After a spate of signings in recent weeks, the Carolina Panthers ran out of chairs in the tight ends’ position room Wednesday morning.
“I think we have eight (tight ends), right? And our meeting room’s not very big,” Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen said. “So we had to pull in some extra cafeteria chairs today to get everyone in the room for the install.”
The Panthers had three tight ends on their Super Bowl roster – Olsen, backup Ed Dickson and third-teamer Scott Simonson.
They’ve brought in five more in the past three weeks. They drafted Beau Sandland in the seventh round, signed undrafted rookies Jake McGee and Andrew Bonnet, added Charlotte native Braxton Deaver after their rookie minicamp and re-acquired Marcus Lucas by claiming him on waivers from the Bears.
Olsen says the more the merrier.
“I think it’s a position of need right now in the NFL. It’s kind of an en vogue position. Everybody’s trying to find the next guy,” said Olsen, 31, who’s made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons. “The reality is I’m not 25 anymore, but I’m also going to make it hard for these young guys to take time away from me. I don’t anticipate slowing down anytime soon.”
Olsen, during an appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway, added, “I anticipate playing for a good number of years remaining and at the same time help these young guys grow.”
Olsen said he had an “unbelievable mentor” in Desmond Clark after Chicago drafted Olsen in the first round in 2007. He said he’d like to repay the favor to the Panthers’ young crop of tight ends.
On Wednesday that meant finding enough chairs for everyone.