During Bruce Irvin’s first two seasons with the Oakland Raiders following a four-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks, the 30-year-old has racked up a respectable 15.0 sacks in 32 games played for Oakland.
Although Irvin has never tallied more than eight sacks in one season, he believes that his transition from outside linebacker to defensive end in Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s defense will be what pushes him over the hump into double-digit sacks this season.
Irvin joined SiriusXM NFL Radio on Saturday to discuss his new role in Oakland’s defense, noting that he is excited that he is very excited to rush the passer more and drop into pass coverage less this upcoming 2018-19 campaign.
“When I heard the news of dropping into coverage less, that was the best news to hear!” Irvin said over the past weekend. “I can drop into coverage, but that’s not what I prefer to do. Being strictly a defensive end was music to my ears. Extra reps, can get me over that double-digit sack number.”
The Raiders have added many veteran players to both sides of the ball during free agency this offseason, with players on the defensive side like veteran linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tahir Whitehead, cornerbacks Daryl Worley and Leon Hall, and safety Marcus Gilchrist.
Oakland, who held very high hopes heading into the 2017-18 season following a breakthrough 2016-17 campaign, greatly underachieved last season and will look to get back to the playoffs for the second time in three years under head coach Jon Gruden’s leadership.