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Greg Olsen gives thoughts on Panthers coaching search, Sean Payton

NFL tight end turned broadcaster holding second annual HEARTest Yard Ungala in February

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen hasn't played for the team in a few years, so like many Charlotteans, he's more of a fan now.

And like many of his fellow Panthers fans, he's grappling this week with the fact that the team is set to interview former rival Sean Payton for the head coaching position this week.

"I get it. It's not often that coaches of that caliber are available," Olsen said. "He's a proven winner. If Sean Payton's available you have to interview him."

The New Orleans Saints still own Payton's coaching rights since he stepped away with time left on his contract after the 2021 season.

It would take a plethora of draft picks for the Panthers to trade for him to coach on their sideline.

Olsen, who is now part of FOX's top broadcast team for NFL games, is a big fan of his former team elevating interim coach Steve Wilks.

"I'm biased in my opinion of Steve," Olsen said. "We formed a really strong personal relationship. I understand the conversation around the NFL about getting an offensive mind. I get all that. At the same time I'm biased towards Steve as a person. A guy that I have a tremendous amount of respect for."

HEARTest Yard Ungala

On Feb. 27, Olsen and his wife Kara will host their second HEARTest Yard Ungala at Steak 48.

The event will feature a cocktail reception, three-course meal, silent auction and celebrity guests.

Last year's event raised $223,461 for the HEARTest Yard program, part of Receptions for Research, which supports families of children with congenital heart disease.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the event will go towards the program.

The Olsen's son, T.J., was born with congenital heart disease and was treated at Levine Children's Hospital.

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