Seahawks tape study: Justin Britt showing drastic improvement


The biggest problem for the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of the season has been their offensive line. The biggest problem on the offensive line has been LG Justin Britt. The last two games though have shown why the Seahawks have been so patient with him.

After weeks of being the weakest link on Seattle’s putrid offensive line, Britt has quite played well the last two weeks. This was especially true against Dallas, where Britt had what was easily his best game of the season.

Britt has flashed potential as a run blocker at times all season, but there’s been far too many missed blocks for him to be considered effective. That changed last week. The flashes of raw power were still there, but the terrible misses weren’t.

There are many plays that can be used as examples. He are a few of his better ones that show his power as a run blocker. Notice how far down field he managed to push his defender.

He’s another one. After driving the DT well off the line, he’s in the process of a pancaking him to turf at this point.

Britt even properly executed a cut block on an outside zone run to the opposite side of the field. This is quite possibly the first time that has happened all year, so it seemed important to include it.

Having Britt run block is important, but that isn’t the biggest problem he’s had this season. As a pass blocker, he’s been about as bad as he could possibly be in the early portions of this season.

Against Dallas though, Britt held his own. It wasn’t always pretty, but he was effecting in helping protect Russell Wilson.

Britt was able to set up quickly and maintain his position. Wilson had a clean pocket and was able to step up and throw on schedule.

On this next one, Britt was facing a speed rusher than had come inside. These types of players are the ones that have given Britt the most trouble. Last week he was able to move laterally enough to sustain his block and not get beat.

Looking at the film, the biggest change in his pass protection has been that his feet have been much more active. He’s doing a better job keeping himself in position to sustain his block. He’s no longer being forced to lunge at a defender’s feet once he’s gotten himself out of position.

It wasn’t as if Britt didn’t make mistakes in this game. He did, but his improved technique allowed him to be in position to still influence the play in a positive way.

A good example of this is this next play. Britt is beat here, but he kept his balance and was able to re-direct the defender in a way that allowed Wilson to avoid the pressure.

In previous games Britt would have ended up on his face, and Wilson would have been facing a free pass rusher. This play may not be ideal, but it was still clearly better.

It should be noted that no one is going to mistake Britt for a Pro-Bowler at this point. Better is relative to where he was. Given that he was one of the worst guards in the entire NFL, he can be drastically improved and still be an average player.

And that is probably ok for the Seahawks. The don’t need him to be a star. They need him to be competent. If they can get that from each of there offensive linemen, the skill position talent will finally get a chance to take over.