One of Duane Brown’s new offensive line-mates in Seattle beat his fellow Seahawks in welcoming the 32-year-old to town Monday night, for understandable reasons.
@DuaneBrown76 sup bro. OLine dinner Thursday. It’s your turn to pay…
— Justin Britt (@JustinBritt68) October 30, 2017
Russell Wilson did not react on social media as quickly as Justin Britt did. But the Seahawks quarterback might be picking up Brown at the airport. Who could blame Wilson if he did? Brown might be checking Wilson’s blind-side, anchoring that line and clearing the path to the Super Bowl for them all.
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The crazy coincidences of Brown’s trade from Houston to Seattle shouldn’t be understated. More on that later, though … because more important and more immediately, the effect of this deal on Wilson cannot be overstated.
Is saying this could save the franchise quarterback’s life too extreme? Well, an NFL player (the Bears’ Zach Miller) just underwent surgery to save his leg after a gruesome injury, and if you were wondering when time, luck and the chronic health hazard that is the Seahawks’ line were going to create a worst-case scenario for Wilson, you weren’t alone.
So, yes, hyperbole, but not much.
The Seahawks must have thought the same thing. They did not get Brown cheap, even though Brown could not have been much less welcome with the Texans’ brass at this point. There may have been whispers about Brown getting too old, beaten up, underserving of the money he wanted, and apparently the enemy of their antebellum owner — which may have been more of the typical response to contract holdouts and to pro athletes asserting themselves than a statement about his ability.
But to the Seahawks, Brown was worth two draft picks and starting cornerback Jeremy Lane.
And the Seahawks were still in the Super Bowl conversation with a patch-job at left tackle, without George Fant since the preseason and with Rees Odhiambo getting banged up and banged around.
Yes, the Seahawks became better Monday night just by adding Duane Brown on paper, before his flight even landed and before he took his physical.
Wilson is better off. The running-back-by-hastily-assembled-committee is better off. It’ll be a domino effect. The Seahawks were the contender that needed him most. Wilson was the elite quarterback who had to have him, or else.
What Wilson did Sunday in the gunsling-a-thon with Deshaun Watson is what he’s capable of doing under less-than-ideal conditions.
With much more ideal conditions, he shouldn’t have to do that for the Seahawks to win, for the offense to move, for the defense to get the pressure taken off of it, for the NFC (including the upstart Rams they’re battling in the West) to look over its shoulder the rest of the way.
As for those aforementioned crazy coincidences … Brown’s first game back from his contract holdout was, of course, Sunday in Seattle, with Watson and against Wilson’s Seahawks.
It’s also where Brown and most of his teammates kneeled before the game, after Texans owner Bob McNair had gone scorched-earth with his comments about protesting players — and after Brown had stepped forward as the locker-room leader despite his own uncertain future in Houston.
Before Brown raised his voice about McNair, even before the lineman reported to the team at the end of his holdout, the Texans were prepared to move on without him. Even after trading up in the first round for Watson, expecting to groom him for a little while, then accelerating the schedule at halftime of the season opener, Watson’s fate was for someone else to be his left tackle moving forward.
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Wilson’s fate this season, though, appeared to be to run until his legs fell off, throw until his arm flew off, or to be squashed on the CenturyLink Field turf like a bug on a windshield.
The chances of that happening now are decreased.
Brown is in a better place, and Wilson is, too.