It's now being reported that Chris Clemons officially has a torn ACL. This ends his season and puts his status in doubt for the beginning of next year (though he tweeted that he'll be ready for next year this afternoon). Bruce Irvin becomes the next man up, and should start in Clemons' spot going forward. I thought that Irvin looked really good, actually, after Clemons went out last night (and before), and will now have a chance to play every down for the Seahawks, who have little depth at the position.
Irvin should provide some pass rush and I anticipate that he'll be disruptive -- his 'speed to power,' as you'll hear scouts talk about, shows up at the snap when he takes a step or two toward a tackle, engages with a strong stiff arm to the chest or shoulder, and pushes his opponent back into the pocket. He doesn't get a ton of sacks with this move, but the constricted pocket and pressure it puts on the quarterback is what you're looking for. I'm hoping to see him achieve a little more consistency with this, plus develop some auxiliary moves to work off of that speciality. He'll occasionally time the snap well enough to provide a threat off the edge, but tackles have just been pushing him back deep into the backfield as he gets a step, allowing the quarterback to step up into what's often been too stagnant of an interior.
I get the impression that Seattle will use Bruce a little differently than they would Chris, trying to run him underneath stunts perhaps a little more often in passing downs, and holding him off a little more conservatively in rushing downs. So far this season, of Bruce Irvin's 486 total snaps, only 108 came against the run. He'll need to prove he can play the run successfully - so that's the main thing to watch. I actually like his technique, for the most part, against the run. He's maybe not as stout as Clemons, or dynamic of a tackler (Clemons has snakes for arms, and uses them to whip away blockers or grab ballcarriers), but Irvin uses his hands enough to first engage blockers with a strong grip, then use his leverage/balance to get off of blocks. You can kind of tell that he played as a 5-technique in a 3-3-5 stack in college just in his natural four-point stance and in the angles he takes as offensive linemen flow in run blocking. I'm not going to say that Irvin will be an upgrade over Clemons in this department, but I'm willing to give him a shot before I call him a real liability.
Pete Carroll said that the Seahawks will make any moves that they settle on prior to Wednesday, and he noted that John Schneider was on the phone before they left Washington, inquiring about, I presume, free agent defensive ends still out there. Some names that come to mind are of course, Ray Edwards, who tried out for Seattle recently, and Cordarro Law (with the team in training camp), Pierre Allen, or perhaps even Aaron Maybin, who was with the Jets last season.
Edwards seems the most likely, but none of these options will be for anything but depth at the position. Greg Scruggs will likely get some snaps at defensive end, along with Red Bryant, and I imagine there will be a rotation of sorts between Alan Branch, Clint McDonald, and Red Bryant at DE and 3-tech, in order to get guys rest throughout the game. Pete Carroll also said during his afternoon presser that OLBs Mike Morgan and K.J. Wright can play the LEO position as well, if need be - and he stressed Morgan as a guy that could 'step out on the edge and help us there."
This kind of versatility is no mistake, and one of the biggest traits that this front office and pro personnel department looks for in prospects is an ability to play multiple positions.
On the coaching staff front, Seahawks' Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell will interview with the Bears for their vacant Head Coach position. Word out of Philly is that Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley will interview for the Eagles Head Coach vacancy as well. If Kenny Powers owned the Seahawks, he might say something like "Everyone wants a piece of my shit."