Russell Wilson

49ers could benefit from Seahawks' lack of offensive line continuity

49ers could benefit from Seahawks' lack of offensive line continuity

As we learned in 2019, as good as the 49ers are the margin for error in the NFC West is razor-thin.

Despite having the more talented roster, the 49ers were pushed to the limit by Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, needing a Dre Greenlaw tackle on the 1-yard line in Week 17 to secure the division crown and No. 1 seed in the NFC. The two rivals should be close again in 2020, but the Seahawks will be starting the season at a disadvantage due to the lack of offseason OTAs and perhaps a shortened training camp.

While some position groups can make do with Zoom meetings and individual workouts, the offensive line is a group that needs to work together to establish cohesion. The Seahawks underwent massive turnover on the offensive line in the offseason. Seattle cut center Justin Britt and guard D.J. Fluker while tackles Germain Ifedi and George Fant left in free agency. That's 60 percent of their starting offensive line and a key reserve that now are gone.

The lack of in-person time to work on chemistry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worries tackle Duane Brown.

“A major factor is just chemistry. And continuity,” Brown said during a videoconference with reporters, via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune. “And we just lost a big chunk of our starting pieces this offseason. So we’ve got some new faces, some guys who have been in the system, some guys that haven’t been there. Just have to learn each other, learning the the terminology, communication, just learning how we do things here. All of that stuff is important.

“We’re doing what we can now virtually, by texts, calls, just to try to build as much chemistry as possible until we’re able to meet and physically get on the field. Once that happens we have a small window to build each other up as much as possible until the season starts.”

The Seahawks needed to upgrade or change their offensive line in free agency. Seattle had the 27th ranked offensive line last, per Pro Football Focus. Their pressure rate allowed in 2.5 seconds or less was 26.7 percent, which ranked last in the NFL.

Seattle brought in four free agents, including center B.J. Finney and tackle Brandon Shell. The unit very well could be better than last year's disaster but it will take time for them to come together.

[RELATED: Seahawks-Browns Russ trade would've left 49ers with no NFC West equal]

With the 49ers returning the majority of a loaded roster, some early stumbles by the Seahawks due to offensive line play could be all San Francisco needs to wrap up the division before their Week 17 showdown at Levi's Stadium.

In the battle for the NFC West title, any little advantage over Wilson and Pete Carroll helps, especially given Seattle's easy December schedule. Lack of offensive line continuity early on in the Pacific Northwest could be a gift to the 49ers.

Russell Wilson's trolling of Tom Brady's 'The Match' outing backfires

Russell Wilson's trolling of Tom Brady's 'The Match' outing backfires

49ers fans love to hate Russell Wilson, and he gave them another reason to give him grief Sunday.

A few hours before Tiger Woods teamed up with Peyton Manning to take on Phil Mickelson and Bay Area native Tom Brady in "The Match: Champions for Charity," Wilson took a Twitter shot at Brady.

When Brady got off to an awful start to "The Match," Wilson went at Brady again.

There are a few problems with Wilson's jabs at Brady.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

First, Wilson lost to Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. Instead, Seattle's quarterback should have been trolling Manning, whom the Seahawks beat in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Second, Brady redeemed himself and made Wilson look silly when he sank an incredible birdie on hole No. 7.

Yes, Brady is out of his element on the golf course, but Wilson should have known who he was messing with.

[RELATED: 49ers fans love to hate Wilson]

49ers fans certainly won't miss the chance to let Wilson hear about this.

NFL rumors: Russell Wilson 'would love' Seahawks to sign Antonio Brown

NFL rumors: Russell Wilson 'would love' Seahawks to sign Antonio Brown

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.

But what about a fourth or fifth time?

It appears Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wants to find out. Controversial receiver Antonio Brown wore out his welcome with quite a few teams in rather short order, but according to 710 ESPN Seattle's John Clayton, Wilson isn't deterred by any of that.

"It’s pretty clear the Seahawks want to run the ball even more this year,” Clayton wrote Friday. “They have loaded up at tight end and tried to stay big along the offensive line. But it’s not out of the question for the Seahawks to add another wide receiver. According to sources, Wilson would love to add Antonio Brown. Brown is also close with backup QB Geno Smith, whose one-year contract with the Seahawks was finalized Wednesday."

There's no denying Brown's talent, but why Wilson would expect him to act any differently in Seattle than he did during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders is anyone's guess. At no point since the Steelers decided he wasn't worth the headache has Brown proven himself capable of fitting into an NFL locker room. He has clashed with coaches and players on the field, and gotten into plenty of trouble off of it as well.

As Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio explained, even if the Seahawks were to sign Brown, there's no guarantee he would ever be able to play for them.

"Of course, Brown can’t play for anyone until a trio of pending Personal Conduct Policy investigations have concluded," Florio wrote. "From last September’s lawsuit alleging sexual assault and rape to alleged harassment of another female who made claims against him to SI.com to an incident with a moving-truck driver that resulted in an arrest and multiple charges, Brown could be facing a significant suspension before he’s permitted to play again."

Given Brown's reputation, combined with the presence of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, it really doesn't seem like he would be worth the trouble for Seattle. Of course, it's possible Wilson views himself as the right leader to get the most out of Brown. Then again, we've heard that before.

[RELATED: Report: Seahawks agree to deal with former 49ers RB Hyde]

It's a flashy name and, yeah, Brown and Wilson theoretically could work wonders together. But he is far more likely to do more damage than good, and for that reason, the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West shouldn't be worried one bit.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]