CHARLOTTE – Tight end Greg Olsen won't try to explain his case for Pro Bowl candidacy, but he doesn't have to. His play is doing it for him.
Two weeks ago in Carolina's win at New Orleans, Olsen recorded 10 catches for 72 yards and one touchdown. It was the first 10-catch game of his career and it tied the team record for the most catches in a game by a tight end, previously accomplished just twice in franchise history.
A week later in Carolina's win over Tampa Bay, Olsen had his second 10-catch performance in as many weeks. This time, with backup quarterback Derek Anderson under center, he had 10 receptions for 110 yards.
It marked his third 100-yard receiving effort of the season and fourth since joining Carolina in 2011, which set a record for most career 100-yard receiving games by a tight end.
"It's been fun," Olsen said. "It's nice being out there in a good rhythm; the quarterback trusts you and if you can get open he's going to sit on you and give you a chance – that's fun. It's fun to catch the ball, it's fun to be productive. But most of all, it's fun to contribute and help win the game."
Olsen has been fun to watch. He's one of the most consistent pass-catchers in the league and when the Panthers need a tough completion on third down, he has a knack for getting open to keep the drive alive.
"My approach every week is I am going to be as quarterback-friendly as possible, get open as much as I can so the quarterback can depend on me, so when he throws it there is a good chance we are going to complete it," Olsen said.
After leading the team in catches and receiving yards last season, Olsen is again leading the team with 81 catches and 960 receiving yards, both career highs.
Among NFL tight ends, Olsen ranks first in receptions, second in yards and sixth in touchdowns with six.
The eight-year veteran has never been to a Pro Bowl, and he couldn't be more deserving of the honor this season.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a goal of mine," Olsen said. "Of course it is. It's not something I lobby for. I feel very confident in what I do. I've felt that way for eight years now. If they recognize me, that's great. I feel like throughout the league – but mostly on our team – I have the respect of my guys. To me, that's really all that matters."