Cassius Marsh is getting a shot at outside linebacker this offseason. Marsh, a second-year player, has been a defensive end, but coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks want to test Marsh’s versatility at outside linebacker.

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RENTON — Cassius Marsh is getting a shot at outside linebacker this offseason.

Marsh, a second-year player, has been a defensive end, but coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks want to test Marsh’s versatility at outside linebacker.

Carroll said it was similar to what the Seahawks did to Bruce Irvin two years ago, when Irvin moved from defensive end to outside linebacker. He still plays both positions depending on the situation. Marsh fits a similar mold; he is 6 foot 4, 254 pounds, an inch taller and a few pounds heavier than Irvin.

The Seahawks value flexibility as much as anything, particularly from backups and role players.

In his rookie season last year, Marsh played traditional defensive end and also slid inside as a pass-rushing defensive tackle, similar to Michael Bennett.

“That’s just for flexibility for the future to see how well he adapts to that,” Carroll said.

Williams ‘free to come back’

Carroll said defensive tackle Jesse Williams is “free to come back” and play and the “process now is to get him back in shape.”

Williams had kidney surgery last month after being diagnosed with Papillary Type 2 cancer. Williams had previously tweeted that the surgery was successful.

“The doctors have said that it’s safe for him to come back and play football,” Carroll said.

Williams, a fifth-round pick in 2013, hasn’t played in a game during either of his first two seasons because of various injuries.

Jackson makes seamless transition

Tarvaris Jackson practiced Thursday after signing a one-year contract earlier this month.

Jackson, 32, has been Russell Wilson’s backup each of the last two seasons and jumped right back into the Seahawks’ offense. Jackson, a native of Montgomery, Ala., led the Seahawks to a practice-winning drive in which he threw a touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham.

“He was the MVP straight from Montgomery, Alabama,” Carroll said jokingly. “He is a steadying force for us.”

More than anything, that point illustrates one of the reasons the Seahawks wanted to bring Jackson back: He is so familiar with the offense that he doesn’t need to get up to speed.

Pinkins making improvements

Eric Pinkins, a sixth-round draft pick in 2014, moved from defensive back to outside linebacker to take advantage of his speed and added weight this offseason.

Carroll said the move has been a success so far. On Thursday, Pinkins flew from the middle of the field and nearly picked off a Tarvaris Jackson pass thrown toward the sideline.

“Probably the most improved guy on the football field would be Pink from where he started,” Carroll said. “So we’ll see what happens when we go to camp. You can’t find a guy much faster than that at outside backer in the league. We’ll see how he does.”

Notes

• RB Christine Michael sat out the second half of Thursday’s practice with a hamstring injury.

• Safety Earl Thomas is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and “should be ready and raring to go” for training camp, Carroll said.

• CB Jeremy Lane won’t be ready for training camp because of “complications” after having offseason arm and knee surgery.