The Success of the Offensive Line in 2017 Lies on George Fant
By Luke Allen
George Fant was an incredible story last year. The success of the offensive line this year lies on his shoulders.
Imagine not having started an organized game of football since the eighth grade. Suddenly, it’s late in the game in Glendale, Arizona against a division rival. Tom Cable looks you in the eye and says “alright man, get in the game at left tackle”.
Welcome to the life of George Fant.
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Where did Fant come from?
George Fant, the 250-pound college basketball player from Western Kentucky University, was the Seattle Seahawks’ (a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations) starting left tackle for most of last season.
He was an undrafted rookie.
The left tackle position was supposed to be held down by veteran lineman Bradley Sowell. Unfortunately he struggled and always found himself on the injury report.
For a guy who last played football as a tight end his senior year, Fant didn’t play too terribly. Although he wasn’t great—at all. Nor was the entire offensive line last season.
However, coach Tom Cable described himself as ‘the most excited coach’ on the Seahawks’ staff. Maybe due to the fact they picked up veteran lineman Luke Joeckel and selected the ‘jack of all trades’ offensive lineman, Ethan Pocic, in the second round.
Or maybe it’s due to the fact George Fant has bulked up to 320 lbs. Not only that, he has privately worked out with Hall of Famer and former Seahawk Walter Jones all offseason long.
He gives credit to his mother for cooking him steaks every night so he could bulk up.
Possible long-term starter?
He’s also been watching film. In his press conferences, he elaborates on how much more comfortable he feels now compared when he was playing last year.
The 24-year old showed flashes of being a capable starting left tackle in the NFL last season. For the most part he lacked the skills needed to protect a quarterback’s blind side. He played with Mark Glowinski on his right, who played left guard most the season. This year, newly acquired Luke Joeckel should compete for the starting left guard spot. That’s good news for Fant.
Having a veteran player next to an inexperienced player on the offensive line is the best thing for that inexperienced player. Fant will pick up on the little things much easier learning from Joeckel, than he did with the inexperienced Glowinski.
Left tackle is arguably the most important position on the offensive line. If we’re going to see an improvement on that line, it all starts with George Fant. Whatever strides and size he put on this offseason will certainly show, because he was about as raw as they come last year.
If Fant can hold down the left tackle position, the offensive line seems set
Fant and Ifedi will be at the tackle positions; Joeckel and Glowinski at the two guards; and Britt in the middle—where he’s played at a Pro Bowl level.
For the Seattle Seahawks to return to their Super Bowl level, they must be able to establish a balanced offense, much like they did in 2013 and 2014. For that to happen, the offensive line must dramatically improve.
And for that to happen, George Fant has to be better than serviceable.