As Mountaineer fans, when we think about Bruce Irvin, we think mostly one thing: sacks. Irvin’s ability to get to the quarterback is one of the things that led the Seahawks to pick him with the 15th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. In his fourth season, Irvin still likes to feast on QBs, but his numbers don’t tell the full story.
Pro Football Focus is a website that goes deeper than the box score. They analyze how players perform on every single play on a scale of -2 to +2. Throughout the season, they add those scores up.
So far this season, Irvin has 24 total tackles and is second on the team with 3.5 sacks (2nd on team).
While many people who just glance at a box score to see how a player performed, that is just a snapshot of the game. You can’t get the full story. For instance, last Thursday, the Seahawks played against the 49ers. Irvin had one tackle on the the second play of the game. That was his only contribution to the stat sheet. What you don’t see on that is that he now drops back in pass coverage about half of the time. He gets matched up on anyone from tight ends to running backs coming out of the backfield to slot receivers.
This past week, those assignments included Vernon Davis and Reggie Bush. The previous week against the Panthers, he stymied TE Greg Olsen who had two touchdowns in the game, including one to seal the victory for Carolina. Neither of those two came with Irvin covering him.
Irvin’s transition as a tweener (DE/OLB) in the NFL is working per PFF. On Monday, they released their list of top linebackers in the league where Irvin ranks 12th with a 77.0 overall score. The top 30 LBs are below.