Day 1 Diary: Lovie Smith

Bears head coach Lovie Smith is a big fan of Desmond Clark and felt he deserved a shot at the Pro Bowl last season. That being said, being able to draft an elite tight end like Greg Olsen was too good to be true. Smith addressed the Chicago media in the auditorium at Halas Hall shortly after Olsen was selected with the 31st pick in the first round.

Head coach Lovie Smith
Opening statement:
"It's been a long wait today, but we're not complaining about taking 31. Believe me, we will take that, or maybe 32 any draft. Starting off the morning, going into it, we had a couple of scenarios that you wanted to play out. This is one of them. Tight end has been a need for us, to add another good player to the mix for a while, and we definitely feel like we have been able to do that taking Greg Olsen."

"He's what you look for at the tight end position. He has great size, coach's son, smart player. In terms of physical abilities, we talked about adding speed at all positions and we have definitely been able to do that. It has been documented, the speed he has and his athletic ability. We think he will be able to stretch the field [and] make the tough catch with his size. It's a good day for us. We definitely added another piece to the puzzle for our offense. Rob Boras, Ron Turner and all of us are really excited about this pick."

"It's always good to get a player from the University of Miami. We like what they do with their program. I got a call from Devin Hester earlier this morning. He asked if we could pick another player from the University of Miami. Hopefully we will have the same type of luck with Greg that we did with [Devin]. Again, [an] exciting time for us. We feel like we can also add some more good players later on in the draft, and we will go from there."

On Olsen being around longer than anticipated in the draft:
"Looking at his ability, I didn't see how he could be around. I know looking at a few of your mock drafts, you had us picking him with that pick. But you never know. There are a lot of good players in the draft. A lot of teams didn't have a need at the tight end position, unlike we did."

On Olsen's blocking ability:
"He lifted well at the combine. He has good strength. Nowadays when you talk about the good tight ends – the tight ends that go to the Pro Bowl – they're not considered great blockers. I would say that he's a good blocker. He has been known more for his receiving skills than his blocking ability, but we feel good about that. I think he will be a great tight end in the league."

On Olsen's impact on the offense:
"It does quite a bit. It will do something for Rex [Grossman]. It will help open up [the offense]. We will have more options at the wide receiver position. We liked what Desmond Clark did last year. We liked what John Gilmore did. He's more of a wide-blocking tight end. Now we feel like we have a guy with the speed that we didn't have before, so I like this combination of the three tight ends we will have right now. He will open up a lot of options."

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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