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Mountaineers in the Pros

Lions HC Dan Campbell Explains Why Detroit Released Bruce Irvin



WVU HOF Bruce Irvin

It looks like former Mountaineer Bruce Irvin is going to have to find another team if he hopes to continue his NFL career. About a month after registering his first and only sack with Detroit, the Lions released the veteran linebacker.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell actually explained his reasoning for making the move right before the playoffs, which makes it somewhat surprising since Irvin’s initial signing was thought to be for a playoff run.

“That was tough,” Lions coach Dan Campbell told the media. “Bruce, what a pro. I mean he is, he’s been a blessing to have him around here. I mean, he just brings a whole different perspective. He’s as professional as you get. I mean, just the way he goes about his business, everything about him. We talked last week, talked again yesterday, had a long talk and so just at this moment, it just couldn’t totally commit. And he’s got stuff going on, too, and so it’s hard. It’s just one of those, at this point, it wasn’t going to work out. But he’s an absolute stud.”

Irvin then took to social media to offer his own comment on his release. “As a 12 year vet, thank you for the opportunity to be apart of your team. However, I’m looking forward to what’s next,” he said on X (Twitter).

The WVU Sports Hall of Famer appeared in three games for the Lions, recording one tackle and that one sack.

Irvin, 35, who signed with Detroit in early December and most recently completed a third sting with the Seahawks, the NFL franchise who drafted him, played for the Mountaineers from 2010-2011. He recorded 45 tackles and 22.5 sacks in two seasons at WVU, playing a key role on West Virginia’s Orange Bowl winning team.

Once turning pro, Irvin was drafted with the 15th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by Seattle. He has since also played for the Raiders, Falcons, Panthers and Bears, totaling 340 tackles and 54 sacks. Irvin reached two Super Bowls, winning XLVIII with the Seahawks.

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