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Bruce Irvin and a winning culture goes hand-in-hand

Bruce Irvin has found himself a part of many winning teams since coming to West Virginia. As his career is now flourishing in the NFL, it appears that Irvin finds himself winning wherever he goes.

In his first year with the Oakland Raiders, after coming from Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks, Irvin and the Raiders are delivering a dynamic defense. Looking at his situation, it appears that Irvin has given himself and his team the capability to win wherever he plays.

Irvin was a two-year starter for the Mountaineers after transferring from Mt. San Antonio Junior College where he was a JC Athletic Bureau first team All-American and was the all-California Region III player of the year. In just that short amount of time, the then defensive end made quite the name for himself, as well as a well-known lasting impression as one of West Virginia’s most beloved players of recent years. Irvin played in 22 games in the old gold and blue, compiling 23 sacks and 61 total tackles. Needless to say, Irvin was a force to be reckoned with during his time at West Virginia, and that force has carried on to the NFL.

Irvin is in his fifth season in the NFL and has made a great name for himself. While at Seattle, Irvin accounted for 87 total tackles over four seasons. He was a part of a dominant Seattle defense, getting a Super Bowl ring for the 2014 season.

When Irvin is on a defense and they are in a crucial down situation, Mountaineers fans have known for years to watch Bruce. He finds a way to get to the quarterback, get to the football and get the tackle. Irvin knows how to intuitively make a stop. Stopping the offense leads to Irvin’s own offense getting a chance at scoring, leading to Irvin’s team winning. This happens more often than not when Irvin is on your team. He finds a way to win.

Look at this current season. Irvin is becoming a key cog with the Raiders defense. After not getting a contract extension with the Seahawks, Irvin moved down the West Coast to Oakland where his strong performances continue.

Just this week, the combo of Irvin and fellow Mountaineer Karl Joseph wreaked havoc on the Houston Texans offense during Monday Night Football. Between the two of them, they are proving to be a force to be reckoned with. In just ten games this season, Irvin has racked up 28 tackles, three sacks and four forced fumbles (he leads the league in that category).

As he mixes a fierce pass rush with the ability to drop back in coverage, his on-field awareness continues to grow, as ESPN commentator John Gruden pointed out on Monday night, and that could be scary for opponents.

Bruce Irvin has made himself into one of the prominent and vocal leaders of the Raiders defense and continues to be an asset as the season has progressed. Wherever he has played, stemming back to his collegiate career, Irvin performs at a level with one specific goal in mind: winning the football game. Irvin has consistently shown his inherent desire to win and his ability to do whatever it takes to win.

As Irvin continues what will likely be a long and prosperous NFL career, it will be likely that his inherent winningness continues. Irvin has shown since his West Virginia days that wherever he plays he brings a winning demeanor.

From the height of his days in junior college the playing fields of the Big East to the Seahawks and now the Raiders, winning follows Bruce Irvin everywhere he goes. Is another Super Bowl title this season in the cards?

Bruce Irvin: The Greatest Mountaineer of All Time?

 

Now that I’ve elevated the blood pressure of Sam Huff and Pat White loyalists I should point out what exactly the headline to this article is suggesting. I am not suggesting that as it stands today Bruce Irvin is the greatest Mountaineer of all time.

What I am saying is there is an argument to be made that Irvin has the potential, when it is all said and done, to be at least in the discussion as an all time great.  Lets examine why Bruce Irvin possesses the ingredients for such lofty expectations.

While Irvin only played two years at WVU, they were two of the most productive seasons by a defensive end in the program’s history. Bruce transferred from Mt. San Antonio College in California to West Virginia prior to the 2010 season. Irvin gained points with Mountaineer faithful before playing a snap by choosing WVU over programs such as Tennessee and Arizona State. Irvin was billed as a premier pass rusher and fans had high hopes for the four star prospect. Once Irvin arrived on campus fans immediately took to Irvin as did Irvin to Morgantown. It really was a love at first sight situation. Once the 2010 season started Irvin lived up to his hype and recorded 14 sacks. Every sack was followed up by the now famous chant of “Bruuuuuce” raining down from the Mountaineer Field.

