Pete Carroll on Percy Harvin’s hip, Bruce Irvin’s role

Aug 5, 2013, 11:55 AM | Updated: Aug 6, 2013, 12:15 pm
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By Brady Henderson

Percy Harvin’s hip injury and recovery timetable and Bruce Irvin’s role in Seattle’s defense were among the subjects discussed when Seahawks coach Pete Carroll joined “Brock and Danny” Monday morning.

The audio can be found here. Some notes are below.

Getting Harvin back. Without offering a specific date range for Percy Harvin’s recovery from hip surgery, Carroll suggested the team will try to get the wide receiver back on the earlier end of whatever timetable they’re looking at.

“We’re gonna look at the timeframes and when they say whatever it is, if it’s three to four months or whatever, we’re gonna go to three, and if it’s something less than that we’re gonna go to the early part of it and hope that he can pull it off,” Carroll said. “He’ll get great support and backing to get this done and we’ll see how fast we can return him.”

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Percy Harvin is expected to begin the regular season on the PUP list after undergoing hip surgery last week. (AP)

Harvin is expected to miss a significant portion of the regular season after undergoing surgery last week to repair a hip injury that had been bothering him earlier in the offseason, which isn’t how either party envisioned Harvin’s first season in Seattle. Harvin’s injury history in Minnesota has led to speculation about whether his hip issue was a pre-existing condition when the Seahawks signed him to a six-year, $67 million contract in March, but Carroll said that isn’t the case.

“When he came in here he was OK. We checked him out thoroughly and all that. There was never any issue, never any thought brought up about hip issues,” he said.

The Seahawks’ depth at receiver puts them in good position to absorb the loss of Harvin in the short term. More concerning to some is what this could mean for the long-term relationship between the Seahawks and a player whose supposedly mercurial temperament led to more than one dispute with his former employer.

“We’re eye to eye,” Carroll said. “If they (the Vikings) weren’t, we are.”

Irvin’s adjustment. It’s still not clear exactly how the Seahawks plan to use Irvin. He’s been splitting time during training camp between the Leo defensive end spot he played last year and strong-side linebacker, two positions that are considered almost interchangeable in Seattle’s defense.

Irvin has never played linebacker, but Carroll is downplaying the adjustment. It not a position switch but rather an expanding role. And it’s not an indictment of Irvin as a pass rusher. After all, he led all rookies in sacks last year with eight. Instead, it’s a reflection of Irvin’s versatility and the depth the Seahawks will have at the position once he returns from his four-game suspension as well as their desire to get as many pass rushers on the field at once.

“It sounds like a bigger deal to you guys than it is to us because of the nature of the two positions. We brought him in here to be the Leo knowing that he might have a chance to expand his game from there,” Carroll said. “Right now we have good depth there at that position so it allows us to think more broadly, how can we utilize our guys and our talents and get the best guys on the field?

It’s a strategy Carroll employed at USC with linebackers Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews, who were also used as pass rushers in the Trojans’ defense.

“We moved those guys around exactly like we’re doing right now during the course of their careers to get both on the field to maximize what they’re doing – it’s what we’re doing now. So the experiment is successful in our minds at this point already,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time before he (Irvin) really understands all of the dynamics of the position. There’s a little more coverage-oriented stuff. He’s going to be a premier rusher in our defense; that hasn’t changed at all and that makeup hasn’t adjusted. We’re just expanding his role and trying to get the best guys on the field.”

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Pete Carroll on Percy Harvin’s hip, Bruce Irvin’s role