Lions’ Bruce Irvin Puts NFL on Notice: ‘I’m Different, Bro’

Bruce Irvin

Getty Veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin had a message for the rest of the NFL while talking about his potential Detroit Lions debut.

Veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin waited until November 16 for an opportunity to begin his 12th NFL season with an organization. Irvin then spent the last two and a half weeks on the Detroit Lions practice squad getting back into game shape.

Irvin expressed on December 1 that he’s ready when needed. He also guaranteed that, despite being 36 years old, he’s going to be a challenge to Detroit opponents.

“I’m different, bro,” Irvin told The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. “Thirty-six is just a number. I move like I’m 25. Once that whistle blows, I promise you they’re not going to be thinking about, ‘Oh, he’s 36 years old.’”

Lions head coach Dan Campbell indicated this week that Irvin could receive the chance to show off his 25-year-old moves in Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints.

Bruce Irvin Waiting ‘Like a Kid’ Before Christmas for Lions Debut

Campbell first mentioned Irvin potentially playing while making an appearance on 97.1 The Ticket on November 28. The Lions head coach added on December 1 that “there’s a chance” Irvin will make his Lions debut against the Saints.

That would very likely please Irvin, who compared his excitement to a child’s on Christmas.

“Like a kid the night before Christmas,” Irvin told Birkett. “I’m just enjoying the process, man. Love playing football. At this point in my career I done made all my money so it’s about just love for the game. So I’m just blessed to have an opportunity to go out here and continue my career and be able to help this city.”

One of the reasons Irvin described the Lions as the right situation was because his old high school teammate, Kelvin Sheppard, is Detroit’s linebackers coach.

Irvin described Sheppard as his homie. Sheppard defined Irvin as a key addition because of his mindset.

“He’s now brought in that championship mentality. This is the only way to do things,” Sheppard told the media on December 1. “It’s not, on this day we’re going to raise it and then, ‘Oh, my body’s hurt.’ That’s the only way to do it every day, and I think that’s something he’s been on top of these guys.”

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Irvin at No. 15 overall in the 2012 NFL draft. Irvin posted 10 sacks and an interception in his first 28 NFL games, helping the Seahawks win the Super Bowl in his second season.

He returned to the Seahawks for a third stint last year. Including the playoffs, Irvin recorded 4.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss and 9 quarterback hits in 12 games.

What Irvin Could Add to the Lions

Birkett reported that Sheppard called Irvin in early November to convince him to sign with the Lions. During the conversation, Sheppard told Irvin the team needed help at pass rusher.

In summary, that’s what Detroit needs Irvin to provide. Detroit needs it desperately.

The Lions are tied for 26th in the NFL with 23 sacks this season. The pass rush has also been very inconsistent. Of those 23 sacks, 18 of them have come in three games.

23-year-old defensive linemen Aidan Hutchinson and Alim McNeill both have at least 5 sacks. But none of Detroit’s veteran pass rushers have more than 3 sacks.

The Lions haven’t registered a sack in three of the past five games.

Irvin has posted 55.5 sacks in 138 career NFL games. When he was 25, he had 8 sacks with the Seahawks.

The veteran playing like he’s 25 years old now would be a huge boost for the Lions defense.

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