The Seattle Seahawks officially announced the signing of defensive end Cliff Avril to a multi-year deal this afternoon.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider talked to reporters about the deal, and what role Avril will play defensively
Both Carroll and Schneider raved about Avril’s versatility as an edge rusher, and also said that Seattle’s new defensive end has the ability to drop in coverage from his playing days at Purdue.
Schneider remarked that what makes Avril unique is his ability to rush from the left side of the defense, and also his ability to work his way back to the quarterback after a speed rush.
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Here’s what Carroll had to say when I asked him how Avril’s arrival affects Chris Clemons coming off of ACL knee surgery.
“He’s making a great recovery,” Carroll said about Clemons. “We’re definitely not going to rush Chris in any way. We want to bring him back and not play him until he’s perfectly healthy and ready to go. (The Avril deal) doesn’t affect him at all. Chris is a premier player for us, and we expect him to come roaring back. And we just want to make sure that the urgency isn’t such that we rush is rehab. And so that’s a top priority for us.
“But he feels that he has a chance to make it back at the start of the year. We’ll find out. And we’ll keep our fingers crossed on that.”
Carroll said that the team will use all three edge rusher in Avril, Clemons and Bruce Irvin on third down and in different sub packages.
“We’re going to mix the play of these guys to keep them fresh and keep them strong,” Carroll said. “And really keep the tempo of our past rush at a peak – that’s really important to us.”