At WVU, Irvin racked up 23 sacks in two seasons with the Mountaineers mainly by using his sheer speed and a wicked spin move to get to the quarterback.
In the NFL, the offensive linemen are faster, stronger and smarter than what Irvin faced in the Big East. In the Seahawks opening game against the Titans, Irvin had problems disengaging from blockers. To that point, Irvin’s athleticism was canceled out by opposing linemen with the knowledge of what the Mountaineer would try to do to get past them. He hadn’t found a way to outwit the other team. Yet.
Last week against the Broncos, Irvin made headlines for being the first player to hit Peyton Manning since his return from injury. How did he get to Manning on that play? Did he spin around the offensive lineman or just speed past him? No. He bull-rushed his way to knocking Manning to the turf.
“I came into the game trying to be the first one to get a shot on him since he’s been back and I guess I succeeded,” Irvin said. “He’s a great quarterback, got the ball out quick and it’s hard to get to him. I just put on a good move and just so happened to get through.
“He didn’t say anything. He moaned a little bit, though,” Irvin said. “So I guess he really felt it. It was a good hit, good play and now it’s time to move on.”
Last night, the Seahawks blew out the Chiefs 44-14. While Irvin didn’t record any tackles, sacks, or QB hits, he made his presence known during the time he was in the game.
He used a combination of his speed, spin move, and the newly acquired bull-rush to get to Matt Cassell and Brady Quinn often. He caused both QBs to have to hurry throws or move around in the pocket.
While Irvin has yet to record a tackle or sack in the Preseason, his is showing signs of growth and adaptability. What else will Irvin add to his repertoire?