It will still likely be several weeks before Greg Olsen is back on the field.

It will still likely be several weeks before Greg Olsen is back on the field.

04.12.2018 03:14

But the fact it’s even an option is good news for the Panthers.Via Brendan Marks of the Charlotte Observer http://www.carolinapanthersteamonline.com/daryl-williams-jersey , Olsen was working on the side with athletic trainers during practice, and wasn’t wearing a walking boot. In a video clip from Bill Voth of team website, Olsen was shown doing some basic movement drills, at nothing approaching full speed.Olsen broke his right foot again in the opener, after missing most of last year with the same injury.He has opted to not have surgery, at least until after the season. Prior to last year’s injury, went 10 years without missing a game, and was the first tight end in league history to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons.The fact the team didn’t put him on IR to give them a roster spot for eight weeks suggests he’ll be back sooner rather than later, which is good news considering the other injury issues they’ve had on their offensive line (both starting tackles on IR Youth Ian Thomas Jersey , Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner in concussion protocol). Fans of the Carolina Panthers have spent years selling themselves on the idea that ‘this year’ would be the year that a long standing team weakness would suddenly become a strength. Every season has opened with the hope that a new undrafted free agent could be the next Steve Smith, that the likes of Byron Bell could truly fill the shoes of Jordan Gross. The hope has never truly been that a knight in shining armor would come riding out of the forest in our moments of distress so much as that leadership would notice there was distress in the first place. Too many games have ended with banal press conferences that left no impression upon the viewer that anybody making decisions was aware that there were decisions to be made. That all stopped when Ron Rivera fired Mike Shula and brought in Norv Turner as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator.Turner’s hire may have hardly moved the needle, as he was brought in to run essentially the same offense that Cam Newton had been in for most of his career, but it seems to have done enough. Rivera has always believed that his teams were good teams that were very close to being great. He was confident in and loyal to his guys (Shula, McDermott). Losses, from this perspective, were generally failures in execution or bad luck. Never you mind the legions of Panthers fans screaming from their couches about stodgy offensive philosophies or zone defenses that gave premier wide receivers softer cushions than a Bed, Bath, and Beyond. For the most part, Rivera may have been right.The fans should get their credit Authentic Ryan Kalil Jersey , too. This season so far has shown patient game planning and a willingness to play to the strengths of the existing personnel in a way that Carolina hasn’t in years. It has shown an ability to slide help to various members of the offensive line while still having play designs that could be successful. The system may have been fine all along, but an upgrade on the coaching staff was necessary to help it — and Newton — reach their potential.So, again, Turner’s arrival in Charlotte may not have shaken the earth, but the difference he provided has been critical. Maybe that validates Rivera’s lack of public concern over his team at a time when fans, also somewhat rightly, were clamoring for heads. Rivera was loyal to people who were so close to being what the team needed. Fans were frustrated with having been so close for so long. That is born out by what Rivera has accomplished in his career as a head coach. He has put the Panthers in the playoffs in four out of his seven years so far. Three of those teams won over 10 games. Those kinds of records don’t happen by accident.I’ll continue to gripe all I can about conservative calls on 4th downs (though Rivera is making me proud in 2018), but the fact that Chris Clark has walked into Bank of America stadium off the streets and done, with significant assistance, a serviceable job at left tackle proves that the fans and the coaches were right all along: the Panthers have spent a long time being in the vicinity of greatness. They really were just one player (or maybe one coach) away.Why isn’t this a bad thing? Rivera should be lampooned and run out of town by mobs carrying buckets of hot tar and bags of chicken feathers with Marty Hurney close behind him. After all Authentic Luke Kuechly Jersey , he is the guy who preached loyalty. He stood by Shula for years when all the arm chair general managers in the world could plainly see that the former offensive coordinator couldn’t hack it.In the NFL that should be damning. By the all of the logics the league has taught us they work by, that should be his end with the Panthers. Rivera should have been fired after failing to make the playoffs in 2016. He then should have been hired by the Browns or the Chargers or the Titans so that he could prove himself to be the same man to team after team after team. But Ron Rivera is not Jeff Fisher. He is not John Fox.Rivera’s failure to move on from Shula should be countered by the simple fact that he did move on from Shula. He may have actually learned. His renewed risk taking, measured as it may be, is a sign of actual evolution as a coach. He might should have been fired years ago, but it would be silly for us to call for his head this year.The only NFL decision maker who has proven capable of change and adaptation over the past couple of decades is this guy named Bill Belichick. Rivera isn’t exactly Belichick, but he has taken a step in the right direction. He doesn’t have to step very far.Turner’s hire moved the needle. The Panthers have optimized their talent and a weak free agent class to create a surprisingly robust depth at offensive tackle. They have gone through a laundry list of receiver transactions looking for better and faster guys. The safety position tried to bury themselves alive and the Panthers signed Eric Reid in the middle of a lawsuit against the NFL. It seems that the team’s leadership —be it Rivera, Hurney, or David Tepper— knows that there are decisions to be made to elevate this team. They finally tried. Look at them go.

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