INDIANAPOLIS—For as long as Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been running the Seahawks, Seattle's defenses have had to deal with Greg Olsen, dating all the way back to the 2010 season when the tight end had 113 yards and a touchdown in a Chicago Bears playoff win over the Seahawks.
"We've played against him and tried to stop him for years and he's been trying to beat us for years," Carroll said of Olsen, who has faced the Seahawks 12 times in his career, postseason included, including 10 games since 2010.
In 2020, however, the Seahawks no longer will be worried about stopping Olsen, but rather looking forward to seeing what he can do as part of Seattle's offense having signed as a free agent on Monday.
"Really looking forward to Greg," Carroll said. "We spent some time together here through this process and I was with him yesterday again when he was signing up, and he can't help but make an impression about his smarts and his awareness and his resolve to be great and do something great and be a part of something."
Carroll sees big-time potential for a Russell Wilson-Greg Olsen pass-and-catch duo as part of Seattle's offense.
"They have communicated and been together at a couple of different things that they connect at a very high level about going for it and practicing and the plan, the concepts and the meaning of what it takes to get the work done," Carroll said. "He's just on a high level. So we are very fortunate to have him. I think he will make a very fast transition. He and Russell will work over the summertime, in the summertime that comes up they will be together often, I don't think there is any ceiling we should put on their ability to get together I'm really excited about that.
"Really excited about Greg. Thought that was a really important get for us, to be solid at the tight-end spot. I'm loving Will Dissly, I'm loving what Jacob Hollister did. But (adding Olsen) is another step in solidifying—a big, 6-5 target to get the ball, knows routes, understands the game, which really complements Russ' mentality. It's going to be a great duo, I think."
Schneider noted that Wilson was a part of recruiting Olsen as soon as the Panthers decided to release him.
"Russ was down at the Super Bowl with him too, and those two had been talking a bunch," Schneider said. "Obviously he had been released, so we just got on him as quickly as we could, got him in, had a great visit with him, great guy. He's going to help that room a bunch."
Schneider also noted that Olsen will wear his usual No. 88, having acquired it from Dissly by offering to donate to a charity of Dissly's choice.
And the Wilson-Olsen duo isn't the only one Carroll and the Seahawks are excited about. The Seahawks also figure to find ways to utilize Olsen and Dissly together in two tight-end sets in 2020, giving the Seahawks a pair of versatile and talented tight ends who can complement each other on the field.
"I don't think there's any question," Carroll said when asked if Dissly and Olsen could be a special tandem. "Will Dissly is a really good football player. We've loved everything that he's done. He just hasn't had enough time to really stack up numbers and all of that, but there's no doubt that Will can play the game at the line of scrimmage and downfield, and catching and running, he's done all of that. A marvelous kid and competitor, and all. So he was thrilled to hear that Greg was coming, for obvious reasons, because he wants to be great and he wants to learn from Greg. So, they'll both play on the field at the same time, I'm sure. And it will be exciting to see that happen."
"(adding Olsen) is another step in solidifying—a big, 6-5 target to get the ball, knows routes, understands the game, which really complements Russ' mentality. It's going to be a great duo, I think.” Pete Carroll on the newest Seahawk, Greg Olsen
Carroll also downplayed any concerns about injuries for the 34-year-old, three-time Pro-Bowler. While a foot injury caused him to miss 16 games during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Olsen is past that injury now, and he played in all 16 games for five straight seasons from 2012 to 2016.
"He had a foot injury," Carroll said. "He's had a very clean process to get to this point. He had one foot injury that kind of turned into another related thing on his foot, but other than that, it's really focused. He did have a concussion last year, missed a couple of weeks, but he came back and played. He's in pretty darn good shape right now for all of those years he's played."