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Seahawks' O-line major factor in offense's recent success

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

Daily team observers agree that the decision to totally take the training wheels off rookie QB Russell Wilson and give him free rein in a read-option attack that maximizes both his throwing and rushing skills has been by far the biggest factor behind the Seahawks’ recent offensive explosiveness.

But they also agree that while it’s impossible not to single out Wilson, who has done enough to warrant serious Rookie of the Year consideration, major credit should also go to the offensive line in front of him.

“It’s a line that is playing very well right now,” said one observer of a unit that has been doing an excellent job both run-blocking and pass-blocking in recent weeks. “Allowing Mario Williams and Aldon Smith zero sacks (in Weeks 15-16) is no small feat. The zone-read is working because the guys are blocking the way they are supposed to block.”

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher couldn’t agree more.

“I think it’s one of the better lines, yes. It really is,” Fisher said four days before his team’s regular-season finale in Seattle. “They’re tough. They’re downfield. They finish. They’re well-coached and they understand when you’re blocking and protecting for a quarterback that runs around as much as he does, it requires some technique changes. Their guys, they’re very patient and productive.”

Two members of assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable’s finely coordinated unit — OLT Russell Okung and C Max Unger — were selected as Pro Bowl starters Wednesday.

“They’re the mortar between the bricks,” said one daily team observer. “Cable said recently that if there’s a left tackle playing better right now than Russell Okung, he’d like to see him. And I definitely think Unger has been playing at a Pro Bowl level all season.”

But a supporting cast of Paul McQuistan at left guard, brawny Breno Giacomini at right tackle and the combination of rookie J.R. Sweezy and John Moffitt at right guard has also been rock-solid for the most part.

“McQuistan is the poster child of Tom Cable linemen,” the observer said of the ex-Raider, who played under Cable in Oakland. “Giacomini is Pete’s (head coach Pete Carroll) kind of tackle. He plays to the echo of the whistle. They are really pleased and intrigued by Sweezy, who has come back from a rough start. He’s a very determined player.”

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