Bruce Irvin: Patty Cake Champion.
Seattle Seahawks fans can't complain about too much this preseason. The team is undefeated, has two good quarterbacks and has been defensively routing opponents. Why focus on anything negative?
Because we're fans of a Seattle franchise, and something's not right about everything being right.
So amidst all the raving and ranting about Seattle's most dynamic rookie (I think his name is Ricky Wilson or something...), I'm going to beat against the mainstream and talk about one rookie who has had a particularly underwhelming preseason.
Without further ado, let's discuss.
Initially, I thought that I should write this article on Winston Guy, the safety from Kentucky who was picked in the fifth round of this year's draft. He was, after all, responsible for two blocked punts in Week 2. But after a couple great special teams tackles and decent pass-rush flashes (and frequent flexing of biceps), I've determined that Winston Guy has met what little expectations he had coming into the preseason.
Therefore, the one real letdown of this year so far is....
Drum roll please...
Bruce Irvin! Bet you couldn't tell that from the picture at the top of this article!
But in all seriousness, Irvin has been plagued with a case of the letdowns. Seattle's first-round pick has failed to register a single statistic through three preseason games. Now personally, I think the box score for the Seahawks-Titans game is incorrect and that Irvin was actually in on two tackles for loss, but for the sake of this article I'll go with what those statistic dudes say.
What has been the source of this lack of production? Quite simply, Irvin currently is a one-trick pony. He speed rushes off the edge, gets met by the linebacker and fails to disengage by using some sort of spin move or cut move. In essence, he is not versatile.
Now, my fellow fans, let us not get too discouraged (shoot, I couldn't stay away from being positive). Irvin was drafted as a project player. And no project is complete the moment it is started. Rather, the project must apply its incredible athleticism in the proper ways, such as mixing up pass-rush moves, lining up from different technique positions,and saying mean things about the opposing player's mother.
Also, I shouldn't say that this short three-week preseason stint hasn't seen Irvin improve a bit. He actually pulled off a couple spin moves against the Chiefs and got this close to Matt Cassel on multiple occasions. He's learning. Bruce may have been the biggest rookie disappointment thus far, but that doesn't mean that he's an automatic seasonal bust.
Luckily, Irvin's issues are technique-based. In other words, his issues are things that can be coached out of him. Things that can't be coached, like strength, speed and learning ability (not kidding), are already there.
And let us not forget, Irvin is only one pick of this draft class. Other picks have panned out extremely well, including seventh-rounders like Greg Scruggs and J.R. Sweezy.
One last thing that's important to note: Irvin was initially supposed to only play in the nickel package, on passing downs. In the preseason, he's been featured extensively in the regular, base defense, in place of Red Bryant. That ought to be reassuring to fans, since it likely indicates that Irvin is showing the coaches something that we fans have yet to see. And if Pete Carroll and John Schneider have faith in a player, then I have faith in that player.
Anyway, there's my pick for the least impressive Seahawks rookie. If you disagree or have another choice, I'd love to know! Thanks for reading.