Aaron Curry is about to get an unexpected breather from the Seahawks.

He's had so many life changes since April, he probably could use it.

The dynamic outside linebacker turned 23. He became the fourth overall draft choice. He got married and became a father.

He sat out the first eight days of training camp, then signed for $34 million guaranteed _ the largest assured cash for a non-quarterback in NFL history. He used some of that to buy a new home in the Seattle area.

Curry was handed the starting job the first day he arrived in camp. He made a splash in his first real game on Sept. 13, flying all over the field while infuriating the St. Louis Rams with trash-talking and hits at and after the whistle. He got fined by the league repeatedly in September and October for being overly aggressive.

Then, in the words of Seahawks coach Jim Mora, he hit the proverbial rookie wall.

No wonder. Curry had so much else going on he probably didn't see it coming.

"It's really just very natural that rookies, at a certain point in the year (get tired)," Mora said, emphasizing the team isn't disappointed in Curry, only trying to help him as he plays his most games ever in one season.

"He's played 14 games. A lot of change in this young man's life over the last six months. ... Sometimes that builds up on a young man. So we're just going to try to help him get to the next level."

Curry has just five tackles in his last two games despite playing almost every defensive down. He has just two sacks in 10 games, none since Oct. 11.

He admits playing on every down, defending the run, taking on bigger and far more experienced offensive tackles, dropping into pass coverage and being asked to blitz the quarterback have all been wearing him down.

"I struggled with some fatigue a few games back," Curry said.

Mora denied Curry had too much responsibility too soon. Yet he and rookie defensive coordinator Gus Bradley are scaling back on Curry's workload. Mora said Curry will now play less on third downs, cutting out some of his pass coverage and blitz responsibilities.

"I wouldn't necessarily say (my head) was swimming, but I got to the point I was doing too much overanalyzing," Curry said.

As for the aggressiveness that has sometimes had him out of position, and out some cash, Curry calls it being "too eager to make big plays."

Mora says Curry won't completely disappear on third downs. But the Seahawks want him to focus on getting better on first and second down in the base defense, to solidify a foundation for what they feel is a long, stellar career ahead.

"What we want to do is give him the best chance to have success, not only this year but in his career," Mora said. "We're not going to limit him or hold him back from anything that he shows us that he can do, but there is a learning curve that all these rookies go through. We're just going to make sure that we do it the right way with this guy, so that he can have success.

"We're trying to get him to the next level."

As for all those tests that made this college guy at Wake Forest a man in six whirlwind months, Curry thinks he aced those.

"I thought I did a good job not letting anything outside football distract me. It's always hard to get fans to understand all we go through as players _ and not just the rookies," he said, describing the film study, the meetings, the practices, the physicality of the sport.

"Sometimes, it's all right that a guy has ups and downs."