In years past, most NFL players would head into the offseason for some rest and recuperation and many even had second jobs to help pay the bills. Some younger fans simply find it hard to comprehend such outdated practices, especially when the accepted norm now exists that pro football is a year-round occupation.
The unrelenting emphasis on professional improvement demands fine-tuning and unifying the body and mind as a prerequisite for success. One such devotee to the modern practice methods is Denver Broncos’ third-year tight end Noah Fant, a player who has received significant hype ahead of the new season.
Some analysts have been forecasting the 23-year-old to break into the ranks of the elite tight ends in 2021. In order to get to the next level, the former Iowa star has been working out in Los Angeles to get himself ready for what is to come.
“Man, I’ve been busting my butt this offseason and you’ve got to put all the work in in the offseason to get all the results in the season,” Fant told the Behind the Broncos/No Shortcuts feature on the team site. “My focus has definitely been—first thing—getting healthy, getting my body healthy and right. Then, change of direction has been a main focus this year.”
Fant’s physical prowess coupled with his 4.5-speed makes him a dangerous package, so it comes as no surprise that he's grinding hard. Fant's offseason regimen included a stint at fellow Hawkeye alum George Kittle’s tight end summit. Staying on the field for a full season now means preparing for the rigors of an extended 17-game schedule, and it’s a process Fant is fully invested in.
“Obviously, I want to take that step to become a top tight end in the league, so I’m putting my down payment down right now and hoping for the best when the season comes,” Fant told the team site.
If Fant has indeed laid the core foundations, he will find a deep and talented group of pass-catchers around him to help draw the focus of opposing defenses, especially with Pro Bowl wideout Cortland Sutton returning from an ACL surgery. That doesn't include second-year tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, who is himself rehabbing after a torn ACL suffered last October. The Broncos expect big things out of 'Albert O', too.
Hopes are high that Fant’s commitment to his fitness regimen, and his quest to learn all there is to know about playing the tight end position, will result in him forcing his way into the company of the NFL's elite tight ends. Such an emergence would no doubt have a positive effect on the Broncos' offense in 2021, regardless of who's starting at quarterback.
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.
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