INDIANAPOLIS — Pete Carroll knew Greg Olsen well before the tight end’s visit to Seattle earlier this month.
Carroll’s team had been battling with Olsen’s Panthers for years. But with the arrival of 2020 came the parting of ways between Olsen and Carolina, meaning the 34-year-old tight end was on the market and available. If you can’t — or have to fight tooth and nail to — beat them, why not join forces?
Olsen signed with Seattle last week after visiting with a few different teams, and after meeting with him a few times, Carroll can’t wait to see what the veteran can do with Russell Wilson.
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"He can’t help but make an impression about his smarts, his awareness and his resolve to be great and to do something great and be a part of something," Carroll said of Olsen. "He’s just on a high level, so we’re very fortunate to have him.
"I think he’ll make a very fast transition. He and Russell worked in the spring time and when the summer time comes up they’ll be together often. I don’t think there’s any ceiling we should put on their ability to get together. I’m really excited about that."
Olsen joins a depth chart that also includes up-and-comer Will Dissly, H-back Jacob Hollister and another former Panther, Ed Dickson. It’s the first of the group who stands to benefit most from Olsen’s arrival. Carroll emphasized how "thrilled" Dissly was when he learned Olsen would be joining the Seahawks, creating the potential for a dual threat at tight end and giving an excellent opportunity to Dissly to learn from one of the game’s best. After all, time is of the essence for Olsen, and he could be more than just a big help for 2020 with his potential impact on younger talent like Dissly.
As for that time, Olsen will only be able to make the most of it if he can stay on the field, something he hasn’t done much of in two of his last three seasons. It’s gotten to the point where he’s been somewhat labeled as an injury concern, but Carroll fought against that notion Tuesday.
"He’s had a very clean process to get to this point. He had one foot injury that kind of turned into another related thing on his foot," Carroll said. "He’s in pretty darn good shape right now for all the years he’s played."
Good shape indeed. It sounds as if his shape should fit into the Seahawks’ mold quite well.
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