Cam’s Go-to Guys: Steve Smith and Greg Olsen

Before, and during, the lockout, it seemed that Steve Smith wanted out of Carolina. It also looked like the Panthers were going to move him. If that had happened, the Panthers would have been left with David Gettis, Brandon LaFell, and Jeremy Shockey as the primary targets for two very young quarterbacks, Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen. However, Steve Smith is staying, and this seems promising for the young offense. Add that to the recent addition of Greg Olsen, and now Carolina has steady receiving options for their quarterback.

Steve Smith has some attitude issues, and there is no doubt about that. However, when he is willing to play and has a legitimate quarterback throwing his way, he can be a scary option. Last year was a good example of what happens when Smith does not have a good QB throwing to him. His numbers were awful, with 46 receptions, 554 yards receiving, and 2 touchdowns. Smith has shown in the past he can be a great receiver, but he needs to keep his attitude in check and work hard to get back to that status.

I still think that Shockey can be a threat, even though many people disagree. Luckily, Carolina went out and traded for Greg Olsen. Olsen is a very viable option at tight end, and will provide Newton with another solid receiver. Last season, with Cutler throwing the ball his way, Olsen racked up 41 catches, 404 yards receiving, and 5 touchdowns. Olsen will probably see plays early in the season, because the tight end is a quarterback’s best friend, especially a young one. Newton will look to rely on Olsen a little more than Cutler did.

Carolina’s offense last season was horrendous, and it showed with their 2-14 record. Cam Newton should be able to help change that, along with a healthier offensive line. A healthy offensive line means a better running game, which takes pressure off the passing game, and that should lead to better numbers for the receivers. We might also see the emergence of David Gettis or Brandon LaFell as an excellent third-WR option if Smith and Olsen can open things up down the field.  Cam Newton has the potential to be a better Vince Young, and I hope he does for the sake of the Carolina offense.

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3 Responses to “Cam’s Go-to Guys: Steve Smith and Greg Olsen”

  1. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    Ok Robert…. couple issues: Gettis and LaFell will not step up. If they were gonna do that it would have happened last year. Though, I do think Rivera can change the culture in Carolina John Fox was not a bad coach. If there was anything to get from those two stiffs he would have found it last year.

    They acquired a second TE for one reason —-Shockey is done as a traditional TE! However, he can still catch the ball. So I envision the Bill Bilichick TE approach. You are going to see multiple TE sets w. Shockey lined up as a WR. Much like how Grokowski and Hernandez were used last year in NE. So, Shockey may be done in a football sense, he however, does hold some fantasy appeal.

    Cam Newton is going to struggle. He is not as adept as Sam Bradford. Plus, he didn’t have any offseason wokouts—he will be way behind the eight ball. I envision the TE to be his safety valve just as you suggest. One of the two Olsen or Shockey may have a probowl year. At this moment it is hard to figure out which one it will be.

  2. Robert says:

    I agree with you on Fox, he wasn’t a bad coach, he was just a coach that preferred the run. Gettis and LaFell are only entering their second season as professionals. Last year, you have to take into consideration that their offensive line was hurt all year, their running game was slowed by the line and by their own injuries, and having guys like Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen throwing the ball, the recievers did not have a chance.

    I think this year Newton will have a little more support from the running game, which will make passing a little easier. I am not ready to crown Newton a bust for the year, but i think he can be much more effective than Moore or Clausen. I also agree that missing the workouts will be killer. I am not expecting a playoff season from the Panthers, but i expect to see a little more consistency from their offense.

  3. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    Was Moore really that bad? Miami don’t think so…..don’t worry I’m being sarcastic. I wouldn’t touch more w. a ten ft pole. Newton may pan out…and i don’t mean to say he is an NFL bust. But there is no way in hell he will have the rookie year of Matt Ryan or Sam Bradford…or even Joe Flacco for that matter. So from a fantasy standpoint, Cam Newton is a bust. A stone cold fantasy mortal lock – a BUST!

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