Bears vs Panthers: Top 5 Matchups to Watch
Sep 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett (83) runs past Green Bay Packers free safety Micah Hyde (33) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
4. Greg Olsen vs Martellus Bennett
Greg Olsen was pushed out the door by Mike Martz and his stubborn refusal to adapt his system to the talent that was on the roster. Jerry Angelo admits it was a big mistake getting rid of Olsen:
"“I understood he wasn’t the ideal fit in (Mike Martz’s) scheme, but we let our best receiver go,” Angelo explained on WGWG Chicago. “Obviously it was Cutler’s favorite receiver at the time. … That’s on me. I understood what the coaches were saying, but you don’t let one of your better players out the door.”"
Sep 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) attempts to make a catch in front of Baltimore Ravens safety Darien Stewart (24) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Talk about being short sighted. The Bears traded away one of the top pass catching tight ends in the league at the dawn of the pass catching tight end era. Olsen was underutilized and underappreciated during his stint in Chicago. Olsen has flourished in Carolina and is Cam Newton’s second favorite target. You can bet he’ll want to show up his old team.
By trading away Olsen, the Bears had to dip into the Free Agent market a couple of years later and brought in Martellus Bennett on the first day of Free Agency last season. Bennett is in the midst of the biggest season of his career. He’s third among all pass catchers with 29 catches and tied for second with 4 TD’s. He’s a red zone nightmare and it’s clear that his offseason training with Matt Forte has paid off.
Even though Bennett and Olsen won’t be squaring off directly, whoever has the better day will likely help their team to a win.