Greg Olsen: Bears offense looks in fine shape
SEAN JENSEN ON THE BEARS
Updated: July 8, 2011 2:19AM
It has been anything but a typical NFL offseason, but tight end Greg Olsen believes the Bears’ offense is in good shape.
‘‘I don’t think we’re behind the eight-ball,’’ Olsen said Wednesday. ‘‘I feel guys have prepared themselves individually, and when we get together four times a week, everyone showed up, and we looked good running around. We got a lot of work in.
‘‘Did we get as much quality fieldwork as a normal offseason? No. You can only do so much without the coaches. But guys didn’t miss a beat in the other ways.’’
Olsen’s schedule has been hectic all offseason. He and his wife, Kara, welcomed a baby boy last month, and he also has been busy preparing for Kicks for a Cure, a charity event this Saturday at Grant Park, through his foundation in honor of his mother, Sue, a breast cancer survivor.
‘‘It’s one of the highlights of the summer,’’ Olsen said. ‘‘It means a lot to our family.’’
So much so that his entire family flies into town, and his mother and brother will play on Olsen’s team.
Olsen, 26, is proud of the partnership with C.H. Robinson Worldwide and the more than $130,000 his foundation has donated primarily to hospitals and cancer-related causes.
‘‘We don’t have any full-time employees,’’ he said. ‘‘Mostly everyone involved does it out of the goodness of their heart.
‘‘It’s not something I throw my name on and let someone else run. I return e-mails and letters and cut donation checks.’’
Last year, the event at Grant Park had 42 teams. This year, they could’ve had twice as many but limited it to 65.
‘‘We wanted to give everyone the bang for their buck,’’ he said. ‘‘The reception from the city and the interest and support is unbelievable.’’
Among the celebrities playing in the kickball tournament are Bears teammates Brian Urlacher and Matt Forte, as well as Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton and Cleveland Browns guard Eric Steinbach.
In the future, Olsen is considering expanding the kickoff event to New Jersey, where he’s from, and Miami, where he and Kara attended college. But after this weekend, Olsen is hoping he can concentrate more on football.
He’s not sure when the lockout will end, but he has done his part.
He feels fit, working out with trainer Pete Bommarito in Florida, along with numerous NFL players, including Forte. And over the last six weeks, in addition to workouts with the offensive players, Olsen has done additional workouts — mostly on a hill — with Forte.
“It’s nice, having someone else to work out with,” Olsen said. ‘‘He pushes me because I have to try to keep up with him. We feel like our offseason routine has been good. We feel healthy and strong.’’
So does Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
‘‘He’s looked great,’’ Olsen said. ‘‘I think he looks the same as he always has.’’
There are no team spots available for the kickball tournament, but spectators can watch, drink Goose Island beer and eat M Burgers for free by pre-registering. Go to kicksforacure.mytmc.com for more information.