Back from suspension, Irvin prepares for official debut as strong side linebacker

AP

The Seahawks didn’t have Bruce Irvin for the first four games of the 2013 season.  It didn’t matter; Seattle is 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Now that Irvin has returned from a four-game suspension, the Seahawks can get even better.

“Scary,” Irvin told reporters on Wednesday regarding his impression of the pass rush without him.  “It is scary. I was talking to Bobby Wagner saying y’all don’t even need me in.  Every time I looked up Matt Schaub was on the ground.  I think [defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn and the whole defensive staff do a great job of putting guys in the right situations to succeed.  With Cliff Avril, Chris Clemons, and Mike Bennett, that’s scary, man.  They said it’s hard to make plays on this defense, so I’m just trying to get out there and bust my tail and make the best of the situation when I’m in.”

When he’s in, he’ll be playing linebacker, not defensive end.

“I moved to SAM ‘backer so it’s a little different,” Irvin said, referring to his new role on the strong side.  “They try to keep it as simple as they can for me, so it’s nothing too much different.  I’m always on the ball; I’m either blitzing, dropping, or setting the edge.  That’s just what it is. The transition has been pretty good, and I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge more.”

Linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. thinks Irvin can meet the challenge.

“It’s just like having a new toy. It’s really exciting.  We’re going to put him right in there and see him right away,” Norton said, via Curtis Crabtree (that name sounds oddly familiar) of KJR radio. “There’s no waiting. He’s just going to jump right in there and play and we’re really excited to get him going.”

Irvin spent his month away from the NFL in Morgantown, working out at West Virginia University.

“I just love that state,” Irvin said.  “Obviously, I went to school there and I contributed to the weight room, a lot of money, so I felt like I should go back there and use the weight room.  It was rough being around those college kids, but I tried to coach them up and give them as much advice as I can. I try to make them see that I’m not there because I’m supposed to be there, I’m suspended.  Just little things like that, and it was good.  I got my work done and stayed off of the ESPN ticker so I accomplished what I needed to do.”

Moving forward, Irvin has a chance to get on the ESPN ticker (or the NBCSN ticker) based on the things he does during games.  With the talent around him on defense, there’s a chance he will do plenty.