There are the constants in this country: Death, Taxes, and the Seahawks having players change positions. This time, it appears to be 2013 draft pick Cassius Marsh, who appears to be moving from defensive end to linebacker.
Marsh played defensive end in college, and was drafted to play that spot in the NFL. He played defensive end last season, and did well in limited snaps until an injury ended his season.
At the team’s minicamp earlier this week, Marsh played at the SAM linebacker spot with the second team defense. That’s new, and not something the teams has had him do before. Pete Carroll addressed the move in his press conference after the team’s minicamp practice (transcribed by Brady Henderson of MyNorwest.com):
"if you looked today real carefully you could see that Cassius is playing some outside ‘backer spot for us. He’s in that same makeup – 250 pounds, he runs well, he’s got good length to him and all, that he can be a SAM ‘backer, as well as a LEO."
If this move sounds familiar, it is because Bruce Irvin made the same move before the 2013 season. Irvin was drafted to be pass rusher, but his rookie season showed that he lacked the strength to become an every-down player along the line. The Seahawks moved him to SAM and he’s become an extremely important piece of the defense.
Irvin is also entering the last year of his contract. The Seahawks declined the fifth-year option on his contract and appear to be set to let him walk in free agency. It now appears that the Seahawks have a plan in place to replace Irvin once he’s gone. Pete Carroll even hinted to that:
"That’s just for flexibility for the future and trying to see how well he adapts to that and this was really his first day of working at it, he’s been studying it for some time, but did a nice job today. He’s got a learning curve, but he did a nice job today."
Flexibility for the future? Most likely to become the starter at SAM in 2016.
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