"For the first time in a while, in my opinion, really since probably the year we won the Super Bowl, we've had a consistent offensive line in practice and that consistency is huge," Wilson said Thursday, via Curtis Crabtree of KJR radio. "Obviously guys fill-in every once in a while but I think that all the way from the left side to the right side, we're really solidifying our line, what we're doing, the calls and everything else. It makes a difference. It makes a big difference in communication and how guys step up and how they play."
The last several seasons Wilson's offensive line has been a sieve. The addition of left tackle Duane Brown helped slightly last season, but the constant changing of personnel continued to plague the group overall.
This offseason, the o-line has been stable for the most part: Brown manages the left tackle spot. Ethan Pocic is at left guard. Justin Britt mans the pivot. D.J. Fluker at right guard. And Germain Ifedi is on right tackle duty.
Allowing the same five players to work together is a too-often-overlooked aspect of offensive line play. To perform coherently, blockers need a primal understanding of each other's instincts, to trust that each man is going to make the right read. It's the type of homogeneity that cannot be accomplished if the line is constantly being shuffled.
The swap of offensive line coach Tom Cable for Mike Solari has helped slow the relentless shuffling Seattle had come accustomed to watching. The new O-Line coach also brought different teaching techniques to the table.
"I think coach Mike Solari is doing a tremendous, tremendous job," Wilson said. "We were in the meeting room yesterday actually and just how he installs certain things or really talks about football, talks about what they're going to do, what we're going to do ... to listen to coach Mike Solari really explain blocking schemes and what we're trying to do in the pass protection game and why we're trying to do it and really explain the whys of football. And his meetings are really interactive, you learn a lot. It's cool just to watch one of the best offensive line coaches in the game of football - he's been that for a long time - to have him on our football team is a good thing."
It's too early to make any sweeping statements about an offensive line that still has major questions to answer. However, if Wilson's optimism is realized when the regular season starts, it will pay major dividends for both the quarterback and running game. Perhaps Wilson won't be running for his life on every drop back this season.