Frank Clark to Stick At Defensive End
By Jacob Sosler
Despite rumors to the contrary, Frank Clark will not be moving to linebacker. He remains entirely a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks.
After Bruce Irvin departed for the Raiders this offseason, it was expected that talented sophomore Frank Clark would fill the void at Irvin’s SAM linebacker spot. However, recent comments from Clark himself appear to dispel this notion:
“I’m a pass rusher,” Clark told reporters on Thursday. “I love rushing that passer, I love being on the edge, having my hand in the dirt. “The possibility of playing linebacker didn’t come to me one time during the offseason. I always knew what I was coming in to do. I know there were a lot of rumors – the linebacker rumors and things like that. I wasn’t quoted as saying I was going to play it and neither were my coaches.”
Clark also loved his role as an interior pass rusher last season. He looks to continue in that role next season:
“It was fun,” Clark said. “I never got the chance to do that really, even in college, I was always an edge rusher. For the first time, when I came in as an edge rusher and was told, ‘You’re going to rush out of the three-[technique], you’re going to rush out of the nose,’ it’s like, whoa, that’s where the big guys are supposed to be, you know what I mean. It was fun though. It turned out to be fun.”
Clark flashed immense potential last season. The second-round draft pick had three sacks, two pass deflections, and a forced fumble as a rotational pass rusher last season. Clark was recently listed by ESPN.com as one of 10 NFL Sophomores Primed To Break Out next season.
Despite thriving in a rotational role last season, Clark dropped 15 pounds this offseason. Because of this, many expected that the uber-athletic Clark would seamlessly transition into Irvin’s every down role as a coverage linebacker on 1st and 2nd down and an edge rusher on third down. Now, it appears Clark will stay at defensive end, spelling Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.
Next: Kevin Pierre-Louis leading the competition at SAM linebacker
Our own Keith Myers wrote a fantastic piece about Clark’s outlook for next season. Many, including myself, believe that with an expanded role and a year of experience under his belt, Clark will turn into a core piece of Seattle’s defense. An extra year of continuity will only help Clark next season. With this news, it appears that a combination of Kevin Pierre-Louis, Cassius Marsh, Mike Morgan and Eric Pinkins will be expected to step up to help fill Irvin’s shoes in 2016.