Irvin defensive rookie of the year?

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.”

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