Yesterday, I wrote about how Bruce Irvin appears to believe that the major problem with the Oakland Raiders defense is not Ken Norton, Jr.’s defensive scheme. Instead, Irvin seems to believe that the problem is that players are not buying in.
Instantly, many questioned who exactly was being called out by Irvin. And no, I don’t think the tweets are being misinterpreted, after all, this isn’t the first time Irvin has called out teammates on the Raiders.
But as to who exactly Irvin is calling out, that’s pretty hard to know without Irvin explicitly saying so. That being said, Irvin’s Twitter account is, as always, a great source to scour for his thoughts. And perhaps this is reading a bit too much into his Twitter usage, but taking a look at Tweets he has “liked” reveals the fact that he “liked” a Tweet that was critical of Raiders corner Sean Smith:
Go ahead and ignore the NFL Network tweet that Irvin liked and check out the tweet below. This was referencing a play in the playoff game Saturday. Sean Smith gave up a touchdown and immediately looked at Reggie Nelson (who had blitzed on the play) and tossed his hands in the air. It was clear that Smith believed he would have inside help on the play but that didn’t happen.
Smith and Irvin were both brought in as free agents this past offseason but unlike Irvin, Smith has struggled to find success in Oakland. Perhaps Irvin believes that Smith’s lack of success is because he isn’t buying in.
It’s entirely possible Smith isn’t buying in considering I and many others (including play by play callers for Kansas City where Smith had a ton of success) believe that Norton is misusing Smith. If Smith believes that Norton is putting him in a position to fail, I probably wouldn’t buy into that either.