Bruce Irvin Already Filling The Leadership Void Left By Khalil Mack

Replacing Khalil Mack’s play and filling his leadership void won’t be easy, but there’s no question who’s already trying to do both. It’s Bruce Irvin, and really it’s been that way since Mack stepped away from the team in the offseason.

Now it’s just official.

“[Bruce Irvin] has become more vocal in practice, taken rookies Arden Key, P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst under his wing,” Vic Tafur wrote on Friday in The Athletic. “…and on Sunday — the team’s first practice after the Mack trade, moved his stretching spot to right next to quarterback Derek Carr.

It might seem like a small gesture, but Irvin’s spot next to Carr during stretches is not insignificant. He and Carr are the alphas on the roster and Irvin’s more vocal presence might actually fill a need that the team had even before Mack left.

As for Mack’s play in the field, good luck replacing that. There aren’t many capable of playing football at his level, although there’s a rookie on the roster who someday might. Maybe Arden Key will show glimpses in his first year, but it’ll take a village to shoulder the load. The good news if for once it looks like the Raiders might be able to lean on an interior rush.

And another thought on Mack…

No doubt about it, his former teammates were surprised to see him go (Irvin was ticked), but don’t be too sure that they’re all pointing at the decision makers in the building and wondering why the team balked at paying Mack $90 million guaranteed. It doesn’t sound likes that’s happening at all, actually. With so many new faces, the majority of the roster barely knew Mack, so don’t look for a demoralized team to take the field on Monday night against the Rams.

Now if the Raiders lose to the Rams and again the next week in Denver… all bets are off again.

twitter: @raidersbeat


2 thoughts on “Bruce Irvin Already Filling The Leadership Void Left By Khalil Mack

  1. I am putting a lot of faith that gruden is going to have that team fired up come Monday. He came back to the Raiders with a purpose so we will see how that’s going.

  2. I love it. Seen a tweet by Amy T. When one door closes another one opens . Let’s go eat Big Bruce ! Bring the RAIDER WALL with you.

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