Before the Week 1 win against the Tampa Bay Bucs, Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson and tight end Greg Olsen went on the field together to work on their timing.
The two had a good rapport in training camp, and there was a sense that would carry over into the game.
Olsen was Anderson’s favorite receiver in the opener, targeted 11 times, three more than the next closest receiver. Olsen finished with a game-high eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ 20-14 victory.
The two will be back at it against the Buccaneers this week, as Anderson takes over for the injured Cam Newton.
“We had a pretty good beat for where they were going to be and got some good looks,” Olsen said. “Like we’ve said all along, some games go your way and other games go other guy’s way. It’s the natural flow of offensive football. We don’t go into any game force feeding to a certain position or any certain player. We kind of let the game develop.
“Hopefully we have that similar success offensively, whether it’s me or Kelvin (Benjamin), (Jerricho Cotchery) or whomever. We’re looking for consistency on offense. We’re not looking for any particular guy to have more or less success than anyone else.”
Because Newton was recovering from offseason ankle surgery in the spring and summer, Anderson got the majority of reps with the first team during organized team activities and minicamp.
It was then that he developed better timing with his receivers, including Olsen.
“He’s got a feel for Kelvin, he’s got a really good feel for Greg Olsen and Philly (Brown),” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “He’s got a nice rapport. I watch him with Cotch, and there’s that confidence knowing Cotch is going to be where he needs to be.
“Just the fact that he had the OTAs and minicamps that he did, it’s been a real benefit to him and it’ll be real good for us as we go into this game.”