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Greg Olsen training camp Q&A

On the first week of practice:"I think things have gone well. I think that this first stretch is always kind of the hardest. Everyone is kind of getting their legs under them a little bit, while at the same time, installs happen fast. Every day there is a whole new installation period going in, so things kind of start rolling on guys. This first week is always the biggest one. Then when you get through FanFest and then next week into the first preseason game is when things start to come together for a lot of guys. This is a big stretch for us, but I think we've gotten good work in. We just got to keep putting good days together."

On the offense picking up the pace:"I think that's true. It's just nice that a lot of guys that are back, a lot of familiar faces that have been through these installs a lot.  So, maybe we passed the first couple of installs that are pretty basic. You know, in the past years there have been a lot of new faces, and you really have to go back and start from scratch here. We've had to start there, but can kind of pick up the tempo a little bit and start putting things in, start putting in wrinkles, talking things a little bit more complex than just the bare-boned base stuff that you have to do some years. So, I think offensively we have put in a lot of our offense thus far, if not all of it; probably not a whole lot left that needs to go in. Guys have done a really good job handling it; a lot of smart guys, guys that have experience, both in our system and others. That's a big benefit."

On how much the offense has not been displayed so far to the public:"I think when you start talking about game-planning specifics to certain teams and what not, there's always different wrinkles. But, our offense is what we run. It's what we've run for the past five or six years. We don't reinvent ourselves each and every year and there's always little wrinkles, little nuances, that we need to address in the offseason; just areas of improvement. For the most part the plays are the same, for the most part a lot of formations, the terminology, stays very consistent when you've kind of had the continuity that we've had coaching wise and obviously quarterback and offensive line, kind of down the line. That's just been kind of the way it is around the league."

On the offense potentially tweaking its system rather than an overhaul:"Yeah, I don't think you overhaul. I don't know. I think a lot has been made of that this offseason. I think that any team that is not constantly moving forward to get whether that word is evolved, or whatever the word for that is. Teams just that get stuck doing what they're doing in the past, whether they have success or not, are going to fall behind in this league. Teams have unlimited amount of times to work on what you do, define what you do, and find ways to exploit it. So, if you're not constantly challenging yourself to get better, constantly challenging yourself as an individual and as an offense to progress and do things differently to keep defenses off balance, defenses in this league are too good. They will go off on you pretty fast, so you have to keep them on their heels and I think that's just the natural evolution of offensive football in this league."

On the impressions of running back Christian McCaffrey:"Obviously, he is a dynamic kid with the ball in his hand. I think we all kind of knew that. I don't think you get taken that high in the draft. We all saw him play at Stanford. I don't think any of us are surprised with what he can do. I think, again, not surprised. He's a kid that can handle a lot. You've seen him; he can line up in a lot of different formations, not just stand next to Cam or stand behind Cam in the backfield. He can move around and do a lot of different things, both as a running back and kind of a pseudo-receiver type body. I don't think any of us are surprised. I think it's nice to see him get in here and do it at this level and do it this early. He has a special makeup to him; he has the special composure that nothing is too big; nothing is a surprise to him either. This is going to be a constant process with him, but he is as impressive as you can be for a non-tackle practice type thing. There is obviously more he can do. The next phase for him, would be that I would like to see guys tackle him for real because the tag off, they sometimes don't even tag him. I think it's going to be something to see now when this goes live. Some of those balls that he has in the open field, I'm anxious to see it with the way he can move and cut and do things like that this early and just the natural feel and instinct he has are not overly common for rookies. He's special in that regard."

On his manners:"That's what I kind of like about him, he's just going to play and I respect that. I think there is something to be said for coming in and just playing. 'What do you need me to do? 'What's the right way to do it', and go out there and be productive. Do what's asked of you and just play. Don't be surprised when you have success. I like that. I think it's a good attitude that he brings to the table. He's got a good look in his eye when he's in the huddle that none of this is too big for him. He belongs here. I don't think that should come as a shock."

