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NightLink: Is Olsen Contributing Enough?

In the Chicago Bears team report on Sporting News for today, the topic of discussion is Greg Olsen. I know I was one of those people that had Olsen pencilled in for the NFC Pro Bowl, which still could happen, but with only 10 catches for 94 yards and 2 TD's, he's not putting up the kind of numbers most of us expected. After an off season in which he was named the starter at TE and was far and away Jay Cutler's favorite target in camp, I'm very surprised those numbers aren't better.

He has been effective in the red zone with two TD catches, but part of the Bears' 3-for-14 effort on third-down situations between 6 and 9 yards can be traced partially to an inability to find Olsen.

The coaches say some of Olsen's lack of catches is because wide receivers stepped up unexpectedly to provide big plays, like Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett. Also, Olsen has drawn more double-teams.

I'll buy this rationale to a point. But this week the Bears will face arguably the premier TE in the last decade in Tony Gonzalez, and you think he's seen his share of double teams in his day? Especially on some of those receiver deficient Chief teams?

Olsen has been trying to focus on becoming a better blocker, which could take away some of his attention from the receiving game.

Sorry, but this is complete bull. I know he's been working on his blocking, and I have noticed some improvement, but there is no way his receiving skills would falter due to his focus on blocking.

It could help to get Desmond Clark (rib) healthy to take some of the pressure off in the two-tight end formations on third-and-middle distances.

This I agree with, the Bears are a more dangerous offense in the double tightend set. Add in a 3rd TE (Kellen Davis) on the goal line and the Bears are tough to defend when they get close.