There have been some rumors in the past stating that the Seattle Seahawks have been contemplating moving their second-year defensive end Bruce Irvin to the strong-side linebacker position, and it looks like those rumors have become a reality.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll announced that Irvin will make the transition from defensive end to strong-side linebacker, and he will compete with Malcolm Smith for the starting job. Smith will likely start at the position for the first four weeks of the season while Irvin serves his four-game suspension stemming from a failed PED test, but Irvin will likely take over the job in Week 5.
Irvin’s combination of speed and strength make this seem like a great move for the Seahawks. While he did have eight sacks last year, he struggled against bigger offensive linemen who were able to prevent him from effectively utilizing his speed, so a move to linebacker makes the most sense for him. It’s also a smart move since the Seahawks bolstered their defensive line in the offseason through free agency and the draft, adding players like Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams. This move will free up more playing time for all of these players and will also fill the team’s need for a third starting linebacker.
When he was drafted, Irvin drew comparisons to linebacker Von Miller of the Denver Broncos. If these comparisons are at all valid, this could prove to be a great change that could help the Seahawks to improve their already stellar defense.
Follow Connor Hutyler on Twitter @ConnorHutyler.