Greg Olson played quarterback at Central Washington from 1983-1984. His first coaching stint came in 1987 as a graduate assistant at Washington State. He held the position until 1989 and earned his master's degree in Athletic Administration. 1990-1993 he took over the offensive coordinator position at Central Washington. The school was the top-ranked offense in 1991 and 1993. Olson helped develop Jon Kitna from NAIA starter to 1997 World Bowl MVP to NFL starter in Seattle, Cincinnati and Detroit.
From 1994-1996 Olson took over the quarterback coaching duties from RAMS head coach Scott Linehan at Idaho. In Olson's first season at Idaho the school ranked second in the nation in total offense and scoring as well as seventh in passing.
Olson then took over as the quarterbacks coach at Purdue in 1997 and held the position until the year 2000. While at Purdue, Olson was instrumental in the development of Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees. During Olson's last three seasons coaching quarterbacks at Purdue the Boilermakers passing offense was ranked in the top ten nationally.
He then moved on to the NFL and made his first stop as the quarterbacks coach for the 2001 Whiners. Under Greg Olson's guidance Jeff Garcia had his second straight Pro Bowl season, posting a career high 32 touchdown passes.
2002 back to Purdue went Greg Olson as the tightends/recruiting coordinator.
2003 saw Olson hired by the Chicago Bears as their new quarterbacks coach.
2004-2005 he was hired as the quarterbacks coach for the Detroit Lions. Joey Harrington had his two best seasons working with Olson. Highest completion percentage, touchdown-to-turnover ratio and passer rating of his career.
2006-present, Greg Olson is the offensive coordinator of our RAMS.
After touching lightly on Greg Olson's past coaching experiences a few different thoughts/opinions/questions come to mind.
For instance, he left an NFL job (Whiners) to go back to Purdue as the tightends/recruiting coordinator? Held that position for one year and then went back to the NFL?
We hired him as the offensive coordinator knowing he had no NFL experience at the position? Yes he had 4 years OC experience at Central Washington but that was back in 1990-1993, hardly NFL caliber football. Actually all his NFL experience was as a quarterbacks coach. Granted he has worked with some familiar names (Joey Harrington, Jeff Garcia, Rex Grossman, Drew Brees, Jon Kitna) and now our trio of Marc Bulger, Gus Frerotte and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Here's something to ponder.
Our new Head Coach Scott Linehan handles the offensive play calling for the first 10 games of the 2006 season. With Linehan calling the plays our offense averages 20.2 points per game with a record of 4-6. The tenth game we are shutout 15-0 at the Carolina Panthers. After being whitewashed Linehan announces that Greg Olson would be calling the plays. Thus allowing Linehan the freedom to do his job more effectively.
Few of my thoughts/opinion concerning this decision.
#1. Was Linehan overwhelmed with combination of head coaching and the play calling?
Was it really limiting his ability to focus in the all the other areas he needs to pay attention to?
#2. Let's face it Greg Olson didn't come to us with this great history as an NFL offensive coordinator. As a matter of fact he had "ZERO" NFL experience at that position. Maybe just maybe Linehan felt Olson wasn't ready to take the reins right away?
#3. After being shutout Linehan figured it was time to become the manager he was hired to be and allow his staff to do the jobs they were hired to do?
Anyway, Greg Olson took over the reins November 26th, 2006 for a home game vs. the bitter rival Whiners. He finished out the 2006 season doing the job he was hired to do.
Our RAMS went 4-2 with Linehan head coaching and Olson offensive play calling. Our offensive averaged 27.5 points per game under the new arrangement. (An increase of 7.3 points per game over the Linehan play calling days). Which by the way would have ranked second in the NFL behind the San Diego Chargers. We also were averaging 404 total net yards per game on the offensive side of the ball. The top ranked total net yards offense for 2006 was the New Orleans Saints (391.5)
With the announcement that Olson will continue to handle the play calling going into the 2007 season. Along with the addition of the new horses. (McMichael, Bennett & Hall) I truly believe we have a playoff season ahead of us.
Still.......Why Greg Olson?