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Raiders notes: Bruce Irvin eyes 10-sack season; Mario Edwards Jr. likely to play vs. Colts; Kelechi Osemele returns to practice

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ALAMEDA — Bruce Irvin makes no secret about his desire to deliver his first 10-sack season.

“I definitely want to get that,” Irvin said. “I definitely … I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna get it.”

The Raiders outside linebacker, in his first season in Oakland after four years with the Seattle Seahawks, has made the elusive double-digit sack season a possibility with five in his past five games.

His seven sacks on the year leave him one away from his previous career high, set as a Seattle rookie in 2012. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., Irvin’s linebackers coach for three years in Seattle, likes the fact that Irvin is motivated to reach that milestone.

“No question,” Norton said. “Bruce has been trying to get there for a long time. He’s really been trying to get to that point. But to his value, he does so much.

“Everybody likes sacks, but Bruce is our spy, he’s our cover guy, he’s the guy on the other side of Khalil, he’s the guy who re-routes receivers well, he’s one of our fastest, best athletes, he’s a guy who shows up early and studies late, he’s one of the team leaders and you see the way he comes. He might not have a lot of sacks, but he has a lot of quarterback hits.”

Norton even said Irvin reminds him of one of his former teammates Charles Haley, a 2015 Hall of Fame inductee.

“He didn’t get a lot of sacks, but he always disrupted the quarterback, got him off the spot and is a guy who everyone knew where he was,” Norton said.

The Raiders talked after signing Irvin about “bringing him forward” — their lingo for saying they want him constantly rushing the passer. But as Norton noted, he’s also showed himself to be adept at playing the run, occasionally dropping into coverage and serving as a quarterback spy.

Irvin’s assessment is he’s playing the best football of his career and the numbers bear it out — he has a career high in tackles and his five forced fumbles are more than his first four seasons combined.

“As far as me being a complete player,” Irvin said, “playing the run, dropping in coverage, rushing the passer, just doing everything they’ve asked of me, I think I’ve really done a pretty good job in doing it. I’ve still got a long way to go, just got to keep getting better.”

Irvin credits his success to playing with a clear mind.

“Just worried about football, letting all the other stuff that don’t matter, getting it out of my life, Irvin said. “Just really committing myself to this team, to this organization and trying to put out there the best performance I can. I think I’m feeling it right now, but I’m also prepared during the week so it translates to Sunday. I’m just going to continue to do that and hopefully it continues translating.”

Irvin’s surge has coincided with the Raiders’ own defensive resurgence. After allowing 444.8 yards per game over the first six to rank last in the league, the Raiders have allowed am average of just 324.1 yards over the past eight.

 

 

“I just think we’re finally starting to jell,” Irvin said. “I think guys are starting to learn guys’ tendencies, when guys are going to take chances, and I think it’s really showing.”

— Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. could be in line to make his season debut on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Edwards, a second-year player who has been out all season with a hip injury, practiced all week and seems in line to be activated in time for the Christmas Eve affair at the Coliseum. He packed a bag in the locker room with his game equipment — a strong indicator he’ll finally return to action.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio remained noncommittal.

“We’ll work through that,” Del Rio said. “He had a good week of practice. Obviously we’ve got to make a move to get him active before we can activate him and play him. But I think he’s had a good week.”

General manager Reggie McKenzie, speaking Wednesday night on SiriusUX NFL Radio, said, “We’re excited the way Mario has practiced here in the last couple weeks, so we feel pretty good about that situation, about the nation seeing him this weekend.”

Edwards was designated as the Raiders’ player to return from injured reserve on Dec. 5, allowing him a 21-day window to practice for the team to evaluate and decide if he can return. That window expires Monday but, along with McKenzie’s comments, Del Rio also said a week ago that the team was targeting this Colts game for Edwards’ return.

While this is the Raiders’ final practice of the week, they still don’t have to issue their projected game participation report until Friday and Edwards does not have to appear on the injury report until he’s back on the active roster.

— Left guard Kelechi Osemele returned to practice Thursday in a limited capacity after missing Wednesday’s with an ankle injury.

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • rifflicks

    RAIDERS !!!

  • gangosix

    Raiders baby !

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Colts are out of Luck!

  • rifflicks

    “As far as me being a complete player,” Irvin said, “playing the run, dropping in coverage, rushing the passer, just doing everything they’ve asked of me, I think I’ve really done a pretty good job in doing it.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Learning to play tighter coverage on TEs would be nice.

