John Schneider and Pete Carroll sat down with the press for about 11 minutes to talk the Bruce Irvin pick. Sports Radio KJR has the full audio available, as well as a Q&A with Bruce Irvin.
Talking about trading down and getting Irvin, Schneider notes "We didn't want to get too cute with this. Obviously we viewed him as the best pass rusher in the draft. Trying to add that to the team, add to team speed. There was a certain area we though we could get to, then we talked about trading back again, then we just decided to go ahead and lock it down."
On Irvin's background, Schneider notes "One of the primary things when you're looking at something like this is 'what has a guy had to overcome in his life?', talking about building character and toughness and that sort of thing. This guy's had a rough story, there's no doubt about it." Carroll adds "This is a young man that I knew about through recruiting, one of our guys we're fortunate enough to have the background. (...) We knew him since the time he went through Mount Sac junior college, we had a very close relationship through the recruiting process, he visited campus, so I've known this guy for a long time. I know what he brings to a football team, the excitement that he generates, he's a fantastic football player, he's a great pass rusher. The speed that he brings is so unique, and so rare. (...) The fact that I've known him for so long, have background with the kid, know what he's been through as John mentioned, I feel like we have a guy that we have interest in in a lot of areas. This guy is going to be a great asset to the program. I love that we have a background with him, so we knew him all the way through, where maybe some other teams didn't, and didn't have the understanding of what the kid's all about, what he brings. We thought we had special information, we're very excited about this pick in a huge way."
On his role with the Seahawks, Carroll explains "He immediately is a third down guy. He's a guy who plays the Leo position, which we have a unique aspect in our defense, where Clem plays. This is a spot that calls for speed and an upfield type of pass rush that we covet. Clem has done a great job of it, he'll play with Clem at that position in normal situations. We already worked it out, we have opportunities to play them on opposite sides on early downs as well as on 3rd down. We'll expand well beyond what you've already heard about him only being a pass rusher, he does more than that. He chases the football, he's physical, he's got great effort. The intensity that he brings, the excitement that he brings, you want him on the field as much as you can get it."
On what separates him from the other DE prospects, Carroll talks about "He's got extraordinary speed, and tremendous flexibility, and great instincts, and a great motor. He has all of the things that make up a great pass rusher, he has length, he's 6'3 with long arms, incredibly getoff is something that we cherish playing here in our stadium. (...) This is the kind of guy that really puts the fear in the offensive tackles. They've got to get off with him because he's so fast. (...) This is a rare chance to get a guy like this, you just don't see many of them."
On Irvin playing some linebacker/coverage responsibility, Carroll : "In our scheme, he will drop some. He has not been a feature dropper, has not played linebacker...once they saw him rush in junior college, then saw him rush in college, they don't want him dropping him much. So he's a guy you want to rush. But in our scheme he does drop some. Let me give you an example, at SC we played with Clay Matthews at the exact same position. Clay was a primary rusher but he was a dropped as well at times, a situational dropper, and that's exactly the role we'll put him in here."
After this, the presser repeats itself a bit on Irvin's background and being an every-down player, before Carroll is asked about Irvin's weight and the possibility of bulking up, to which he replies "No, he's fine. 245-250 is just fine. That's exactly the makeup you're looking for. We want him to be really fast, so his fastest weight is the one we want."
Carroll talks some about being interested in Irvin before (his transfer to USC from junior college would have been too difficult, however), and how someone transferring from safety to pass rusher clicks for him because it implies a special athlete, before noting "Ever since I been in coaching, we've been looking for a guy like this. This is the fastest guy you could hope to get to play this position. Every coach in the league knows that, and everybody wants a guy like this. John put it together just right with our staff, and the way we orchestrated it, it came out beautifully and we're thrilled about it."
Schneider and Carroll both talk about the incident right after Irvin's pro day, with Schneider sounding pretty dismissive, noting they feel very comfortable with it. Talking about his get-off, John notes "He's rare. This guy comes off the ball like Dwight Freeney and Von Miller and Jevon Kearse. It's like that." They both note he's ran a faster 40 than a 4.4. Carroll calls him a "carbon copy" of Von Miller: "We almost could do an overlay from his college rushes. We didn't compare that directly, we went back to him back in college, because they're almost exactly the same size, same everything. What Von has done is he played more linebacker than our guy."
Asked to explain these comparisons more, Schneider answers "We were asked about what his get-off is like. That's what his get-off is like. Now the full compliment of a football player, he has to prove that." With Carroll adding "Check out Von Miller speed, check out Jevon Kearse speed, this is where he is, that realm of get-off. There's very few players who have come along like that." With John finishing with "What he does after he jumps off the ball is up to him." Carroll and Schneider both agree the Seahawks do value him highly because of the Leo spot, but Carroll also adds there's "not a coach in the league that didn't look at this kid and realize he's a unique, special talent".