Ever since it was revealed that David Irving was reinstated by the NFL after a prolonged suspension, the Las Vegas Raiders seemed like the obvious fit. They quickly brought him in for a workout and after doing their homework on the defensive lineman, the Raiders have made a final decision. According to Aaron Wilson, they are signing Irving.
Irving has a close relationship with Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, so the move makes a lot of sense. The 6’7 defensive lineman hasn’t played a game in about two years but is still only 27 years old. The Raiders pass rush showed signs of life in Week 5 but they still need help. Irving is a very interesting pickup because prior to injuries and his suspension, he notched seven sacks in eight games. That’s the kind of production the Raiders have been desperate for.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Irving will start on the team’s practice squad.
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How Irving Fits in on Raiders DL
Irving can play all across the defensive line but the plan is likely to have him on the outside. Considering he hasn’t played in two years means that it’s going to take time for him to get acclimated to the new defense. Marinelli is the defensive line coach but not the coordinator. Paul Guenther runs a different defense than Marinelli. Irving isn’t likely to come in next week and be a stud.
That said, he’s a great piece to have in pass-rush situations. Carl Nassib broke his toe in Week 5 and Irving would be a fitting replacement. In fact, Nassib and Irving are the same age and same height. Now, Nassib hasn’t lived up to his contract this season so perhaps Irving can bring a bit of a spark. The Raiders’ best pass-rushing game came against the Kansas City Chiefs and Nassib left that game early due to injury. It’ll be fascinating to see if Irving can make a comeback similar to how Aldon Smith has with the Cowboys.
Raiders Bring in Another Marinelli Guy
With the signing of Irving, the Raiders have now brought on four former Cowboys defenders who played under Marinelli. Dallas consistently had a solid defense when Marinelli was running it. The job he did there looks even better in hindsight considering how bad the Cowboys defense has been this year.
However, none of Marinelli’s guys haven’t made much of an impact for the Raiders. Jeff Heath had a huge interception against Patrick Mahomes in Week 5 but has been pretty quiet this season. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins was supposed to be the best addition the team made in the offseason but that hasn’t been the case. Daniel Ross hasn’t played much and is currently on the injured reserve. So far, the returns on “Marinelli guys” haven’t been great. Perhaps Irving becomes the exception but there are question marks surrounding him. Nobody is denying that Marinelli is a great defensive mind but he hasn’t done much to impress this year and neither have his players. The season is still very young so there’s plenty of time for them to turn things around.