Justin Britt: Attitude of Seahawks’ O-line stems from Solari’s leadership
Nov 21, 2018, 12:27 AM
The Seahawks went from being 2017’s worst rushing team to now sitting atop the league in rushing yards per game this season. It’s hard to separate that success from improvement along Seattle’s offensive line, which ranked in the bottom third of the league for the last several years but now hovers around 19 in Pro Football Focus’ Week 9 ranking.
That Seattle has taken a step forward in both the run game and run blocking isn’t up for debate. What has been debated, though, is just what has been the biggest contributor to that improvement.
One candidate? Offensive line coach Mike Solari, who was hired by Seattle in January.
“He’s very consistent in how he approaches every day and who he is as a person and how he coaches,” Seahawks center Justin Britt said of Solari during an interviewTuesday with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore.
“He’s very positive. He makes sure you know what you’re doing. You won’t leave the room questioning anything. I think the attitude (up front) starts with him, and how he presents everything, and how he wants us to go out there. I think our attitude stems off of his leadership.”
Britt, 27, has been Seattle’s starting center for the last three seasons. It was a long road to that role. The Seahawks drafted the former Missouri Tiger in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he began his career at right tackle before switching to left guard in 2015, then finally to center in 2016.
For Britt, this year’s Seahawks offense brings back memories of his rookie season.
“This reminds me a lot of my first year with Russell Okung, (James) Carpenter, Max Unger, (J.R.) Sweezy and me,” Britt said. “How we ran the ball, our attitude. But I still feel like this year, with all due respect to that year’s offensive line, I feel like this year’s offensive line is better. I feel like our attitude is more aggressive and I feel like we’re more violent when we run the ball. And maybe we have to be because we just have different types of runners.
“But with that being said, I feel like we have three of the best running backs in the league. I think (Rashaad) Penny has shown up. I think he’s found his spot in the NFL and found his confidence and comfort. And you look at Chris Carson and Mike Davis and how they run the ball so hard… they make our jobs easy, because we don’t have to make gigantic holes, we just have to make a hole and they’ll find it and they’ll break it.”
Britt also talked about how his wrestling background has helped his career as a center and explained what led to his Week 10 skirmish with Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. You can hear the interview in this podcast from Danny, Dave and Moore’s Tuesday show.