Duane Brown: Russell Wilson should throw more in '19

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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Many wondered why the Seahawks didn't throw the ball more in their eventual playoff loss to the Cowboys this past January. You can count Seattle left tackle Duane Brown among them.

The second-team All-Pro lineman appeared on Up to the Minute on Friday and admitted he thought the Seahawks were sometimes dialing up the run a bit too often last season. They attempted the fewest passes in the NFL and were one of just five teams to throw less than 500 times.

The Seahawks also led the NFL with 2,560 rushing yards while averaging a robust 4.8 yards per carry. But they were the only team in the league to run the ball more often than throw (534-427), which had Brown lobbying for balance in an age where the pendulum has swung heavily toward being pass-first.

"When you have a quarterback as talented as Russell Wilson is, you have to have balance," Brown said. "At times, I think we ran the ball maybe a little bit too much, and that's kind of hard to say as a lineman. But it worked for us, it worked for us for a long time. The guys up front, they leaned on us, they leaned on Chris Carson [and the] stable of backs we had."

The approach hasn't exactly worked in recent years, however. For the first time in the respective Wilson and Pete Carroll eras, the Seahawks failed to win a playoff game after qualifying for the postseason. This was following a 2017 campaign in which they missed the playoffs altogether. After experiencing great success early in Wilson's career, the franchise hasn't advanced past the Divisional Round since 2014.

The Seahawks actually passed slightly more than they ran in last season's Wild Card loss to the Cowboys (27-24), but they were also playing from behind for most of the second half and were much more effective through the air. Wilson averaged 8.6 yards per attempt while the run game produced just 3.0 yards a carry. In other words, the circumstances called for them to throw more.

Wilson made his sixth Pro Bowl in 2018 after passing for a career-high 35 touchdowns (against just seven interceptions), 3,448 yards and averaging 8.1 yards per attempt while completing 65.6 percent of his throws. That produced the highest passer rating (110.9) of his seven-year career. Brown, therefore, won't mind if offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer calls on him to protect as much as he attacks in 2019.

"I think Russ, we got to use him as much as possible next year," Brown said. "He obviously had his best statistical year even with us running the ball as much as we did, but the balance is there, and I'm looking forward to it."

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