In 2011 Irvin had another stellar season en route to being named to the All Big East team and an SI.com Honorable Mention All-American. Irvin added another 8.5 sacks to his career total despite constantly being doubled and sometime triple teamed. Bruce Irvin was the player that fans, young and old, zoned in on to watch every down he was on the field. In year two what really became apparent is Bruce Irvin loved Morgantown, the state of West Virginia, and its people. During interviews, social media postings, and interactions with the crowd during games a special bond was established between Irvin and West Virginians that still exists to this day.

After completing his two standout seasons at WVU Irvin was selected as the 15th overall pick in the NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Throughout the draft process and his rookie year, despite moving on to the NFL, Irvin continued to mention his love of West Virginia and its fans. Irvin often compared WVU fan’s passion to those of Seattle’s 12th man fan base. Even though Irvin had moved to the NFL he proudly kept his twitter handle as @BIrvin_WVU11 .

Once in Seattle Irvin’s success continued. Irvin’s rookie season he had 8 sacks as a pass rushing specialist. Irvin would be a key part in what most would consider the NFL’s best defense from 2012 to 2014. In 2014 Irvin and the Seahawks would be crowned Super Bowl champions as Irvin’s string of accomplishments grew. This past offseason Irvin became a prized free agent and signed a four year 37 million dollar contract with the Oakland Raiders.

BRaQcr4CMAEFnr0Despite his success at the NFL level Irvin has maintained his ties to WVU and Morgantown. After signing his rookie contract with the Seahawks Irvin immediately made a $100,000 donation to the Mountaineer Athletic Club to be put towards the new weight room. As a result the Bruce Irvin Speed and Conditioning Zone was born.

At the time Bruce stated, ““It certainly helped me,” Irvin said of his two seasons at WVU. “I could have gone to any school in the country coming out of junior college, and I chose West Virginia because I felt like it was the perfect fit and it was. Not talking bad about my family, but playing for that state and that school … you’re family.

“It taught me a lot about loyalty and going into the draft, the only people who believed in me were West Virginians. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. I don’t even go back to Atlanta, when I come home I come to West Virginia and I consider that my home. Hopefully, one day when I’m done I wouldn’t mind settling there.”

Quotes like this is what really brings Irvin into the discussion as being one of the greatest Mountaineers to ever wear the uniform. Irvin has gone on to great success at the next level but still has such a deep passion and respect for the state of West Virginia. For West Virginians this is as an important quality as any. Bruce routinely returns to Morgantown for the spring game and during bye weeks.

I’ve personally observed Bruce Irvin in the Blue Lot before games talking with fans, laughing and having a great time.  And as always Irvin loves to take to Twitter to let his fans in West Virginia know exactly how he feels about them. Below are some recent Bruce Irvin quotes from his twitter account to prove my point.

 

Man I miss that Bruce chant! RT

— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) May 26, 2016

 

Should I get the flying wv at the bottom of my pool?

— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) March 3, 2016

 

Wish I could be in the coliseum tonight! I knomy dawg@CoachHuggs and the boys gonhold it down! I’m tuned in! #pressvirginia

— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) January 12, 2016

 

Love seeing all my wvufamily in az!

— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) January 2, 2016

 

Merry Christmas to my great people in West Virginia!

— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) December 25, 2015

 

Bruce Irvin came to West Virginia University and had an outstanding career which helped propel him into the NFL as a first round draft pick. Irvin became a Super Bowl champion and a member one of the NFL’s best defenses of the past two decades.

Bruce’s hard work enabled him to become a top-tier free-agent and sign with the Oakland Raiders in 2016. The table is set for Irvin to enter his prime and continue writing what has been an incredible story.

Despite all his success and accolades Irvin has always held a special place in his heart for the state and people of West Virginian. It is truly amazing for West Virginians when an athlete like Bruce Irvin is humble and appreciative enough to understand what makes West Virginia such a unique and special place.

Bruce Irvin might not finish his career with a resume like a Sam Huff and he probably has an uphill battle to be considered the greatest Mountaineer of all time but one title he might already locking down is the most BELOVED Mountaineer of all time.

WVUPros summer outlook: Mark Glowinski

We examine Seahawks’ guard Mark Glowinski and his emerging role for the team.

Last season, rookie Mark Glowinski shared the Seahawks bench with fellow Mountaineer Bruce Irvin. In Glowinksi’s second season in the NFL, Glowinski looks to grow into a more defined role with the team as the lone Mountaineer on the bench. Glowinski was a stand out guard during his time at West Virginia, and has the potential to make the same name for himself at Seattle.

