With linebacker Bruce Irvin leaving the Seahawks for the Raiders, second-year defensive end Frank Clark has an opportunity to fill the void in the team’s pass rush. But Clark won’t be doing that by becoming a linebacker.
“I’m a pass rusher,” Clark told reporters on Thursday in response to the question of whether he’ll be dropping into coverage this season. “I love rushing that passer, I love being on the edge, having my hand in the dirt. [The possibility of playing] linebacker didn’t come to me one time during the offseason. I always knew what I was coming in to do. I know there were a lot of rumors – the linebacker rumors and things like that. I wasn’t quoted as saying I was going to play it and neither were my coaches.”
Clark may love being on the edge, but he also spent some time rushing from the inside last year, and he presumably will do it again this year.
“It was fun,” Clark said. “I never got the chance to do that really, even in college, I was always an edge rusher. For the first time, when I came in as an edge rusher and was told, ‘You’re going to rush out of the three-[technique], you’re going to rush out of the nose,’ it’s like, whoa, that’s where the big guys are supposed to be, you know what I mean. It was fun though. It turned out to be fun. I took a lot of advice from Michael Bennett, a guy on our team, he knows every position on the defensive line, arguably. I took a lot of advice and I took it in. He taught me the ins and outs of rushing inside and I took that to rushing on the outside as well.”
Regardless of where Clark lines up, he sees a “big opportunity” with Irvin leaving, and that Clark will have a “bigger role” in 2016. In preparation for that, he’s gotten smaller, losing 15-20 pounds in the offseason and checking in at 260 as his second season approaches.