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.