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Bears' Greg Olsen is growing into a big-time target

Chicago's tight end, who lived near the old Giants Stadium, gets a chance to show the nation how good he has become Sunday night at New York's new venue. Olsen has 10 receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns in three games.

October 02, 2010|By Sam Farmer

Although he grew up about 20 minutes from the old Giants Stadium, Chicago tight end Greg Olsen never got a chance to play there.

Now, the Giants are playing in a dazzling new venue, and Olsen, a key component of a dazzling new Bears offense, will finally get his chance Sunday for a proper homecoming.

The undefeated Bears are coming off a huge victory over Green Bay in which Olsen caught five passes for 64 yards, including a touchdown and a vital 21-yard reception that helped set up the winning field goal.

"[Opponents] haven't really stopped him yet, so it's going to be a great challenge this week," Giants safety Antrel Rolle told the Record of Rockaway, N.J., last week. "Olsen is a great tight end, one of the better tight ends in the league, in my eyes. He can definitely hurt you in every phase."

The tight end hasn't typically had a huge receiving role in schemes devised by Mike Martz, the Bears' new offensive coordinator. But Chicago, which has the league's fifth-ranked passing game, is doing a good job of spreading around the ball.

Olsen has 10 catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and he's a sure-handed target for quarterback Jay Cutler, who has won five consecutive starts.

Cutler led the league with 26 interceptions last season — six more than rookies Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford — yet has made a remarkable turnaround so far. He has completed 60 of 91 (65.9%) for 870 yards for six touchdowns with two interceptions.

He and Olsen have forged a friendship off the field, and often hang out together for dinner and nightlife.

"I think it can't do anything but help," Olsen told the Chicago Tribune. "At times you can get to talk about things and get used to each other.

"You kind of can adjust on the fly a little bit and make some things [happen] that aren't exactly how they are scripted. … At certain times, that is definitely an advantage."

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