When the Detroit Lions signed Bruce Irvin, they surely didn't know what they would be getting from a 36 year-old pass rusher who had not even had pads on since playing a playoff game in January.
Having 55.5 career sacks is nice, but it was possible Irvin would not make a notable impact at all. After getting up to speed on Detroit's practice squad though, Irvin made an impact in his first game as a Lion.
Irvin broke through for an early sack of Derek Carr, and worked well to pressure the pocket. It was a quality development for a defense that has needed another difference maker to emerge besides Aidan Hutchinson.
Though the Lions only collected two sacks in their 33-28 win, Irvin served notice that he could be much more than an aging star signed on a whim, driven by a need to do something to spark a lagging pass rush. His legs seemed to have life, and he displayed veteran savvy in getting after the passer.
After his first taste of action with Detroit, Irvin was pleased with his performance and happy to make a difference for the Lions.
The Lions hope that Irvin can continue to help pressure quarterbacks down the stretch. If he keeps bringing the heat, his addition could become an overwhelming net positive for the defense.
Dan Campbell naturally encouraged by Bruce Irvin's Lions' debut
Irvin wasn't the only person happy with what transpired Sunday. Dan Campbell liked what he saw too.
"He was able to pressure the quarterback. He was able to get an edge a couple of times. Certainly there's something there. He's got something. He's been working and he's gotten in better shape over the last three weeks. So I'm anxious to watch the whole thing (on tape). I saw from afar, but I wasn't honed in on him every play either. So we'll see, but it's encouraging I know that."
Campbell knows that Irvin's debut is only a start, and he played just 11 snaps. But it had to start somewhere for the veteran edge rusher, and Irvin showed he has plenty left in the tank during his Lions' debut.