On the matchup with a linebacker or safety on McCaffrey:"That match up will be interesting to see how teams play us. I don't think a team goes let's let our linebackers match up against him out of the backfield. I think it's going to be interesting to see how defenses identify him and how defenses account for him in their pre-snap declaration or in their personnel matching. How do they account for him. Are they going to treat him as a typical running back? Or a little more wide receiver element to his play. All of that has yet to be seen. A lot of that will depend on when we start game-planning and getting into different matchup-type things. As the season progresses, I think we will see a lot of those things he will do really well, and us hopefully take advantage of those things."


On McCaffrey creating more openings for him:"I'll be the first one to say it, the more good guys you have running around the better it is for everybody. Some of that stuff we did today there in the red zone at the end with him on the same side and kind of doing a little option and me being able to run kind of a deeper route and put some levels and put some stress on those levels on the defense. He's a guy who is going to attract attention. Sometimes guys in the past and just around the league, those running backs don't garner much attention because those second-level linebackers and safeties tend to get deep. It makes it hard for guys like me and Funch and Kelvin. The deeper those guys get, there's not a lot of space. You can't always throw the ball 100 yards. You've got to find some levels back there. If he catches a few of those balls out of the backfield and those guys have to tackle him, the next time they are going to play a little closer and close some of that space in, and then it opens up things. So it all works in tandem. That's why there so much more than just playing and handing him the ball. A lot of that has yet to come together and it will. It's only the first week. And as we get going, we'll see how much more and more we can put into that.

On his assessment of Cam Newton after a week: "When we went up and worked out a week before camp up in Baltimore, I thought he looked good. I thought he looked good for the first four practices or whatever it was before he took the half of the fifth one off. I thought he looked good. I'm not a doctor, but I don't think that anything that's going on here with him getting some rest and taking some throws off is alarming, by any means. Anyone coming off surgery, especially a thrower; I'd imagine it would be the same thing with a major league pitcher coming back. You don't just go out there and go rag-arm and throw it all over the gym. There's a plan. These guys have worked this out. RV and Ron and those guys have been through this before. There's a plan. When it's time for him to throw, he'll throw. And when it's time to not throw, he'll not throw. All things just getting ready for the opener at San Francisco. That's what everything is about. Not about if Cam throws today out here, but can he be able to put the process in to get him ready and throwing and ready to roll when the season starts."

On if he notices an increase of speed on offense: "I do. I think when you watch the tape, I think we have a lot of guys who can really run. From our backfield to our wide receivers. We have some guys who can get down the field and are dynamic with the ball in their hands. Obviously Curtis hasn't done a lot. It will be good to get him out there soon. Guys who have had their chances have done a great job. Some of those young guys who you see with Fred and Duke. Those young guys have gotten a chance and they have shown they can do something for us too. Another young guy is Byrd. He has always been on the cusp. Now all of a sudden, Teddy is out of here and the other guys have moved on. Now it is an opportunity for him. Now a lot of these young guys are seeing a chance for them. There are some opportunities for them to utilize their particular skillsets accordingly and they are trying to take advantage of it. I think our rookies have done a nice job."

On trying to get another 1000-yard receiving season:"Yeah we talked about it this time last year. I was trying to be the first guy to get three. I wasn't shy about it. I know what I want to do and I was able to do it. I'm going to try to do it again. A lot goes into it. I just feel it's the one individual statistic, if that's what you want to call it, that kind of sums up how I always try to approach my career. Be productive, but be productive consistently. Be durable and play every game. A lot that goes into that. It's a lot of guys who are productive for a four- or five-game stretch, and then sit a few out, then come back. Or have a guy have a great one year and then fall off. Then you have a bounce back. I don't ever want that to be me. Something I always prided myself on. Not only can I be highly productive, but can you be highly productive continuously. I think that is what that all simulates and that is what I've made my career on."

View photos from Carolina's sixth day of practice at training camp.

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