Olsen a Weapon at Tight End

For an offense to be successful, the players must gel into one cohesive unit. With every offensive unit at the University of Miami learning under a new coach, the most important objective this spring for the offense may be to become comfortable with the new playbook and terminology.

This offseason the players must adapt to new coaching philosophies and the coaches need to learn how to get the most out of each player.

"I think that is the key right now. Everyone needs to get on the same page," junior tight end Greg Olsen said.

In his first season as a starter, Greg Olsen caught 31 passes for 451 yards and four touchdowns. Olsen showed flashes of his talent throughout the season, particularly in the Florida State game. Olsen had a career game against FSU with eight receptions for 137 yards.

Today was the first practice in pads for UM. Olsen says that for now, players are slowly learning the new plays and terminology of the offense.

"A lot of the stuff is pretty basic right now. Everyone on offense is trying to get used to the new offense and terminology. Once everybody understands the offense, I think we can make some good strides. Some of the terminology is different, but other than that, we just have to get back to the fundamentals; blocking and catching the football," Olsen said.

Olsen will learn this season under new tight end and special teams coach Joe Pannunzio. Pannunzio was the head coach at Murray State from 2000-2005 and developed a reputation as one of the top tight end coaches at previous stops at Auburn, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Texas Christian.

"He does a good job," Olsen said. "He brings a lot of knowledge. He has been a lot of good places with some good tight ends. He is trying to learn the offense just like us."

Olsen is still not certain of the role of the tight end in the new offense other than saying, "I think it will be pretty extensive. We are going to do a few new things that we have not done in the past."

Olsen leads a talented young group of tight ends for UM; with sophomore Chris Zellner returning as a possible H-back and freshman Richard Gordon learning the position at 6-foot-4, 260-pounds.

"Richard is big and a good athlete, if you just teach him what to do, then he should be a good player," Olsen said. "Chris is a good player. He is real tough and is a good blocker and is good for us in the passing game."

At 6-foot-5, 258-pounds, Olsen presents a mismatch for any defender that tries to cover him. With a new offensive system in place, Olsen and the rest of his teammates are excited about a fresh start this spring.

David Lake is a Staff Writer and can be contacted by emailing him at lake@canestime.com


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