We talked with a very happy Bruce Irvin on Wednesday. The only other person as happy as Irvin about his return was Ken Norton Jr. "It's like you have a new toy," Norton said. Here's what Irvin had to say:
(On how does it feel to be back…) “My smile explains everything. It feels great. It was tough watching these guys for four weeks, but I paid my debt to society, now it’s time to get back to work.”
(On how tough was it to not be here and have to watch these games on TV…) “Man words can’t explain on how tough it was. Watching these guys battle with each other each and every week. I know they’re competing in practice, and I’m just waking up watching SportsCenter getting a good night’s sleep. I was waking up at 11:30 going to work out while these guys were waking up at six in the morning. It was hard, but I made the best out of the situation and I got through it, now I’m back.”
(On if he could learn a little more about the team watching it from a different perspective…) “I mean you see everything basically. I didn’t really learn too much. I learned that we have a great team, if that’s anything, but other than that this was more about me and learning from this experience and growing and becoming a better person on and off the field.”
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(On how much is his role different this year than it was last year…) “Obviously you guys know I moved to SAM backer so it’s a little different. They try to keep it as simple as they can for me, so it’s nothing too much different. I’m always on the ball; I’m either blitzing, dropping, or setting the edge. That’s just what it is. The transition has been pretty good, and I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge more.”
(On why did he choose to go back to West Virginia during his break…) “I just love that state. Obviously I went to school there and I contributed to the weight room, a lot of money, so I felt like I should go back there and use the weight room. It was rough being around those college kids, but I tried to coach them up and give them as much advice as I can. I try to make them see that I’m not there because I’m supposed to be there, I’m suspended. Just little things like that, and it was good. I got my work done and stayed off of the ESPN ticker so I accomplished what I needed to do.”
(On his groin…) “I had a month to chill so if it’s not good something isn’t right. I’m good, my body is good, and I’m ready to roll.”
(On his impression of the pass rush in Houston…) “Scary. It is scary. I was talking to Bobby Wagner saying y’all don’t even need me in. Every time I looked up Matt Schaub was on the ground. I think coach does a great, Dan Quinn and the whole defensive staff does a great job of putting guys in the right situations to succeed. With Cliff Avril, Chris Clemons, and Mike Bennett, that’s scary man. They said it’s hard to make plays on this defense so I’m just trying to get out there and bust my tail and make the best of the situation when I’m in.”
(On if he feels like he’s mentally ready to hop right in and contribute right away…) “As I said earlier they do a great job of breaking it down, simplifying it for me to make it easy as possible. Mentally I feel like I’m ready, physically I’m ready. If you have four weeks to chill you better be ready. I’m itching right now, I’ve been itching for the past four weeks. I’m just honored that Coach Pete Carroll has welcomed me back, and I’m just going to keep my nose clean form here on out and just play football.”
(On playing SAM in the preseason…) “It felt great. How did I look? I thought it was okay. I’m a repetition guy. I can’t look at something and just go do it. I have to get in there, mess up a couple of times and then I’ll have it. I just need more reps, and hopefully this week I get a lot of reps and we’ll see how it plays out Sunday.”
(On Andrew Luck…) “He’s a great quarterback. His dad is actually the athletic director at West Virginia. He’s a great athlete, a great quarterback. He could run if you put him in that situation, but he would rather throw it. He has great speed, and we know we have to play assignment football. You can’t get too greedy or he will make you pay for it.”
(On if Andrew Luck’s father told him to take it easy on his son…) “He can say that, but I’m not on scholarship anymore.”