DavidSeven wrote:I don't think the move has as much to do with Bruce's strengths and weaknesses as it does our increased depth on defense. Last year, we were thin at DE. This year, we've loaded up with the additions of Avril and Bennett. Bruce has too much unique talent to keep him off the field, so Pete's going to find a way to get these guys looks. Theoretically, with Bruce at OLB, we could have a package that features Clemons, Avril, Bennett and Bruce on the field at the same time. Can you imagine being an opposing QB or O-lineman in that situation? Also, OP's quote points out that he'll still get looks at the DE position in obvious passing situations, so he still retains his role from his rookie season. Looks like we're training him to be an even more versatile weapon on D.
This was my thought on this as well. With Clemons out and Irvin facing suspension, we'll still be looking pretty good for pass rush. When Clemons comes back and Irvin is off of suspension, it would be a struggle to get all of these guys on the DLine at the same time. I don't see Irvin getting much needed experience competing with Avril and Bennett, who are not only more refined pass rushers and run stoppers, but they have more experience.
As for the size thing, I don't buy it. Irvin wasn't that much smaller than Clemons, and he actually has a larger frame. Look at the pictures from the OTA's; Irvin looks about 25-30% bigger than Clem when both are standing together, so he's gained significant weight this offseason.
As for coverage, the word was that Irvin played Safety in High school. If he was half way decent, that should give him the coverage skills he needs to survive at LB.