Bruce Irvin thinks Raiders are ready to take the next step

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Among the reasons why the Raiders have become a popular offseason choice to make a move up the standings and into the playoff hunt is the arrival of linebacker Bruce Irvin as a free agent.

Irvin is one of several players the Raiders brought to Oakland to join Khalil Mack in hopes building a defensive unit capable of taking Oakland to the right side of .500 for the first time since 2002. Irvin believes that he and Mack will prove to be a strong duo — “I really expect us to do a lot of great things this year” — and that the Raiders as a whole will prove worthy of the preseason optimism.

“You could definitely tell it’s a tight group,” Irvin said, via “We’re on the way up. You have a lot of guys who are willing to listen to the older guys, so that’s the greatest thing about coming to a situation like this … I have to say, it’s a bunch of guys who are hungry. They are ready to take the next step. We know what we have to do. We’ve seen the blueprint to win a Super Bowl — it’s running the ball and playing great defense. I think we are ready to take that next step and really capture this AFC West.”

Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reggie Nelson all come to the Raiders from teams that made the playoffs last year, giving the defense some players with the knowledge of what it takes to advance to the next level. Executing those things is a different story, although the talent on both sides of the ball makes it easy to see why people are bullish about the Raiders having a chance to do it.

41 responses to “Bruce Irvin thinks Raiders are ready to take the next step

  1. Bruce Irvin is soon going to realize how average he is not that he doesn’t have an all-star defense around him.

    The raiders will finish no better than 7-9

  2. I’m a ‘Hawks fan but I liked Irvin a lot. He had a great rookie season and then they began moving him around, so he will bring some talent and playoff experience. I hope the Raiders do well this year. Best of luck.

  3. Zero chance they pluck a wild card spot.

    These boys are AFC West Champions!

  4. I’m cautiously optimistic and hopeful about success for the Raiders’ 2016.

    However I wish that some of the players/coaches would give it a rest and wait to walk-the-walk before talking-the-talk. As of now, the Raiders went from horrible to average last year and it remains to be seen if the next step can be taken (Gruden had a pair of 8-8 seasons before making the playoffs). I think that Derek Carr had the right approach when commenting about the coming season (“we have to prove it on the field before boasting”). I for one don’t get excited about talk in the media, I want to see it on the field.

    Also with too much talk, it needlessly paints a bulls-eye on the Raiders with opponents. I saw this happen in the 1990s when there was big talk and a lot of average results on the field. And I don’t want to re-live that kind of crap.

  5. The Raiders are definitely up and coming. Carr is the real deal. Was actually hoping that Arizona would have drafted him back in the day.

    Las Vegas Raiders… sounds weird.

    TMZ is gonna have a field day following that team. TMZ will have to double their staff anyway now that the Rams are in LA.

  6. I concur with “araidersfan” everybody just needs to shut up. Bottom line I will be happy with 9-7 next year which just might be good enough for the afc west. I know the broncos and chiefs are not just going to roll over and die. They both have good teams. As a Raider fan I am just grateful to know Reggie has the house in order. Long ago we knew it was going to be a painful two steps backwards in order to take three steps forward….and this year is that third step…..the 5 year plan has been executed, and I am happy with the results……now its just about two things…..

    Go Raiders!!! Go Reggie!!!!

  7. The media are all asking the Raiders the same questions. It’s not the players going out making predictions. I like the way Derek Carr and coach Del Rio respond to all these questions from the media. Over and over you here then say games aren’t win on paper or in the media, we need to work everyday, get better and execute on gameday.

    So true and can’t wait for the season!


  8. I see Carr as the “The Man” and can be a franchise QB. McKenzie knows what he is doing despite the fan base wanting to fire him just a year ago.

    They should drop this Vegas garbage and just build their fanbase there in Oakland. I am not a fan or live there but this teal is ready for nice long run, I wouldn’t go somewhere that is full of tourist and transplants. Reconnect with your history and community will bring you the most money in the end.

  9. Every year its the same thing for the Raiders: numerous articles and opinion pieces on how they are ‘ready to take that next step’ or how they ‘should be able to earn a playoff spot if everything goes right’ . . .

    Problem is, for 15 years, the hype hasn’t matched up with reality.

    My guess is that since the Raiders have been to the Super Bowl 5 times, and everybody knows the history of the team, every just expects them to do well. I’ll be surprised if they get to 9-7.

  10. If Mack manhandles teams like he did to Denver than the Raiders will be a truly scary team. Nobody mentions Mario Edwards Jr. as a force to be reckoned with, but Mack got much better when Edwards was inserted into the lineup. Mack, Irvin, Edwards, Aldon Smith….not exactly a fun bunch for opposing offenses to face.

