Brad Biggs reports that the league sources believe the Bears have interest in Brandon Manumaleuna, a tight end who specializes in putting a hand on the ground and keeping defensive ends away from quarterbacks. While any decision that makes the Bears stronger in the trenches is a wise move, the acquisition of Manu would raise the following question:
How will Mike Martz use Greg Olsen?
Some fans (many on this site) have posited trading Olsen for a bag of balls and late-round draft picks. These fans, most commonly referred to as “unintelligent”, ignore not only the player’s brilliant potential but also his rapport with our star quarterback. Olsen is not a tight end without flaws. His blocking is subpar and he’s shown a propensity to drop too many balls. But in a pass-heavy Mike Martz offense, Olsen will finally be able to extricate himself from the ill-fitting confines of the blocking world. Martz will line him up in the slot and out wide, force opposing defenses to put linebackers and safeties in uncomfortable situations and allow him to become more than merely a safety valve. (I also hope Martz will retire the red zone fade route in the corner of the end zone.)
There are many tests for Martz this season. Developing a consistent run game, decreasing turnovers from Mr. Cutler and scoring in the red zone are the big three. But Martz’ ability to drain everything possible out of Greg Olsen may be one of the defining effects of his possibly-short tenure. I’ve long maintained that Olsen is the key to this offense. Here’s hoping Martz is the man to use him wisely.