Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin expressed his displeasure with the firing of defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. by tweeting a one-word expletive in all caps. On Wednesday, he and defensive end Khalil Mack separately left practice and were listed as not practicing for what the team termed “not injury related.”
Draw your own conclusion.
Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that a team spokesman sent beat writers a group text informing them that the players were given a “rest-type day.”
But Irvin had not missed a practice all season, via Gehlken, and Mack’s only missed practice came Sept. 6.
Again, draw your own conclusion.
Both are expected to resume practicing Thursday.
The Raiders replaced Norton with John Pagano, the assistant head coach/defense. Norton was Irvin’s position coach in Seattle for three seasons, and the two reunited in Oakland last season when Irvin signed as a free agent in Norton’s second season as the Raiders’ defensive coordinator.
Earlier Wednesday, coach Jack Del Rio addressed Irvin’s reaction to Norton’s firing.
“I think the biggest thing is to understand the relationship, respect that, give him a little space and then at the end of the day, we’re going to get on with our work,” Del Rio said. “But I’m human. It wasn’t easy for me, either.”