Cam Newton on Greg Olsen becoming the Panthers head coach: 'He's an ultimate professional'

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Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton appeared on the “Pardon My Take” podcast this week and addressed the possibility of Greg Olsen becoming the next head coach of the franchise.

Newton, Panthers teammates with the former tight end for nine seasons, complimented Olsen for being the “ultimate professional,” after saying he believes the reports are “a little premature.”

“I think it’s a little premature, honestly speaking,” Newton said. “Do I think he could be a head coach one day? Yes. I think he’s extremely thorough. I think he’s an ultimate professional… He prepares in ways that he doesn’t get — or people don’t even care to think of a tight end to be prepared that way. … Do I think he gets the head coaching job for the Carolina Panthers? Who knows. If he gets it, I’ll probably be at more Panthers games for sure.”

While a number of names have been thrown around as candidates to replace Frank Reich, who was fired Monday, Joe Person of The Athletic reported that Olsen would have interest in the job if he were approached.

Olsen, who retired from the NFL after the 2020 season, doesn’t have any NFL coaching experience. He has, however, remained immersed in the game as a member of FOX‘s No. 1 announce team. Olsen hauled in 524 receptions for 6,463 yards and 39 touchdowns during his time in Carolina. He is third on the Panthers’ all-time receiving list behind Steve Smith Sr. and Muhsin Muhammad. He signed a one-day contract in March 2021 to retire as a member of the Panthers.

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Could Greg Olsen become latest Panthers head coach?

Making the move to hire Olsen would certainly be an unorthodox one, yet similar to one which took place last season. After Reich was fired midseason by the Indianapolis Colts, ESPN analyst and former NFL center Jeff Saturday was named the interim head coach. The Colts went 1-7 under Saturday.

Adding more to the story is Olsen’s uncertain future at FOX Sports. Tom Brady is expected to replace Olsen as the top color analyst in 2024. Brady reportedly signed a 10-year, $375 million contract with the network last year.

Whether it’s Olsen or someone else, the next head coach of the Panthers will be the fourth in the short history of David Tepper’s ownership tenure. Since 2018, Tepper has fired Ron Rivera (December 2019), Matt Rhule (October 2022) and now Reich. Tepper also opted to go in a different direction after interim head coach Steve Wilks went 6-6 and won four of his last six games after Rhule’s firing last season.