Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bruce Irvin and a winning culture goes hand-in-hand

Bruce Irvin has found himself a part of many winning teams since coming to West Virginia. As his career is now flourishing in the NFL, it appears that Irvin finds himself winning wherever he goes.

In his first year with the Oakland Raiders, after coming from Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks, Irvin and the Raiders are delivering a dynamic defense. Looking at his situation, it appears that Irvin has given himself and his team the capability to win wherever he plays.

Irvin was a two-year starter for the Mountaineers after transferring from Mt. San Antonio Junior College where he was a JC Athletic Bureau first team All-American and was the all-California Region III player of the year. In just that short amount of time, the then defensive end made quite the name for himself, as well as a well-known lasting impression as one of West Virginia’s most beloved players of recent years. Irvin played in 22 games in the old gold and blue, compiling 23 sacks and 61 total tackles. Needless to say, Irvin was a force to be reckoned with during his time at West Virginia, and that force has carried on to the NFL.

Irvin is in his fifth season in the NFL and has made a great name for himself. While at Seattle, Irvin accounted for 87 total tackles over four seasons. He was a part of a dominant Seattle defense, getting a Super Bowl ring for the 2014 season.

When Irvin is on a defense and they are in a crucial down situation, Mountaineers fans have known for years to watch Bruce. He finds a way to get to the quarterback, get to the football and get the tackle. Irvin knows how to intuitively make a stop. Stopping the offense leads to Irvin’s own offense getting a chance at scoring, leading to Irvin’s team winning. This happens more often than not when Irvin is on your team. He finds a way to win.

Look at this current season. Irvin is becoming a key cog with the Raiders defense. After not getting a contract extension with the Seahawks, Irvin moved down the West Coast to Oakland where his strong performances continue.

Just this week, the combo of Irvin and fellow Mountaineer Karl Joseph wreaked havoc on the Houston Texans offense during Monday Night Football. Between the two of them, they are proving to be a force to be reckoned with. In just ten games this season, Irvin has racked up 28 tackles, three sacks and four forced fumbles (he leads the league in that category).

As he mixes a fierce pass rush with the ability to drop back in coverage, his on-field awareness continues to grow, as ESPN commentator John Gruden pointed out on Monday night, and that could be scary for opponents.

Bruce Irvin has made himself into one of the prominent and vocal leaders of the Raiders defense and continues to be an asset as the season has progressed. Wherever he has played, stemming back to his collegiate career, Irvin performs at a level with one specific goal in mind: winning the football game. Irvin has consistently shown his inherent desire to win and his ability to do whatever it takes to win.

As Irvin continues what will likely be a long and prosperous NFL career, it will be likely that his inherent winningness continues. Irvin has shown since his West Virginia days that wherever he plays he brings a winning demeanor.

From the height of his days in junior college the playing fields of the Big East to the Seahawks and now the Raiders, winning follows Bruce Irvin everywhere he goes. Is another Super Bowl title this season in the cards?

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