New Seahawks TE Noah Fant talks Shane Waldron’s offense, Drew Lock
The Seahawks have a number of new faces on the roster in training camp, including a former first-round pick on offense.
That would be tight end Noah Fant, who came to Seattle from Denver in the blockbuster deal involving quarterback Russell Wilson.
Fant has had success in his first three NFL seasons, tallying nearly 2,000 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns across 47 games since 2019.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 3, 2021
Now, the 24 year old figures to be a key part of the Seahawks’ offense for the 2022 season and beyond.
Fant joined The Mike Salk Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM Thursday morning to discuss joining the Seahawks’ offense, quarterback Drew Lock and more.
Drew Lock and the offense
Lock was also a high draft pick of the Broncos in 2019, being taken in the second round. But after a strong finish to his rookie season, the young quarterback struggled and fell out of favor in Denver.
Now, he gets a fresh start in Seattle.
Fant is liking what he’s seen out of his longtime NFL teammate.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 15, 2019
“Drew, man, I’ve been proud of what he’s been doing. I mean, obviously he hasn’t had the easiest start just going through offense coordinators, coaches and all that stuff early to start his career, and he’s been doing great,” Fant said. “He’s been grinding his butt off, working hard every day getting in here … and learning from (quarterback Geno Smith), too … He’s been doing a great job, man. He’s been working hard and having a good time while doing it. He’s really just immersed himself into the team very well.”
Part of Lock’s NFL story involves multiple changes with offensive coordinators and coaches, as Fant said. After having some success with Rich Scangarello in 2019, Lock had a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur in 2020 and 2021. Lock started in 2020 but struggled mightily – which was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and greatly impacted that offseason – before serving as Denver’s backup for 2021.
Fant thinks with the Broncos having a defensive-minded head coach in Vic Fangio, Lock needed a stronger voice on the offensive side to help him along early in his career.
“I think when you have a defensive (head) coach that you almost have to have a second head coach on the offensive side as your offensive coordinator, that’s going to kind of, like what you said, make that experience good for you and kind of bring you along,” Fant told Salk. “So I think he kind of didn’t have that (most of the time in Denver) … We needed almost another person to just really immerse Drew into the NFL and bring him along and all that stuff. No knock on what guys were doing or anything like that but I think that could have been done a little bit better. I think he’ll definitely benefit here from having the enthusiasm, having Shane. Like, Shane is that guy, right?”
Shane would be Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, who is entering his second season running Seattle’s offense.
So what has Fant seen from the offense so far, especially as it pertains to the tight end position?
“I love it. Obviously you have to know a lot at the tight end position, but that’s a really cool thing to be asked of,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it so far, though. It’s been very friendly to the tight end (position) and we’ve done a good job carrying the load so far and just trying to take it to new levels and be super productive for the position.”
Favorite route, comparisons to great TEs
Fant is obviously a receiving weapon from the tight end spot, so what kind of routes and plays does he like?
“I love the seam routes, honestly. Getting in the middle of the field, getting in between different zones, finding your areas in there,” he said. “Or any type of play-action over route where you just find a zone and you just catch the ball and open her up a little bit and get running.”
The 6-foot-4, 249-pound Fant has often been compared to multi-time Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham, who played for the Seahawks in the mid-2010s. He was asked about that comparison on Thursday.
“Oh yeah, I definitely growing up modeled my game after him,” Fant said. “He was definitely a person that I looked up to and I wanted to be like him and I wanted to incorporate a little bit of (Rob Gronkowski) in there, too. I like the comp. Jimmy had some good things here and hopefully I can build on that and take it to even higher heights. That’s what I’m looking to do.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.