Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen journeyed through Super Bowl week’s “Radio Row” on Thursday, walking well despite the boot around his right foot and ankle.
Olsen is preparing to return to the field for the Panthers in 2019 after having a second surgery on his right foot in December. Olsen’s first surgery involved putting a screw into his foot to repair a Jones fracture, and the second involved removing the screw and adding a bone graft.
But first, Olsen is preparing for a big off-the-field opportunity — one that will be beneficial for his career after football.
He will join the ESPN’s “Postseason NFL Countdown” show in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII, his second guest-analyst television gig this offseason so far and second consecutive Super Bowl Sunday broadcast. Last year, he called the Week 11 game between the Vikings and the Rams (he was on injured reserve at the time).
Olsen, who likely has an analyst job waiting for him once he retires, has learned a lot since calling that game.
“I remember getting in the booth last year in Minnesota to call the game between the Vikings and the Rams, and they had to teach me the talk-back buttons, they had to teach me the “cough” button, they had to teach me how to talk to the producers,” he said, laughing as he spoke to the Observer outside of “Radio Row” on Thursday.
“I had to get used to the producers being in my ear when I was trying to make a point. You have people talking, and they might be talking to you or somebody (else). It’s a very unique (experience).”
Olsen is happy to have the reps — he said he’s a routine-oriented person who notably warms up the exact same way before every practice and game, right down to the number of breaths he takes during stretches.
He doesn’t have a pre-show routine like that quite yet — and won’t need one until he leaves the game for good — but Olsen is enjoying getting experience in a variety of different broadcasts so that he can start developing one.
“Preparing last year to call that game, the preparation is very similar to like preparing like you’re going to play in the game. It’s a lot more film study,” he said.
“It’s a lot deeper of a dive. Fronts, defenses, offenses and scheme. The studio stuff is not quite as in-depth. It’s a lot more production meetings, studying of trends around the league. Trends about that particular game and what the narratives are league-wide and (in the game). So it’s a little bit more higher-up stuff.
“But they each have their own style, they each have their own challenges. It’s been cool to experience all of it and kind of get a feel for what each of those formats require, from a preparation standpoint and then actually executing it.”