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Gee Scott

Seahawks’ Justin Britt wants to take a load off Russell Wilson’s plate

Seahawks center Justin Britt plans to work on his leadership skills this offseason. (AP)

Heading into the 2016 offseason, head coach Pete Carroll said he hoped to put quarterback Russell Wilson through a football Master’s program. Center Justin Britt told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Gee Scott Wednesday that he hopes to add a few courses of his own this offseason to make Wilson’s life easier.

“I’m going to try to understand the game better, and that’s disguises and how to read defenses better and stuff like that that the quarterback kind of looks for,” Britt said. “I’d love to learn and be able to do that and take a load off Russell’s plate.”

For the first time in his three-year career, Britt knows what position he will be returning to next season. The former second-round pick started his career as a right tackle but inconsistent results led to a move to left guard in 2015 and then to center last year. It’s at that spot where Britt seems to have finally found a permanent home, as he produced the most consistent season of anyone on the line.

Britt said this will be his first offseason where he can prepare to return to a spot, and plans to work on getting stronger and quicker, which will feature more mixed-martial-arts training as well as getting more snaps under his belt.

The center position comes with a lot of responsibility and studying, and he said he was in his “own zone” at times for that reason. That’s why he said one of the biggest components of the offseason will be working on his leadership skills.

“I think one of the biggest things I want to do and I feel like it’s a thing I really need to work on is just becoming a better leader,” he said. “Not that I was a horrible leader, it’s just that I want to learn how to lead the right way and what the O-line needs from me as a leader.”

As it stands now, Britt will return to the line next season as one of the team’s most experienced starters. And while he said the rookies along the line talk much more than he did at that age, he did see them go through similar struggles as he experienced.

“I went through some of the struggles George (Fant) went through this year playing tackle and I went through some of the struggles Germain (Ifedi) went through at guard,” he said. “So it was cool that I could help them through it, but I tried to do all I can to prevent it from happening, but sometimes when you’re out there in the heat of the battle things just happen and they’re supposed to happen so you can learn from them and become better. But all of the rookies this year, they worked really hard and you saw improvement throughout the year and they were open to learn and OK with failing knowing that they would learn from it, so it was really cool to see.

“They’ve got a really big jump ahead of them if they take it serious in the offseason.”

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