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Irvin covering TE’s is stupid. DC fail

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Ward Williams Autry Edwards
    Mack Perry Irvin

  • RaidersOrNot

    Free Smith now!!!

  • RaidersOrNot

    Wtf is Goodell waiting for…Christmas?

  • BRRUUUCCCEEE (baby Al)

    10h10 hours ago
    Jimmy Durkin ‏@Jimmy_Durkin
    Mario Edwards Jr. has a bag packed with his equipment for Saturday’s game. All signs point to him playing. #Raiders

  • BRRUUUCCCEEE (baby Al)

    Levi Damien
    10h10 hours ago
    Levi Damien ‏@LeviDamien
    Ken Norton Jr compared Bruce Irvin to Charles Haley. #Raiders

  • rifflicks

    the burden of proof was on Smith to show that he is ready to return to the NFL and unquestionably obey all of it’s rules…..Goodell has no reason to act until then

  • Rikster/Da/Kool/Kat

    Thanks Fo da update Durkin

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Wow, Norton says that Irvin reminds him of Charles Haley?
    Prove it Irvin.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Edwards is back for the Indy game?
    Not sure how big a deal that will be given his lack of playing time

  • Blue Oyster Cult

    I thought they closed this site down WTF

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Not yet

  • idahoraiderfan33

    It seems like he will play, so says JDR

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Irvin has been playing pretty good..

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    That’s what I read above.
    He should pace himself.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Charles Hayley good? Not yet.

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Yeah he’s not at that level.. Needs to play at the level he’s playing now all rest of the season and playoffs

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Agreed, but if he’s ready to go, let him play

  • idahoraiderfan33

    We need to run the ball, stop the run, hit the QB, limit mistakes and win the TO battle..
    We do that we will win

  • inonewordraider

    Pillagingjust4fun.com if interested/havent heard

  • BRRUUUCCCEEE (baby Al)

    1h1 hour ago
    Scott Bair ‏@BairCSN
    The Raiders have ruled Karl Joseph, Stacy McGee and Shilique Calhoun out of Saturday’s game vs. Indy

  • BRRUUUCCCEEE (baby Al)
  • BRRUUUCCCEEE (baby Al)

    Levi Damien ‏@LeviDamien
    Dan Williams was added to #Raiders injury report. He was limited with foot injury and is questionable vs #Colts

  • Raiderkoolaid

    If he can push the pocket from the DT position on a few passing downs he could be a difference maker.

  • Raiderkoolaid

    Nobody can ever prove that they are not going to do something wrong. The only way you can prove it is to be given the chance.

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    we’ll need him to shut down Gore

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    yep. I get Raiders/Colts here in Podunk

  • rifflicks

    BS…..by unquestionably following the rules you eliminate the possibility of doing something wrong……the Vast Majority of Players in the NFL do it every year…..they value their careers over selfish, destructive behavior

  • Raiderkoolaid

    What rules has he broken since being given his one year suspension?

  • rifflicks

    being taped getting high didn’t help his case for reinstatement

  • Raiderkoolaid

    I don’t see how anybody could believe that he posted that while trying to get back into the league. Obviously his account was hacked vindictively and if it was him on the video someone had been holding it for year before it was posted.

  • Raiderkoolaid

    If not then Lathem and Ellis will have to do it, with a little help from Edwards,

  • rifflicks

    up to Smith to prove that to Goodell…..I’m sure the NFL is aware of who he is associating with too……If Smith hasn’t made a clean break from his old entourage that won’t help his case either

  • BRRUUUCCCEEE (baby Al)

    Levi Damien
    Levi Damien – ‏@LeviDamien

    Breaking: Mario Edwards officially activated by #Raiders ahead of Saturday’s game vs #Colts http://www.silverandblackpride.com/2016/12/23/14071900/mario-edwards-officially-activated-by-raiders-shilique-calhoun-sent-to-ir?utm_campaign=levidamien&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

  • BRRUUUCCCEEE (baby Al)

    Boooooom

  • MEX_GHOST

    Its alive!!

  • Raiderkoolaid

    None of us knows, but Goodell said they would announce a decision when they had one, so make a decision and announce it. Maybe silence is the way he is announcing his decision, but it is a cowardly way of doing it.

  • rifflicks

    In your humbe opinion
    So…you must be a liberal….and willing to make decisions that effect other people’s lives without all of the facts