RENTON — Bruce Irvin was an immature 24-year-old when he first arrived in Seattle. Now he’s back for a third stint with the Seahawks as a nearly 35-year-old elder statesman trying to show there’s still a little left in his game.
“I feel good. My body feels good. My mental is good. I can’t complain, man,” Irvin said. “I get to live out my dream at 35 — about to be 35 in three weeks — so I have no complaints.”
Irvin was a surprise addition to the practice squad this week as one of the important players from Seattle’s NFC championship teams from nearly a decade ago was brought back for another shot at becoming a contributor.
A first-round pick by the Seahawks in 2012, Irvin spent his first four seasons with Seattle before moving on. He returned in 2020 but the reunion lasted all of two games before Irvin suffered a torn ACL in his right knee that ended his season.
Irvin revealed Thursday that the injury required a second surgery and was the reason he only appeared in six games last season with Chicago.
“The road to get back to where I was, that really kind of put me in a dark place,” Irvin said. “But I had great people around me, and they pushed me and motivated me and got me back where I needed to be.”
Irvin hasn’t played a full season since 2018 and there’s no expectation that he’s going to come in and show some of what made him so successful earlier in his career with Seattle.
But Irvin did spend the end of last season with the Bears in the same defense the Seahawks are using this season. His defensive coordinator in Chicago was Sean Desai, now the associate head coach with the Seahawks.
Irvin could end up being as much of a teacher as a contributor after some significant early struggles by the Seahawks with the defensive transition.
“I’m not asking him to come out here and give speeches and stuff like that. As long as he breaks them down every once in a while, we will be in good shape,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He will have an effect. He’s been around enough, he cares a tremendous amount about excellence, the style of play, and playing tough, so he will have a good effect.”
Even though he played a handful of games last season, Irvin’s phone was silent in the offseason. He joked that “do not disturb” must have been activated on his phone. In case someone did call, Irvin had been commuting about an hour each way near his home in Atlanta to stay in shape but even that was growing old.
Irvin said he was planning to continue for just a few more weeks when the Seahawks reached out.
“Thank God that Pete and them reached out to me,” Irvin said. “I packed a big old bag and my wife was like, ‘Why are you packing your bag so big?’ I said, ‘Baby, I’m not coming back.’ It worked out and I’m here with y’all.”