TE Nick Vannett Recognizes Something Totally Unique About the Broncos Locker Room
Denver Broncos tight end Nick Vannett has gained considerable professional experience since entering the NFL back in 2016. The 27-year-old’s stretches with the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers have given him an insight into how the dynamics and vibes traditionally work within locker rooms.
The Broncos free-agent addition this past offseason checked in with KOA Radio's Broncos Country Tonight show earlier this week to share his take on the locker room environment of his new team.
“I’ve noticed that this is a great locker room here,” Vannett told hosts Benjamin Allbright and Ryan Edwards. “The guys are just incredible. I’ve been on teams where only the offensive guys really hang around with offensive guys and the defensive guys with defensive guys. But it seems like it’s just one big cohesive unit here, everyone kinda gels with everybody. I’ve never been on a team like that before, so I think that’s a big, huge step in the right direction right there alone.”
Vannett’s observation strikes a contrast to some Broncos locker rooms in recent years that often seemed to lack unity and genuine leadership. When confronted with perhaps the most difficult offseason challenges in the history of the NFL, the Broncos have found a new depth of brotherhood to guide them.
Given the option of sitting out the 2020 campaign due to the pandemic, only right tackle Ja’Wuan James and nose tackle Kyle Peko have decided to opt-out. While both had their own personal reasons, Vannett was quickly convinced of suiting up this coming season.
“I think for me, I just felt safe with everything that was talked about,” Vannett told KOA. “I felt safe with what the NFL and NFLPA came together on. And you know I just think it’s important. I just love to compete and if I didn’t have this then I don’t know what I would do. I was just really excited to join a new team, excited to play another year to my career and I just felt comfortable with everything.”
Vannett’s challenge is to carve out a spot on a tight end depth chart featuring a logjam of former Broncos draft picks. It's a task that has been made slightly easier by the recent release of Jeff Heuerman, who was also Vannett's college teammate at Ohio State.
The work put in during training camp will prove to be even more important as the Broncos strive to get Pat Shurmur's new offense assimilated. With all the young weapons that make up the offense, Vannett believes that once the Broncos can get on the same page, it could result in some serious fireworks.
“Honestly, with the weapons that we have on our team, I mean, it’s like take your poison, what you want?” Vannett observed. “There are a lot of guys who we can spread the ball around to, running back-wise and receiver/tight end-wise. I honestly believe we have the guys that we need right now. With the time [left], we have to take advantage of that and be on the same page; because if we are it’s going to be pretty scary on offense. I really do believe that.”
Gaining a competitive advantage in what weeks remain before the season-opener vs. Tennessee is going to be a battle within a war, and it's one Vannett is determined to win.