Carolina Panthers: Bruce Irvin compares team to “Legion of Boom”
Irvin has high praise for the Carolina Panthers.
Could the Carolina Panthers defense become as good as the Seattle Seahawks famed “Legion of Boom” defenses? According to one of the Carolina Panthers newest acquisitions, the vibes around training camp certainly make it seem so.
Bruce Irvin was acquired by the Carolina Panthers in March. Many of you may remember Irvin the most during his time with the Seattle Seahawks. While he was there, Seattle had a tremendous defense. With tremendous cornerback play and a strong defensive front, the defense was unstoppable. They were truly fun to watch, and their brash attitude was a welcome sight for lovers of old-fashioned, smash mouth football. Chances are, teams hated to play against them, but the fans loved to watch them play.
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Irvin is a veteran on a defensive group that features a balance of older and younger players. Irvin himself has been through it all, winning a Super Bowl with Seattle and becoming a major part of their defense. He then carved himself out a successful two-year stint with the Oakland Raiders.
Although his time with Oakland may not be as memorable as his time in Seattle, he had career years in the Bay Area. 2016 was the best season of his career statistically. He played in 16 games, starting all 16 of them. Recording 57 tackles and nine tackles for a loss, he forced six fumbles, a number that led the league. In addition, he also recorded seven sacks on the season. He put together truly impressive numbers that gave us a glimpse of the Bruce Irvin of years past.
Now a wise veteran, Irvin knows that this Carolina Panthers defense reminds him of the Seattle defenses of years ago. If the 2019 Carolina Panthers can be anything like the 2015 Seahawks, or even the 2015 Panthers, that would be awesome. That’s exactly what the Carolina Panthers were missing last year. They have made a concerted effort to address the defense, both in terms of personnel and identity. Let’s hope it pays off.
"“We can get after the quarterback. When you bring it all together and everyone plays for one another, it becomes a scary group,” Irvin said.“We got a bunch of guys who have done great things in this league. A lot of knowledge. It’s a great scheme. I have a voice as one of the older guys. Coach Rivera lets the older guys control their rooms and I can just be myself. I can talk (expletive) and be myself. That’s my game.”"
If Irving can bring that type of energy to the team, that would be great. At times last season, it seemed like the Panthers were falling asleep in the middle of the game. Now, that does not appear to be the case. With with veterans who like to compete and new additions who have a tremendous amount of energy and determination to succeed, the culture should be extremely different from last year. This could be the most balanced Carolina Panthers team in recent memory.
The Panthers seem like they are ready to take on the challenge of the 2019 season. As they learned last year, things will not come easy. Nevertheless, they seem more prepared.