After acquiring most of the top Defensive Ends in the free agency market, the Seattle Seahawks need to do something with the overload at the position, which wasn’t too bad for them to begin with. Solution? Turning, at least partially, some of them into outside linebackers in their 4-3 defense, specifically Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril, who’ll get some time at the position in 2013.
According to the Seahawks’ GM, John Schneider, it’s not a perfect fit at the moment for both players, but he thinks both Irvin, entering his second season after a very successful rookie year, and Avril, a five year veteran signed from the Detroit Lions, can do a good job in some snaps as linebackers.
Irvin can, athletically, absolutely. But really, as a pass rusher he needs to improve his game as well. And I’m sure he’d tell you the same thing. But athletically, there’s no question. When Cliff was in college, he played up and away; off the line of scrimmage. He moved around a little bit. Now, he was a heck of a rusher, too. But there’s no doubt that athletically both guys can do it.
Cliff has a little bit more experience playing on that side of the ball up close to the line of scrimmage, and out in space more than Bruce does. But I think that’s something the coaching staff continues to work through as they try and figure out how they are going to implement guys and accentuate their strengths.
Avril has recorded 29 sacks over the last three seasons for the Detroit Lions, playing as left defensive end. Irvin, a first round pick in the 2012 NFL draft recorded 8 sacks during his rookie campaign. The Seahawks are hoping to see a significant improvement in 2013 from being 20th in the NFL when it came to sacks, recording only 33 during the season.