Wednesday in Hawkville: Irvin defensive rookie of the year?

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 29:

FOCUS ON

Bruce Irvin. The Seahawks’ first-round draft choice has yet to register a tackle, let alone a sack, in the team’s first three preseason games.

But Sports Illustrated’s Peter King sees big things for Irvin once the regular season starts: Defensive rookie of the year. In his Awards Predictions for the 2012 season, King writes, “Attention in Seattle is laser-focused on the first-round rookie, who’ll sneak through O-lines for 14 sacks.”

On the practice field, Irvin looks like a player with that kind of potential. In the games, however, he has yet to flash as brightly.

“Out here, he plays very carefree,” defensive line coach Todd Wash said after a practice this week. “He just plays. He gets into the game and he’s worrying about keeping contain and whatever else he might need to do.

“He knows how to play; we just need him to cut loose.”

Irvin’s role will change after Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field. During the preseason, he has played in the No. 1 nickel – opposite sack leader Chris Clemons – and also for Clemons on the No. 2 line. During the regular season, he primarily will be counted on to supple pressure off the edge in the nickel and also used to spell Clemons.

“Bruce is frustrated with how hard it is to get sacks,” coach Pete Carroll said after today’s walkthrough, which was held in the indoor practice facility. “But just these last two days, in particular, he’s just looked terrific in practice.”

Carroll said Irvin was close to getting four sacks against the Chiefs on Friday night, and that he graded out as the most active of the D-linemen during training camp.

“He’s playing exactly like we hoped,” Carroll said. “He’s just getting better weekly.”

POSITION WATCH

Right guard. Rookie J.R. Sweezy will start against the Raiders for the third consecutive game, but incumbent starter John Moffitt will play for the first time since a surgical procedure to remove particles from his left elbow.

Carroll had said that Moffitt would remain the starter, but altered that assessment today.

“We’re just going one game at a time there, but J.R. has handled it very well,” Carroll said. “John is just getting back into it, so we need to see what John’s doing. So there’s a lot to be evaluated there. But we’re comfortable with the way Sweez is going right now. If that’s the way it is, then he would be starting. Maybe.”

ROOKIE WATCH

Winston Guy. He was drafted in the sixth round with the idea of having him fill the third safety spot in the Bandit package that Lawyer Milloy played two years ago and Atari Bigby stepped into last season. So far, better than good.

“I really like this guy,” Carroll said of Guy. “He’s a very natural football player. In his days at Kentucky, they moved him around quite a bit and we were able to see him do things like what we do in this package.

“There are so many things that that guy has to deal with and he almost has to have a real natural sense, because you can’t coach everything because of all the floating and moving around that he’s asked to do. Well, Winston gets it. He just gets it. He’s a hitter. He plays the ball well. He’s really fast. He’s 216 pounds – big kid. And he’s got a real knack for rushing the passer. He looks like a pass-rusher when he’s coming.”

Carroll labeled the selection of Guy as a “fantastic draft pick,” and added that he could be on the field in Arizona for the first third-down situation against the Cardinals on Sept. 9.

“That’s an amazing accomplish for him,” Carroll said. “He’s got all the right stuff.”

IN ’N OUT

Tight end Cameron Morrah, defensive lineman Pep Levingston and linebacker Jameson Konz, who were waived/injured on Sunday, have been added to the team’s injured reserve list.

Several players will not play against the Raiders, including running back Marshawn Lynch (back), wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring), guard James Carpenter (knee), defensive linemen Jason Jones (knee) and Greg Scruggs (hamstring), linebacker Matt McCoy (knee) and defensive backs Chris Maragos (shoulder) and Walter Thurmond (leg).

Carroll on Lynch: “He took a real good turn this week. The rehab he’s been doing really has been effective. So we think he’s going to be fine (for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener).

Carroll also said that Carpenter, last year’s first-round draft choice, will play at some point this season. His situation had been in question because of the severity of the knee injury he got last November.

“Carp is doing marvelously,” Carroll said. “We were kind of concerned about him not making early progress in the recovery program. But he just kind of jumped about six weeks ago. … He’s not far away from looking like he could practice and play for us. But still it’s a crucial time for us and we have to make a big decision here on how we do this.”

The decision is whether to leave Carpenter on the physically-unable-to-perform list, meaning he would have to sit out at least the first six games; or carry him on the 53-man roster until he is ready to play.

Baldwin, Jones and Scruggs, along with Lynch, are expected to be ready for the opener against the Cardinals, Carroll said.

UP NEXT

The players will have position meetings on Thursday before leaving for CenturyLink Field and the finale against the Raiders. The Seahawks are 3-0, and the only other time they went undefeated during the preseason was in 2009.

The 75-man roster must be trimmed to 53 players on Friday.

The players will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, then practice on Monday before getting their normal in-season day off on Tuesday.

“It’s a really good weekend for the guys to get a rest,” Carroll said. “We’ll rest the heck out of them … really in an effort to get their legs back and make them strong for the weekend.”

YOU DON’T SAY

“This is big for our young guys. This is their biggest opportunity because they’ll get their most playing time in this game and it’s kind of a final test of camp and the offseason. I’m hoping, for their own good, that they really come through and put themselves in the best positions to make the club.” – Carroll, looking to Thursday night’s game with an eye on Friday’s roster cuts


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