The Panthers aren't operating by conventional standards in an effort to improve upon their 1-10 start to the 2023 NFL season, on Monday, less than a year after hiring him. If they want to get even more unconventional moving forward, former NFL tight end Greg Olsen is willing to interview for the vacant head job, according to The Athletic.
Olsen, 38, currently works as a color analyst on Fox's NFL broadcast crew, but he has zero college or NFL coaching experience. But he's stayed "immersed in the league since moving into" the media, as The Athletic noted, and he also has ties to the Panthers organization. A three-time Pro Bowler, he spent the majority of his 14-year playing career in Carolina.
Ironically, Olsen's interest comes in the wake of the Panthers also dismissing quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, who previously received head coaching interviews from the Texans despite only having high school coaching experience. Olsen's own experience is limited to youth football, per The Athletic, where he's worked alongside former Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Another factor in Olsen's potential pivot to coaching: Recently retired NFL star Tom Brady is set to begin a lucrative 10-year contract as a Fox analyst starting in 2024, which could affect Olsen's role on the broadcast team.
The New Jersey native is well-regarded in the Panthers area for his on-field career. A first-round pick of the Bears in 2007, Olsen spent four years in Chicago before he was traded to Carolina ahead of the 2011 season. He topped 800 receiving yards in five of his seven years with the team, and eclipsed 1,000 yards three times, emerging as one of the top pass targets for former MVP Cam Newton and helping Carolina advance to the Super Bowl in 2015. He finished his career with the Seahawks in 2020.