Martz likes Olsen at tackle

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
6:18
PM ET

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Watch some game tape, Mike Martz said.

[+] EnlargeGreg Olsen
Bob Donnan/US PresswireGreg Olsen isn't known for his blocking, but he has lined up at tackle in certain formations for the Bears.
According to the offensive coordinator, the Bears have been using tight end Greg Olsen as a tackle on occasion for quite a while when they’ve utilized an unbalanced line.

Olsen lined up at tackle against the Seahawks, as the Bears allowed six sacks of quarterback Jay Cutler. Yet Martz doesn’t consider it a gamble to use Olsen at tackle on occasion in his high-flying offense.

“Heavens no, we like him. I think he’s pretty good, don’t you?” Martz asked. “I think he’s done a pretty good job. We’ve done that all year, have you watched the tape? I like him over there. I don’t have any hesitation putting him out there. He was on [Julius] Peppers all of camp if you watched him. That’s how he earns his paycheck, too, as well as being a receiver. I don’t consider that a gamble, that’s what he does. The tight end has to do that stuff.”

Apparently, it doesn’t matter whether he’s successful at it. Of all the Bears' tight ends, Olsen -- because of his still-developing blocking skills -- would seem the least likely to fit as a tackle responsible for blocking a defensive end or 3-4 stand-up linebacker.

The club specifically brought in Brandon Manumaleuna as a blocker. Third-year player Kellen Davis and veteran Desmond Clark would also seem to be more ideal candidates as blockers.

“We put all our tight ends in that position,” Martz said. “The way [Seattle] lined up may be different than we would expect. Maybe a different guy ends up over there, but you better block him. If the guy we saw them [use] in unbalanced was a different guy, well, they changed it, and it gives us a bigger guy. You’ve still got to block him. That’s the way it goes. Did we put him over there thinking that was the guy he was going to get? No. But that’s what happened.”

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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