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Seahawks want to use Irvin at linebacker

Bruce Irvin AP

The Seahawks were hoping to expand Bruce Irvin’s role this year.

But when he does get around to playing a maximum of 12 games (after being suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances), he’ll be doing so with a different position.

According to Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Seahawks want to use Irvin as an outside linebacker, and will have him competing for a starting job with Malcolm Smith.

“He’s extremely versatile, and that’s why we’ve loved him from the start,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s really fast. He’s 250 pounds, and he’s exactly fitting the right kind of body type to play outside backer in the 3-4 system.

“We’re a 4-3 personnel system that plays 3-4 looks. He’s extremely valuable for us.”

Irvin played well as a spot-duty rookie, recording 8.0 sacks as a pass-rushing defensive end.

The Seahawks brought in some veteran pass-rush help with Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett this year and hope to have Chris Clemons well by the start of the regular season after his playoff ACL tear.

With those additions, allowing Irvin to expand his role makes sense. There are reasonable physical comparisons to be made with Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, and Irvin has shown in limited work that he can make an impact on third downs.

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20 Responses to “Seahawks want to use Irvin at linebacker”
  1. gloryfromheaven says: Jul 10, 2013 11:08 AM

    There’s not to many players that can do it all from the 4-3 OLB position other than Von Miller. Irvin has all the tools to be an all around 4-3 OLB, but he’ll definitely be tested by other teams in terms of covering. As athletic as he is I’m sure he’ll do fine….

  2. 4daytheory says: Jul 10, 2013 11:14 AM

    I’m sure the Hawks (and fans) are hoping that he’s available for more than 12 games next season. A 12 game maximum sounds like no faith in a post-season appearance.

    Excite!

    I wonder if this is more about getting the 11 best players on the field, than it is about scheme fits.

  3. nyfcat says: Jul 10, 2013 11:21 AM

    Makes sense. His skill-set and body-type are similar to Von Miller. He’ll play OLB in 1st and 2nd down, slide down to DE on 3rd down, and rush the passer as an OLB in some 3-4 looks too.

  4. chawkup says: Jul 10, 2013 11:26 AM

    Even as a Seahawks homer, I don’t think Irvin can be compared to Von Miller in any sense. Until I see Irvin become something other than a complete liability in the run game, I see him as a situational pass rusher only. I hope he changes my opinion this year.

  5. themackstrong says: Jul 10, 2013 11:31 AM

    I would like to see Bruce more on the field but I don’t see him as 4-3 outside linebacker. Seattle’s defensive scheme is really a hybrid, it has some 3-4 elements so I can see him rushing the passer and hopefully improving against the run but against the pass?? I’m sure one of our young guys we have been developing behind Leroy Hill Smith, Morgan or Bradford can step up to play with KJ & Bobby.

  6. schmitty2 says: Jul 10, 2013 11:37 AM

    I would leave him where he is and is effective. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

  7. seatownballers says: Jul 10, 2013 12:23 PM

    Pete is all about youth and speed. This was a predictable move. Especially with Avril and Bennett joining the team

  8. jdubb84 says: Jul 10, 2013 12:24 PM

    I’ve said this all along!!!!!

  9. jprcox says: Jul 10, 2013 12:40 PM

    I don’t think anyone should take from this Irving will be a LB all downs. It only makes sense for Pete to adjust, since I think last year (especially Atlanta) knew when Irving was in the game and simply re-adjusted to cover his rush. Unless Irving learns to drop back in coverage a few snaps – his presence in the game will be obvious which side the rush is coming – and predictability is worse than anything else – including perhaps some bad coverage from Irving…though I think he will be fine.

    If he can’t expand his abilities it will be too easy for this year’s OLs to counter Irving’s pass rush. Also, Id like to see B.Wagner cut loose on the QB a few times to give an up-the-middle disruptive pass rush.

    This is somewhat a no-brainer.

  10. shayeezy says: Jul 10, 2013 12:42 PM

    malcolm smith competing for a starting job? yikes.

  11. 12thmanseattle says: Jul 10, 2013 12:53 PM

    Ive been wondering what we were up to at the linebacker position! It was confusing that we didnt attempt to draft or pick up one in free agency. With Kj Wright and Bobby Wagner being the only two legit starters I couldnt tell if they just saw Malcolm Smith coming in and being a starter or what

  12. osiris33 says: Jul 10, 2013 12:59 PM

    Irvin has a lot less football experience than Von Miller, but comparable athletic ability. He’ll do fine at OLB on 1-2nd downs and as a pass rusher on 3rd.

  13. swaggyy says: Jul 10, 2013 1:35 PM

    He’s not going to be a 4-3 OLB. Maybe on paper, but the look an everything he will do will be just like a 3-4 OLB. I expect him to excel in this role

  14. tobis81 says: Jul 10, 2013 1:39 PM

    Irvin will still be used at DE in nickel packages!!! Did any of you guys used to be on NFL. com in the Hawks war room??? Does anyone remember the clown who went by the name STR8JAZ? I would love for him to read this article where it says the Hawks run a base 4-3 defense, and incorporate some 3-4 looks. Which is what Carroll refers to as a “HYBRID”. Which is exactly what I said word for word. He could never seem to grasp it, probably because he doesn’t know the difference between the two fronts, LOL. Of course he is also the guy who talked bad about almost our entire 2012 draft class right after the draft. Poor little fella with no football IQ!!!

  15. steelerben says: Jul 10, 2013 4:10 PM

    A 34 outside linebacker and a 43 defensive end do basically the same job on passing downs. Irving pinning his ears back and getting after the QB is what he does. They won’t be running a ton of zone blitzes or anything like that which will force him into coverage.

  16. ezwriter69 says: Jul 10, 2013 4:57 PM

    Do the PEDHawks have enough guys who haven’t been suspended to field a squad the first four games? They’ve made the Roiders look like amateurs with all the doping…

  17. dumbhobby says: Jul 10, 2013 11:26 PM

    New one. Nice. Keep up the original thoughts.

  18. hawkstradamus says: Jul 11, 2013 2:39 AM

    This move could allow Bruce to be more effective against the run. As a 4-3 end we saw atl just run right at him, but if he moves back and gets a big body in front he could be a factor against the run as opposed the liability he was last year.

  19. japadacktle49 says: Jul 11, 2013 6:39 AM

    Hawk fans biggest group of tools in the League!!!

  20. bpeterson464 says: Jul 11, 2013 10:38 AM

    From what I understand the Seahawks are going to use a 5-2 look like the Broncos, and if Irvin (IT’S NOT IRVING, THERE’S NO G!) can play half as good as Miller that’d be amazing (seriously, imagine Vonn Miller on this team).

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