  11. jumboli says:
    May 30, 2016 11:11 AM
    Bruce Irvin is soon going to realize how average he is not that he doesn’t have an all-star defense around him.

    The raiders will finish no better than 7-9


    Yeah, Mack on the other side of the line drawing double teams. Aldon Smith arriving mid year. Poor Bruce will be surrounded by bums.

    Give me a break man.

  12. Hopefully Carr takes next step because numerous times last year, he crumbled in late game pressure opportunities. It will be the difference between 7-9 and 11-5.

  13. “Next step,” “best shape of my career,” “ready to contend,” let’s see what cliche is next….personally I like “best shape of my career.”

  14. snowdood163 says:
    May 30, 2016 11:27 AM

    The most tired off season story of my adult life: the raiders are going somewhere this year.


    No that honor goes to the “Brady’s innocent” crowd.

  15. No one is talking about the coaches. I think this is the best coached Raider team since Gruden. I also think the new conditioning program is helping, it seemed like there were fewer injuries last year.

  16. I share the sentiments of some Raider fans here with the cautioning about the talk and the emphasis on the play.
    That being said, as a 42 year old man whom has been obsessed with Raider football for the majority of my life. I’ll say that I’ve never seen a team with this much youth and potential. The character and leadership from Young players,and the grounded clear team direction are Completely foreign to me. The raider team i’m used to plucks old stars from other teams and squeezes a great year or two out of them.
    I’m sold. I’m terrified to be wrong AGAIN! but i’m sold.
    So much so that I believe this is a historic dynasty in the making.
    Disbelievers will be believers soon.

  17. Can’t take the next step without a QB. Carr is a backup at best.

  18. There is a place for Johnny Manziel- it’s the Vegas Raiders!

    Manziel starts in 2018 for the Vegas Raiders and leads them far into the playoffs.

  19. Also even Von Miller played like crap coming off his suspension.

    Aldon Smith wasn’t good the last yr he played, and now he is coming off a 1 yr suspension where he cant work out or practice with the team.

    The chances of him contributing to the Raiders this yr is slim. I’m just going off the fact I can’t remember a player who came off a 1 yr suspension and then played at a high level from the start.

  20. The biggest problem the Raiders have IMO is very little depth on the team. They have some good starters in the front 7 and Reggie Nelson and Sean Smith are decent pickups. But what happens if the injuries mount up.

  21. As a longtime Raider fan since the Stabler days, I’ll be happy with 10-6 and a wild card spot. It took years for Reggie to get the team out the ditch Al Davis drove them into but FINALLY it looks like they are ready to turn the corner as they are building a team centered on young stars they drafted and supplemented with older vets rather than the other way around.
    In Reggie we trust!!!! Go Raider Nation!

  22. There’s more than one blueprint to win a super bowl. Maybe Irvin’s only seen one. And I don’t care if a guy is a veteran or a rookie. You win because of great players, and the Raiders are bringing them in. Reggie McKenzie has a blueprint too.

  23. Only time will tell with this year’s Raiders team.

    However, anyone paying attention knows it’s been years since there was legitimate expectation of a post-season for the Raiders. That is what is different,… and it is a story.

  24. Not a Raiders fan but I’d have to agree. In previous seasons, I would disregard a prediction like this because they’re the Raiders.. But they’ve made some GOOD personnel moves in the past couple of seasons and have assembled a really nice, young core. Perhaps most importantly, that young core is also cheap.

    Now, it’s possible that a team this young might stumble a bit this coming season due to youth and the weight of expectations, but I don’t think it’ll be a trend if that happens. If they continue to draft well and make smart decisions, the Raiders are a play off team next year. Maybe even this year with a little luck.

  25. Irvin was an average player on a great defense. Sean Smith is a #2, and takes plays off. Reggie Nelson is old as dirt, and pretty much done.

    They’ve got some good young players, but still have many holes to fill. It’ll take more than a few good years of drafting to get over the hump.

    Adding these particular vets isn’t that impressive. They weren’t very sought after by other teams in need.

    I won’t get into Del Rio, and his coaching prowess. Suffice it to say, the donkey defense improved x10 when he left, and a real defensive genius came aboard. Jack is not near that conversation.

  26. Think isn’t the same as know. Know isn’t the same as sure. The Raiders are a dysfunctional organization. It’s not about who the players are but it’s about who the coaches are. And Raiders sure do not have the right head coach to lead them to the promise land. Maybe in a decade, hopefully.

  27. Think isn’t the same as know. Know isn’t the same as sure. The Raiders are a dysfunctional organization. It’s not about who the players are but it’s about who the coaches are. And Raiders sure do not have the right head coach to lead them to the promise land. Maybe in a decade, hopefully!!!

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