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Bruce Irvin on playing linebacker, fatherhood and more


“I couldn’t ask for a better situation than what I’m in now,” says Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin. (AP)

By Brady Henderson

Between switching positions on Seattle’s defense and becoming a father, life on and off the field has changed quite a bit for Bruce Irvin.

And as he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Wyman, Mike and Moore” earlier this week, the changes have been for the better.

A new position

Irvin has said the Seahawks’ decision to move him from defensive end to linebacker saved his career. There’s just one thing he doesn’t like about his new position.

“I miss sacks,” he said, repeating himself twice to emphasize how much he likes getting to the quarterback.

Irvin has two of them this season, the last one coming in Week 8 against St. Louis. He also had an interception in that game, showing the athleticism that the Seahawks figured would serve him well while dropping into coverage and operating in space as a strong-side linebacker.

He was primarily a situational pass-rusher last season when he led all rookies in sacks with eight. But at 6-foot-3 and 248 pounds, the weight he was giving up to opposing offensive tackles made it difficult to anchor against the run.

“Taking on a 6-4, 260-pound tight end is much easier than taking on a 6-5, 300-pounder,” he said. “So I would expect my game to get better because I’m taking on a smaller guy. I could easily just get on him and get off of him, as [opposed to] getting on a big tackle, and once he got me it’s over with.

“Like I said, I’ve still got a long way to go, man. I think I’ve done pretty good in the run game, but I still can get better.”

A new perspective

Seattle’s locker room is a close-knit one. Irvin, though, doesn’t have much time for socializing these days.

“I’ve got 6-month son now,” he said, “so I don’t too much hang out.”

Irvin’s life has included some trying times, some of them – like the four-game PED suspension he served at the beginning of the season – brought on by his own mistakes. Fatherhood, he said, has made him more responsible.

“It’s a great experience. It definitely brings a new perspective to life, as far as me managing my money and making the right decisions because not only does it affect me and the Seahawks, it affects my son. He does everything I do,” said Irvin, who is 26. “So it just really humbled me, and I think that’s also going to make me a better football player.”

‘The perfect situation’

Irvin is from Atlanta, Ga., which is more than 2,000 miles away from Seattle. One reason he considers playing for the Seahawks “the perfect situation” is because he’s geographically isolated from negative influences.

“The No. 1 thing that I like is I’m way up here in this little corner and the people with their hands out are way down here. So it’s kind of hard to reach me now. If they really want to see me they’ve got to take a 5-hour flight to come see me,” he said.

“Seattle’s a great city. I would much rather be here than Miami or New York, all those temptations and off-the-field type stuff. Seattle’s like a college town. We have the greatest fans. When you’re out you’re getting greeted by great people. I couldn’t ask to be in a better place. The rain is a little different, but it is what it is. I couldn’t ask for a better situation than what I’m in now.”

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.