Super Bowl XLVIII: Looking at Bruce Irvin, Former Mountaineers to win Super Bowl

With Seattle’s 43-3 Super Bowl victory over Denver, linebacker Bruce Irvin added his name to the list of former West Virginia Mountaineers to raise the Lombardi Trophy at the end of an NFL season.

Irvin collected only two solo tackles in a very limited role during the game as the Seahawks’ linebacker harassed Peyton Manning on crucial downs for the Broncos.

The lopsided victory over the Broncos was the biggest lopsided final score in Super Bowl history since the Dallas Cowboys’ 52-17 blowout of the Buffalo Bills at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

In the past 25 years,, there have been many Mountaineer football alumni to go from winning in the Old Gold and Blue to biggest stage in football at Super Bowl.

Prior to the win with Seattle last night, you would have to go back nearly a decade to Super Bowl XL to find a former Mountaineer on the roster of a championship team.

Offensive tackle Selvish Capers and linebacker Mortty Ivy each won Super Bowl rings with the Giants and Steelers, but were members of the two franchises’ practice squads.

Defensive back Mike Logan was the aforementioned most recent Mountaineer to be a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fifth championship season in 2005, which he collected seven tackles and a forced fumble in only three games.

During the height of the New England Patriots’ dynasty in the early part of the 2000s, you will find the next former Mountaineer to win a Super Bowl on the offensive line protecting future hall of fame quarterback, Tom Brady.

Mike Compton finished his 12 year career with two Super Bowl trophies as an offensive guard for the Patriots’ 2001 and 2003 championship seasons.

The 2000s was a good decade for former Mountaineers in the Super Bowl, but the 1990s was very scarce for titles outside of the first two years of the final decade of the 20th century.

Travis Curtis and Alvoid Mays, defensive backs for the Redskins, helped Joe Gibbs win his third Super Bowl championship at Super Bowl XXVI, the third title in a ten year span.

In a scene resembling Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe for the Patriots some years later, Jeff Hostetler took over for an injured Phil Simms for the Giants in 1990 and led New York to 20-19 win in Super Bowl over in-state rival, Buffalo Bills. Defensive end Mike Fox also was a part of the Giants’ championship, but in a very limited role that season.

The future looks bright for West Virginia alumni in the NFL moving forward as Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey look to help bring the Rams back to prominence in the NFC West. The same will go for Geno Smith and the Jets as the record breaking Mountaineer quarterback takes steps to becoming an elite signal caller in the NFL.

With a young team loaded with talent on both sides of the ball in Seattle, we might just be talking about a second Super Bowl championship for Big Bruce this time next year after the Big Game in Phoenix.

Since we all know, once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.

This post can also be found at WVUPros.com, where we strive to bring the latest and most up-to-date news about your favorite former Mountaineers and a mix of current West Virginia University athletics.

Seattle Seahawks: Analyzing Bruce Irvin’s Move To Linebacker

Bruce Irvin of the Seattle Seahawks has carved out a name for himself in his young football career on the defensive side of the ball.

He made quick work of becoming an playmaker during his two collegiate seasons at West Virginia with 23 sacks and five forced fumbles leading to being selected 15th overall  in the 2012 NFL Draft.

With one season now in the books, Irvin began a new chapter in his second NFL season this year when Seattle made the change for the former Mountaineer to switch from defensive end to the linebacker position.

The stats so far in his move to linebacker has seen tackles increase more than double, but sacks have taken a bit of hit with only two registered with only three games left in the regular season.

With his solid play to this point in the season, the experience and instincts Irvin picked in his high school football playing days in Georgia has most certainly helped his move to the linebacker position.

The past play as defensive back will have the most bearing today with the ability to recognize and disrupt routes ran by receivers and running back forcing their way up the field.

As well as identifying receiver routes, Irvin would have an understanding of the timing needed to jump one of those routes and force an interception like he did against Kellen Clemons and the St Louis Rams this past October.

The best example for Irvin to possibly pattern his playing style after moving forward would be that of the future Pro Football Hall of Famer and Chicago Bears legend, Brian Urlacher.

Even though hard to compare the two linebackers at this time, Urlacher was also able to play different positions on offense and defense like Irvin during his time as a playmaker for Dennis Franchione and Rocky Long at the University of New Mexico.

The linebackers are nearly mirror images in terms of size and weight with Irvin getting the edge over his older counterpart in terms of speed off the ball.

With a stingy defense surrounding him for seasons to come in Seattle, Irvin could very well become the Seahawks’ franchise linebacker as Urlacher was for his 12 seasons in the Windy City.

This post can also be found at WVUPros.com, where we strive to bring the latest and most up-to-date news about your favorite former Mountaineers and a mix of current West Virginia University athletics.