Seattle Seahawks: Analyzing Bruce Irvin’s Move To Linebacker

Bruce Irvin of the Seattle Seahawks has carved out a name for himself in his young football career on the defensive side of the ball.

He made quick work of becoming an playmaker during his two collegiate seasons at West Virginia with 23 sacks and five forced fumbles leading to being selected 15th overall  in the 2012 NFL Draft.

With one season now in the books, Irvin began a new chapter in his second NFL season this year when Seattle made the change for the former Mountaineer to switch from defensive end to the linebacker position.

The stats so far in his move to linebacker has seen tackles increase more than double, but sacks have taken a bit of hit with only two registered with only three games left in the regular season.

With his solid play to this point in the season, the experience and instincts Irvin picked in his high school football playing days in Georgia has most certainly helped his move to the linebacker position.

The past play as defensive back will have the most bearing today with the ability to recognize and disrupt routes ran by receivers and running back forcing their way up the field.

As well as identifying receiver routes, Irvin would have an understanding of the timing needed to jump one of those routes and force an interception like he did against Kellen Clemons and the St Louis Rams this past October.

The best example for Irvin to possibly pattern his playing style after moving forward would be that of the future Pro Football Hall of Famer and Chicago Bears legend, Brian Urlacher.

Even though hard to compare the two linebackers at this time, Urlacher was also able to play different positions on offense and defense like Irvin during his time as a playmaker for Dennis Franchione and Rocky Long at the University of New Mexico.

The linebackers are nearly mirror images in terms of size and weight with Irvin getting the edge over his older counterpart in terms of speed off the ball.

With a stingy defense surrounding him for seasons to come in Seattle, Irvin could very well become the Seahawks’ franchise linebacker as Urlacher was for his 12 seasons in the Windy City.

This post can also be found at WVUPros.com, where we strive to bring the latest and most up-to-date news about your favorite former Mountaineers and a mix of current West Virginia University athletics.

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