people in the locker room with him, he doesn't mind sharing that," Terrence said during an NFL Radio interview alongside DK. "He doesn't feel like, 'Somebody can overshadow me.' There are some vets that feel like, 'I can’t help this rookie because I’m in danger of this.'"
"I really love the fact that a guy that saw me as a vet and he was a young kid and the way I carried myself in the locker room and the way that we were connected at the time. For him to be with DK, he can share those moments - because there was some crazy stuff that I did as a player.”
When the younger Metcalf was asked about Olsen playing with both Terrence and DK, the affable receiver bluntly replied, "It means that Greg is old. Yeah, that Greg is old."
35 may be old in the NFL, but Olsen is still formidable enough to be considered a "matchup nightmare" as he catches passes from Wilson this season. With his veteran skills combined with Metcalf's rare physical gifts and work ethic, the duo will have a lot to teach opposing defenses in 2020.