Glowinksi had one start at left guard during his rookie season in the fall. Going into this summer, Glowinski now has the potential to take on the role of left guard in a more permanent manner, as J.R. Sweezy is no longer with the Seahawks. During the off-season, Glowinski has been spotted working out with fellow teammate and fellow lineman, Justin Britt. The two linemen have been working out together, and while it is still semi-unclear as to which of the teammates will get the role of starting left guard, the duo will be able to say they are both working hard to get ready for the fall’s season.

With Glowinski using his time during the off-season to make the most of his workouts, it is clear that the Seahawks linemen are making strides to again be one of the top offensive lines in the league. Glowinski’s single start during his rookie season last falls showed the promise and potential that Glowinski has for a long career in Seattle.

The Seahawks start OTAs this week, giving fans and coaches a first glimpse at the improvement made by Glowinski and his fellow linemen. Over the next few weeks, Glowinksi’s role on the Seahawks offensive line will likely be more carved out and defined as we look to the fall season.

 

WVUPros summer outlook: Bruce Irvin

One of Oakland’s newest off-season additions, Bruce Irvin, is going into the summer as easily one of the best pickups the Raiders got going into the NFL Draft (closing in on fellow Mountaineer Karl Joseph’s first round selection). Irvin had been a vital part of the Seahawks defense over the past several seasons, but Irvin and the Seattle staff could not reach contract terms leaving the outside linebacker to travel south down the west coast to Oakland.

Going into the summer, the Oakland Raiders are now seen to have a stacked defense for the 2016 season. Irvin brings a great amount of both talent and heart to the Raiders for the summer, as he has been increasingly vocal regarding not only his respect for his new team of brothers, but also the success of the Raiders draft picks at the end of April.

With Irvin joining the Raiders, he joins fellow defensive force Khalil Mack, and the two will arguably be a huge force to be reckoned with come September.

Irvin’s addition to the Raiders has the potential to bring the Raiders as a whole back into the talks of being a powerhouse of a team to go up against. Irvin has proven during his years with the Seahawks that he is a dynamic force going up against quarterbacks across the league.

Paired with Mack, Irvin essentially has the opportunity to slide into a new defense and create a name and a legacy with a defense whose potential for growth and domination will only increase as summer OTAs and preseason football looms right around the corner.

QUICK HIT: Bruce Irvin’s contract details with Oakland

We reported to you yesterday that Mountaineer, Bruce Irvin, would be leaving Seattle to sign with the Oakland Raiders. Today, we found out the numbers on his contract.

Per report, Irvin’s contract is shown to be a four-year deal worth $39 million dollars, with $12.5 million guaranteed in 2016 alone.

Irvin will be entering his fifth season in the NFL. He will join Khalil Mack with the Raiders to form a very formidable pass-rush duo.

For his career, Irvin has tallies of 132 tackles, 22 sacks, four interceptions with two touchdowns.

Bruce Irvin to sign with Raiders

One of the best pass-rushers on the market has found a home. Bruce Irvin has agreed to a deal with the Oakland Raiders after spending his first four seasons in Seattle.

Irvin had an outstanding run in Seattle, winning two NFC Championships, including Super Bowl XLVIII. He became one of Seattle’s best pass-rushers during his four years, collecting 22 sacks as a Seahawk.

While Irvin was expected to leave Seattle, few expected the 28 year-old to leave for Oakland. Irvin had been on record saying he wanted to play for his hometown team, the Atlanta Falcons, but he had also expressed interest in joining the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Irvin chose to become a Raider, and join Kahlil Mack to form an extremely dynamic pass-rushing duos in the NFL, with Irvin and Mack being two of the faster pass-rushers in the NFL.

Bruce will join a long list of WVUPros to wear the silver and black, with James Jett, Jerry Porter, Jeff Hostetler, Amos Zereoue and Owen Schmitt all strapping up for the Raiders during their pro careers.

While the decision to choose Oakland may come as a head scratcher to some, Irvin does have strong ties to the Raiders organization.

Oakland defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was Irvin’s linebacker coach for three seasons in Seattle, and the two formed a strong bond during their time together in Seattle.

Irvin will become a crucial part of the Oakland defense upon his arrival, and will look to help the franchise end a 13-year playoff drought.

