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Duane Brown: Seahawks' O-line can be best in NFL

For years, the Seattle Seahawks' offensive line has been a sieve, allowing wave after wave to badger Russell Wilson and at times struggled to open holes in the run game. Season after season, the O-line has been the team's one true Achilles heel.

Perhaps no longer.

Veteran left tackle Duane Brown sees the Seahawks' blockers as one of the best units in the NFL.

"Our line has a chance to be the best in the league, I think," Brown said, via the team's official website. "If we keep everyone healthy, the talent we have, the mixture of youth and experience that we have, we have a chance to really be great, and Mike (Iupati) has been a really great addition for us."

The Seahawks return four starters, Duane Brown, Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi and D. J Fluker, and added a former Pro Bowl guard in Iupati. The cohesion and experience should lead to an improved group. Brown remains a rock on the left side. Fluker is coming off a career year. And Iupati could be an upgrade if he can remain healthy (a big if at this stage of his career).

"We're very comfortable having a year with the system," Brown said. "You have your lumps that you get over, we ironed it out -- you saw the production we had throughout the year -- and this year, we're better for it. This time of year is all about getting the information, getting back up to speed on things, and we haven't missed a beat. We added Mike (Iupati), he stepped in and we haven't missed a beat. We're communicating everything well, no one is confused out there. I think once we get the pads on, the amount of physicality we will play with will be demoralizing to defenses, so I'm looking forward to it."

The 2018 season showed vast improvements in all aspects, but the Seahawks made a particularly important stride in pass protection, their biggest problem area for years. According to Pro Football Focus' grades, Seattle was the 19th-best unit in pass blocking efficiency last year. While that might not sound great, when you compare it to the previous several years (26th in 2017, 29 in 2016, 27th in 2015), it's a good first step.

If Brown's assessment is correct, the Seahawks' offensive line could go from a liability to asset in 2019.

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