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Seahawks Irvin adjusts to new position

  • Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin (center) stands with linebacker Allen Bradford (left) and defensive tackle Jaye Howard during a practice earlier this ...

    Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

    Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin (center) stands with linebacker Allen Bradford (left) and defensive tackle Jaye Howard during a practice earlier this month.

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By Eric D. Williams
The News Tribune
Published:
  • Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin (center) stands with linebacker Allen Bradford (left) and defensive tackle Jaye Howard during a practice earlier this ...

    Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

    Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin (center) stands with linebacker Allen Bradford (left) and defensive tackle Jaye Howard during a practice earlier this month.

SEATTLE -- Hobbled for most of training camp, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin used the art of persuasion to get on the field against Green Bay on Friday.
Irvin had been out since Aug. 4 with a lingering hamstring issue, but returned to practice this week. And after a good workout with the team's training staff before the game, the West Virginia product sought out head coach Pete Carroll.
"Me being a football player, I just want to play," Irvin said. "I wasn't even supposed to play today (Friday), but I talked to Pistol Pete (Carroll) and he pulled some strings and got me in there. So I was appreciative of my few reps, and I'm looking forward to next week."
Irvin played a handful of snaps at his new position, outside linebacker, including a 5-yard tackle for a loss, slicing through Green Bay's offensive line to bring down DuJuan Harris.
"He got a couple shots," Carroll said about Irvin. "So that was great. We just wanted to get him on the practice field. The pre-game warmup was as important as anything, that he would get those reps.
"He had seven plays, I think it was. We were shooting for 10, and we just said, 'That's enough.' We just wanted to get a look at him so he could come back, have something on film and get ready for next week's game. And we'll play him a ton next week."
A lot of talk during training camp centered on Irvin's transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Irvin led all rookies in sacks last year with eight as a part-time player. But the move to outside linebacker offers a chance for Irvin to earn more time as an every-down player, similar to Denver's Von Miller.
"It's almost the same thing," Irvin said. "They try to keep me on the ball as much as possible. Pretty much the difference is covering receivers, re-routing receivers and covering backs out of the backfield.
"I think I'm pretty athletic. I think I can cover a back or a tight end. So I've got this game next week (against Oakland). And then I've got to sit out these four games. But hopefully when I come back I can compete, and get a chance to play."
Irvin said the position change is different, but has been made easier by the fact that he played safety during the early stages of his college career at Mt. San Antonio Junior College.
"It helps me a lot, especially with understanding coverages," he said. "It just refreshes your memory. It isn't as difficult as safety, but it's more responsibility than defensive end. So I'm looking forward to the challenge, and hopefully I'll have a great year."
Irvin also understands the start of his four-game suspension for violating the league's policy for performance enhancing drugs looms.
Irvin's suspension was announced in March. Irvin cannot attend games or visit the team's facility during the first four weeks of the regular season while he serves the suspension. The Seahawks likely will place Irvin on the suspended list, which means he will not count against Seattle's 53-man roster until he's activated after serving his suspension.
Irvin reportedly tested positive for an amphetamine-type substance similar to Adderall.
"It's tough," Irvin said. "It's a learning experience, but it could be worse. That's how I look at it. There's people out here with way worse situations than me. Hopefully, the four games go by fast.
"It's going to kill me watching these guys, but I'm just going to work my tail off, so when I get back I can do my part and contribute."
Extra points
Running back Christine Michael leads the league in rushing during preseason play with 186 yards on 27 carries, including a 43-yard touchdown run. Michael averages a healthy 6.9 yards per carry. ... Receiver Stephen Williams leads the NFL in receiving yards, with six receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Williams averages 31 yards per reception. ... Safety Kam Chancellor is third in the league in tackles with 16. ... The Seahawks had Sunday off, but resume practice today. The deadline for the team to cut down from a 90-man roster to 75 players is 1 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, two days before the team's final preseason game against Oakland at CenturyLink Field.
Story tags » Seahawks

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