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O-line’s new mantra: ‘Block until the ball is gone’

With Russell Wilson at QB, the three-second rule no longer stands.

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Quinn Meinerz may have a little something in common with Dory (of “Finding Nemo” fame).

Because with Russell Wilson as the new Broncos’ signal caller, the job of an offensive lineman is to just keep blocking.

Until the ball is gone.

“In the offensive line room, it’s, ‘We have to block until the ball’s gone.’ There isn’t like, ‘Alright, we’re blocking for three seconds.’ We have to block until the ball is gone, and whatever that requires and whatever you have to do is what we have to do,” said second-year guard Quinn Meinerz.

In fact, it’s really just the mentality now, Meinerz added.

“Especially with some of the special abilities that Russ has to evade the pocket and move things, there’s no other option,” he said. “You have to keep blocking until the ball is gone.”

Albert Okwuegbunam was asked about Wilson earning the respect of his new offensive players.

The third-year tight end was quick to note that Wilson didn’t have to earn anything from them; he already had it.

“That level of respect was already there,” Albert O noted. “He enforces it every day with the bar he sets and the level of expectation he has of us. ...It was already understood, and he comes in and enforces it and re-establishes that every day. I think we all respect that a lot.”

Meinerz reiterated something known about Wilson since he led the Seahawks to an 11-5 season his rookie year, turning it around from 7-9 the season before.

Wilson likes to obsess over details (much like another quarterback we all know).

“Russ is extremely detail oriented and you can sense that energy, which ups the intensity of the people around him,” Meinerz said. “I think that’s part of something that makes him special as a player. When he’s talking, we’re listening and we’re listening to every single detail because we’re all trying to be the best and that’s the goal here.”

So Meinerz and his fellow offensive linemen are obsessing over details too as they learn a new offensive scheme.

“This offense is definitely predicated more on running the ball, running off the ball, being a lot faster and really trying to make the defense play the entire field,” Meinerz said. “That’s the main goal of this entire thing. [We’re] trying to have all our plays look similar—but they’re all different—so the defense can’t cheat things.”

For his own part, No. 77 - famous last season for “letting his belly breathe” - took off 10 pounds to be more nimble and quick in the new scheme.

Having No. 3 back there probably added a little incentive.

“I kind of had a sense that this offense was going to be predicated on speed and I wasn’t happy with some of the positions I was in last year with some of the things that I was doing wrong,” he said. “I’m trying to stay around 320 or a couple of pounds under. That’s where I’m feeling the best right now.”

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