Irvin will bring a winning attitude to Oakland, and will be one of the few players with Super Bowl experience on their young roster.

Irvin will likely have a similar role in Oakland that he had in Seattle, except his new role will likely be more enhanced. For Irvin, being comfortable and familiar with the scheme ended up being a key factor in his decision on where to continue his football career.

Irvin will look to take his career to the next level in Oakland, and will look to become one of the stars for their defense, instead of playing in the shadows of players like Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor.

Oakland will be a great fit for Irvin and the future of his career, and he will play a key role in the rise of the Raiders, a rising contender in the AFC playoff race.

Where Will Bruce Irvin Land?

Free Agency is upon us and starting this week teams will look to begin bolstering their rosters for the 2016 NFL season. Over the past few weeks it has become evident that Bruce Irvin is one of the top unrestricted free agents in the NFL.

While in Seattle Irvin proved to be an extremely versatile and valuable linebacker for one of the league’s best defenses. As a result Bruce Irvin has placed himself in a position for a lucrative second contract.  A host of teams will attempt to gain the services of Bruce Irvin and what he brings to a defense but who has the best shot?

Below we will examine the suitors vying for the former West Virginia standout and their chances of landing the talented linebacker.

jags 

Jacksonville Jaguars – 30% chance of signing Irvin

Last week the Jags were the most talked about team regarding the pursuit of Irvin. There were even rumblings on Twitter from former WVU teammates that suggested Irvin could be Jacksonville bound. Irvin did play for Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley for one year in Seattle so there is at least some familiarity there. The Jaguars would love to bolster their pass rush and are likely the odds on favorite to add Irvin.

 

ny   New York Giants – 10% chance of signing Irvin

The Giants land on the list simply because they are in such desperate need of defensive help and have an abundance of money to spend in free agency. The Giants had the worst defense in the NFL in 2015 and will need proven veterans to infuse some life into a weak defensive roster. Irvin’s ability to play several positions fits well into defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme. It would be nice to see Bruce Irvin and WVU teammate J.T. Thomas line-up together again as well.

 

atl

Atlanta Falcons – 20% chance of signing Irvin

Atlanta is Bruce Irvin’s hometown and his relationship with Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn is well documented. Irvin himself has predicted he would end up in Atlanta in 2016.  However in the last week Irvin has backed away from this prediction and even openly questioned returning home on Twitter. With that said the Falcons still figure to be a strong contender to ink Irvin.  Having Vic Beasley and Bruce Irvin would give Atlanta an instantly lethal pass rush.

cards

 

Arizona Cardinals – 20% chance of signing Irvin

Rumors the Arizona Cardinals jumped into the mix for Irvin surfaced Monday. The Cardinals would love to land the former rival linebacker to improve their pass rush and strengthen an already formidable defense. This would be an interesting fit for Irvin as he would jump to a former conference rival. Late Monday there was a lot of smoke to this rumor and where there is smoke there are usually flames when it comes to free agency. I’m sure if Irvin was to leave Seattle he would love the opportunity to line up against Seattle twice a year.

sea

Seattle Seahawks –  10% chance of signing Irvin

Although he seems like a foregone conclusion Irvin’s time in Seattle is over Irvin has made it clear he has strong ties with the organization. Irvin has even gone as far as to say he would be open to giving Seattle a hometown discount. Irvin has stated repeatedly he would love to remain in Seattle for both his family and his Seattle teammates. Anything is possible and its not out of the question the team that took a chance and made Irvin a first round pick might choose to keep him in Seattle.

pgg

 

Carolina Panthers – 5% chance of signing Irvin

In the Super Bowl the Panthers learned first hand how important putting pressure on the quarterback is in the NFL.  Irvin would obviously be a welcomed addition to the Panthers defense. Irvin could thrive on the Panthers and compliment their strong secondary. The Panthers will likely lose a few key defensive players of their own to free agency so there will be holes to fill. The team has seen what Irvin can do first hand.

 

bbbbbbbbb  Mystery Team ? –  5% chance of signing Irvin

A player like Irvin is such a commodity in the NFL that any number of teams looking to make a splash in free agency could scoop Irvin up this week. Other teams in the hunt for Irvin’s services could include Oakland, San Francisco, and Dallas. Whomever is lucky enough to win the Irvin sweepstakes will be getting a proven player who could be just entering his prime.