The Seahawks planned on bringing Jordyn Brooks along slowly. The goal was to let him dip a toe in the pool before throwing him into the deep end. That plan has been evident through two games where Brooks played a combined 15 snaps.
Seattle will now have to expedite that plan a bit with Bruce Irvin out for the season with a torn ACL. Pete Carroll confirmed that Brooks will make his first-career start in Week 3 against the Cowboys.
"This is an opportunity for Jordyn Brooks to start," Carroll said Wednesday. "We'll let you see how that works out, but he's going to take the opportunity to step up and be part of the three linebacker situation."
Seattle's head coach was vague as to where Brooks will play. He could play SAM and replace Irvin. However, Brooks has been trained at WILL linebacker, which means the Seahawks may play him there and shift K.J. Wright to SAM.
What's most important, according to Carroll, is that Brooks’ brief playing time indicates that the first-round pick is ready to have his number called.
“The takeaway is that he’s ready to play,” Carroll said. “He’s going to have to struggle through some first-time player type of things that will happen to him, but he’s so well-equipped. He’s so fast. He’s really smart. He’s natural.”
Brooks has the unfortunate disadvantage of being compared to Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen. That’s because Seattle opted to select Brooks over Queen with the 27th pick in this year’s draft. Queen is a full-time starter and already has 17 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble through two games.
But Carroll was adamant that Brooks is more than capable of being a big-time contributor, and the rookie will have the chance to prove his coach right on Sunday.
“I’m really excited about him,” the coach said. “I can’t wait for you guys to see how mobile he is – his instincts and his willingness to go for it. He’s really aggressive. He hits like a ton of bricks, too. He’s a really good ballplayer, we’re just trying to bring him along.”
There will surely be bumps in the road for Brooks, just like there are for any young player, but if his football instincts and ability are what the Seahawks expect them to be, he should have no problem. Everyone will be eager to see how his speed and physicality translates to play-making ability against the Cowboys.
“It’s just football stuff that can happen in formations and shifts and calls that we make that restrict any young guy," Carroll said. "But he is not having a problem. He is not having any issues learning. He is not held back, it’s just things that happen for the first time, you might get a first-time response.”