RENTON, Wash. (AP) – When browsing the list of offensive linebackers who helped the Seattle Seahawks to their shock 6-3 start, the names Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson aren’t usually the first to come to mind.
Can The narrow-ended Seattle trio She should be acknowledged and appreciated a little more as a major reason why the Seahawks succeeded as much as they achieved during the first half of the season.
“They are all good, and they can all be novices in this league,” said Seattle QB Gino Smith. “They do a great job working together. I think overall, each of these guys is unique in their own way, and they all add an extra dimension to the attack.”
The numbers from Seattle’s tight triathlon aren’t overwhelming. But each has become such an important part of the Seahawks’ offensive—whether as blockers or pass hunters—that Seattles often find ways to get them in the field.
No team in the NFL this season has fought more than three tight final groups than the Seahawks. According to Sportsradar, the Seahawks performed 84 offensive plays with Fant, Parkinson and Dissly on the field together. The next closest is Tennessee with 70 offensive plays with three tight ends and then a big dip to Philadelphia in third with 49 plays.
These might not seem like significant numbers in the larger chart of the number of offensive plays made over the course of nine matches.
But for Seattle, it’s a significant number. Seattle’s “13” personnel with three narrow limbs and one backward is the third most used formation by the Seahawks, and 32.9% of their plays outside of this formation resulted in a first touchdown.
“Those three guys can do really well in the passing game whether they’re running down the roads or doing protection, and then also in the running game being very versatile and being able to handle whether they’re in line or level two,” said Shane Waldron, Offensive Coordinator at Seattle.
Not many teams have three tight ends with the skills and abilities that Seattle with their group. Fant was an essential part of the trade that sent Russell Wilson to Denver in the off season. Dissly was a priority to re-sign with Seattle after moving to a free agency for the first time in his career and came close to following Wilson to Denver. Parkinson was a fourth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2020 who struggled with injuries in his first two seasons while also learning more about the position after playing more as a broad college hybrid receiver at Stanford University.
Individually, each has its own strength. Dissly is an exceptional blocker. Fant has outstanding velocity for a narrow end. It’s hard to miss Parkinson’s disease as a 6-foot-7 target in good hands. But collectively they have found a way to make a difference in the Seahawks this season.
None of the three would end the season with extraordinary numbers in the passing game. But as a combined trio, they can rival the best and most productive in the league.
“When you have a tight blocking, you know, when you don’t have the next guy who can also block, you can be really predictable about what you can do,” Desley said. “But with Noah and Colby blocking everyone’s paths. So it really puts the defense in a tough spot of what we’re going to do and what defenses they want to call in to block some games.”
As a receiver, the Fant leads the way with 27 catches. Dissly has 24 receptions and is three times TD among the group. Parkinson has 12 receptions and a TD. Seattle is the only team in the league that has three tight ends and has at least 12 passes and at least one touchdown.
“That’s what our insult is based on, our being strong all around,” said Fant. “Our end room is tight, it is a strong room. I think it is something that helps our team a lot.”
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