Bruce Irvin Says His Role Will Change With Raiders

Bruce Irvin is changing teams and it appears he’ll be changing positions as well. Primarily used as a linebacker in Seattle, Irvin believes he’ll be used much differently in Oakland.

“I was drafted to be a pass rusher,” Irvin told Sirius XMNFL Radio on Tuesday. “The situation in Seattle they brought in Cliff Avril in my second year and Michael Bennett so it kind of pushed me into a linebacker role and I didn’t complain. I just went with the flow. But I think Jack Del Rio and coach Norton are really going to let me rush more. I don’t have a problem dropping but I would prefer to go forward more than I go backwards. Coach Jack Del Rio watched film on me and he said he noticed that I’m in coverage a lot. He said that’s one of the things he wanted to change. Having me go forwards more than I go backwards.”

Irvin entered the league at 245 pounds, but decided to put on 20 pounds of muscle a year ago – a decision that wasn’t initiated by the Seahawks. He went along with his role as a linebacker, but was clear at the time that he’d “always be a D-lineman at heart.”

“I honestly feel that if I had stayed in that system I don’t think I would ever become the player that I think I can be in this league being a pass rusher. SAM outside linebacker was cool, but you could do your job the whole game at SAM linebacker and you’d have two tackles.”

Based on his comments, it sounds like Irvin will be following a similar career path as Khalil Mack, who began his time in Oakland as a linebacker. As soon as he arrived, head coach Jack Del Rio vowed to utilize Mack as a pass rusher and Mack bulked up to 265 pounds in the offseason. The results were undeniable as Mack recorded 15 sacks in 2015 – up from just four sacks as a rookie.

If all goes as planned, Irvin will see a bump in his 5.5 sack total from a year ago.

Click below for the full audio of Sirius XMNFL’s interview with Bruce Irvin:

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