Bruce Irvin: Pete Carroll Is the Right Man to Turn Around Troubled Athlete
Not because Irvin is a bad athlete. In fact, the guy is a stud. But because he has a troubled past, and was taken ahead of some of the better defensive players that continued to slip on Day 1.
According to Yahoo.com's Les Carpenter, Irvin lived a lifestyle that was going anywhere but the NFL. He was dropped out of high school, spent time in prison and basically was just heading in the absolute wrong direction.
He turned that around though, but he needs to keep heading that way.
According to the Seattle Times' Steve Kelly, Carroll actually recruited Irvin back in his days at USC, but couldn't get him there since he couldn't get into school.
This is who Carroll is though—he likes to give people chances.
In an LA Times piece by Kurt Streeter from April 20, 2008 titled "Carroll is a Life Force at Street Level," we are given an inside look at how the former USC coach would spend his time to help the community and those who are living in a tough situation.
Few know that about twice a month Carroll leaves his comfy digs at USC, hops in the back of a beaten Camry driven by a former gang member and heads to South L.A. neighborhoods where the snap of gunfire and the anguish of death occur with the steady regularity of a metronome.
These are not recruiting visits. He's trying to save lives.
Most often, he arrives near midnight and walks shadowy streets with that familiar, electric strut, surrounded by little boys, grandparents, crack heads and gang toughs. He empathizes, listens, encourages, laughs. He talks about jobs and kids and marriage, about perspective and courage, about how difficult it must be to be caught in the madness of the streets.
There is no doubt that Carroll and the Seahawks could have gone the safer route, selecting a college stud with no red flags. That would have been the easy route.
Will Irvin Flourish Under Carroll?
Instead, Carroll knows that Irvin can be an interior threat in the NFL, especially if he can keep him pushing into the right direction.
That is half of the battle that he must do himself.
Irvin now has whole lot of weight on his back, and eyes will be watching him from all over. He has been given another chance, and he must take advantage of it.
If Carroll believes in him, than the rest of the Seahawks organization and fan base should as well.
Irvin has already gone this far, and as many should hope, this story is just beginning.
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