Proving the doubters wrong, one sack at a time
When Pete Carroll took over as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks the mantra painted on the wall was “Always Compete.” With that competing philosophy in place, it has opened the doors for the young guys to leap up the depth charts during the offseason.
Last season we witnessed the arrival of undrafted free agent Doug Baldwin, who led the Seahawks in receiving. It’s that type of underdog story that the Seahawks have relished — if you compete, you’ll play, and a certain third round pick in the 2012 draft has embodied all that is, Pete Carroll.
Russell Wilson has been the epitome of what Carroll wants out of this team on a daily basis. Wilson outworked Matt Flynn throughout the preseason and it showed in his on-field play, which earned him the starting spot.
While Wilson has been a pleasant surprise this season, leading the Seahawks to a 2-1 record, the guy that is seemingly being overlooked for his spectacular play is controversial first round pick, Bruce Irvin.
In a new series that we’ll feature here at NWSB, I’ll examine the Seahawks’ most outstanding rookie on a week-to-week basis.
Hopefully its not the same guy each week…
Arriving on the Scene
With the 15th pick in the first round, Roger Goodell announced that the Seahawks had selected: Bruce Irvin, Defensive End, West Virginia.
Mel Kiper, ESPN’s so-called draft expert, called the pick “mind boggling” and ridiculed the team’s selection. Kiper insisted that the Seahawks, for the second year in a row, took a play way too high.
After the draft however, several teams just behind the Seahawks admitted that they really liked Irvin and considered taking the uber-talented pass rusher.
Just hours after becoming the newest Seattle Seahawk, Irvin posted this on Twitter:
“@BIrvin_WVU11: I will work my butt off and the rest will take care itself #12thman I wont let you down I promise!”
It wasn’t until the final game of the preseason against the Raiders that Irvin recorded his first sack but against the Arizona Cardinals he made his presence felt by creating constant pressure off the edges.
Then the Dallas Cowboys came to town and Irvin began destroying right tackle Doug Free. Constantly in Romo’s face, Irvin showed how much hard work he has put in and got his first sack in his young and promising career.
Coming out Party
In arguably the wildest and most controversial
Monday Night Football games in NFL history, the Green Bay Packers fell victim to the Seattle Seahawks on a last second hail mary. Whether it was a touchdown or an interception, or whatever it was, it doesn’t matter, the Seahawks won and the Packers lost.
What the national media has yet to acknowledge, however, is how dominating the Seahawks defense played especially in the first half.
Not only did the defense hold a potent Packers offense off the scoreboard in the first half, they sacked Aaron Rodgers an impressive eight times in the first half — the second most sacks in a half in NFL history.
But, the guy who started first obliterated Mr. Discount Double Check was the Seahawks’ rookie defensive end, Bruce Irvin. He quickly followed suit with another sack in the second quarter to bring his season total to 2.5 sacks which leads all rookies.
The Future Looks Promising
His speed is unquestionable but there is no doubt that his mechanics are still raw.
The fact that he’s taken down two of the more mobile quarterbacks in the league against two of the strongest and biggest offensive lines he’ll see all season should speak volumes about the future that Irvin has as a pass rusher in this league.
When he was drafted, he was compared to Von Miller and Javon Kearse if he was able to put it all together. It’s early — very early, but so far, so good.
Bruce Irvin is becoming the defensive end that no national media pundit wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt to be. He was a drug dealing, gun yielding, high school dropout that was going to stumble at some point down the line and lose everything.
But as of right now, the only one stumbling is the tackle he’s lined up against on his way to punishing opposing quarterbacks, which is “mind boggling,” right?