Oakland Raiders – Bruce Irvin
If there’s one thing Bruce Irvin loves to do, it’s rush the passer. Thankfully for Irvin and the Raiders’ defense, he’ll get to do a lot more of that with his new shift to defensive end under the team’s new coaching regime.
While Irvin spent his first two seasons in Oakland as an outside linebacker, new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther (by way of Cincinnati) wants to get him back to what he does best: rushing that passer. With that comes a move back to defensive end, something that Irvin is certainly not complaining about.
Guenther is one of the more respected schemers when it comes to dialing up blitzes and getting pressure on the quarterback, meaning Irvin could be ready for a field day in opposing backfields. Part of helping a player to “break out” is being able to utilize his talents effectively, and it’s no secret that Irvin is best when rushing the passer off the edge. It’s part of why his outstanding quickness and awareness has allowed him to 5.5+ sacks in all but one of his six NFL seasons.
With much of the attention for opposing teams focused on Khalil Mack, Irvin’s new/old position could help lead him to the first double-digit sack total of his career in 2018.