Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has revealed his intention to convert defensive end Bruce Irvin into a strong-side linebacker in time for the start of the 2013 season.
The 26-year-old was Seattle's second-leading pass rusher with eight sacks as a rookie last season, and coach Carroll - along with general manager John Schneider - believe that the change of position will be a natural transition for the 2012 NFL Draft first-round pick.
Irvin will actually miss the start of the new campaign as he serves a four-game suspension, but after that ban is completed he is expected to compete with Malcolm Smith for the Seahawks starting job.
"He's extremely versatile, and that's why we've loved him from the start," Carroll is quoted saying by NFL.com. "He's really fast. He's 250 pounds, and he's exactly fitting the right kind of body type to play outside backer in the 3-4 system.
"We're a 4-3 personnel system that plays 3-4 looks. He's extremely valuable for us."
Carroll described Irvin as a "carbon copy" of the Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, and emphasised the importance of maintaining his side's strong defence, which was the best in the league in 2012/13.
The Seahawks also have plenty of depth up front, following the additions of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, adding to draft picks Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, which should make for an exciting NFL season.
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