Tag Archives: Ken Norton Jr.

Oakland Raiders Sign LB Bruce Irvin

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent LB Bruce Irvin, the club announced Thursday.

Irvin has spent the last four seasons as a member of the Seattle Seahawks after they selected him in the first round (15th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. For his career, Irvin has totaled 58 games played with 37 starts, 132 tackles (87 solo), 22 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions and seven passes defensed.

Playing under Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., who was the linebackers coach for his first three years in Seattle, Irvin helped Seattle to a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII, and was also part of a Seahawks defense that finished as the number-one-ranked unit in 2013 and 2014.

Last season, the 6-foot-3, 248-pounder posted 38 tackles (22 solo) and 5.5 sacks to go along with one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two passes defensed. In 2012, he led all NFL rookies and set a career high with eight sacks, including three multi-sack games, and was named to Pro Football Weekly’s All-Rookie Team.

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Irvin played in 26 games over two seasons at West Virginia, totaling 61 tackles (45 solo), 22.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and one pass defensed. As a senior, he was named to the All-Big East Conference First Team and All-Big East Conference Second Team as a junior.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Addresses Media

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

Napa Valley, California – After Monday’s practice Ken Norton Jr. spoke to the media. The Oakland Raiders had their second straight practice in pads on Day 4 of Training Camp 15.



“I’m really excited. Really like Napa. Really nice town. The team is really working hard and I’m really happy to be here, putting my stamp on this defense and it’s been really exciting so far.”


“I’ve always patterned my coaching after how I played, and I’m going to approach it that way, with a lot of energy, with a lot of enthusiasm and really enjoy what I do, and it’s contagious to my players.”



“The biggest difference is that I don’t have one position to coach. I’m coaching all the positions now. I have the whole group. In the old days it was just the linebackers, now the whole room is my room. The whole room feels who I am, what’s important to me, and I’m able to spread myself amongst others.”


“Very competitive, smart, tough, enthusiastic, and just playing really hard. I want them to know that we coach effort first. What are they made of? How hard are you playing? When you guys watch them play I want them to jump off the film, that these guys really want it. They’re really playing hard.”



“I think if you love what you do, it’s not work. You just wake up clapping, and you just go to work, and this is what we do. I want to make sure everybody enjoys being here. If you don’t enjoy being here you’re in the wrong place. We love ball.”


“When you have a former middle linebacker as your coordinator, and a former middle linebacker as your head coach, that position becomes very important. You look at Curtis’ background, he’s played a lot of football for a long time and hasn’t missed any games. He’s very, very productive, very smart, knows how to play ball and knows how to run the defense. I’m glad we have him.”





“We’ve only been here for a little over a week. The competition is there. The young corners that I’ve been with in the past, they started out with no one knowing who they were and then all of a sudden they’re the stars of the league, and it’s a matter of coaching, developing, time, energy, effort and just the whole village raising everybody. I’m real happy with where we are and we still have a long ways to go.”

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“Khalil is special. There are a lot of players that might be similar, but he’s in a class of his own. Defensive end Bruce Irvin in Seattle was similar, but at the same time, Khalil’s built. He’s athletic. He’s talented. He’s smart and he’s relentless. He’s amazing and he’s the type of guy that you want to surround him with good football players.”

Oakland Raiders’ Mario Edwards Jr’s Press Conference After First Rookie Mini Camp Practice

May 8, 2015 1:55 PM PT

Alameda, CA. – The past week has been a week of change for Mario Edwards Jr. He was drafted, flown across the country, and today officially began his work on the field with his fellow rookies.
In addition to all of the new experiences that have come his way, Edwards was greeted by a welcome change from his time at Florida State – music during practice.

Edwards Jr. : “That’s one cool thing we didn’t do in college at Florida State,” Edwards Jr. said. “We never played music, except for in the beginning. But to play music and get your mind elsewhere and pump you up during the practice was pretty cool.”


Edwards Jr. has only had one practice under Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. but he already likes the intensity the former linebacker is bringing to the table.

Shawn Jonas : I asked Mario what he thought about Ken Norton Jr’s intensity. 

Edwards Jr. : I like him a lot,” Edwards Jr. said. “He’s very vocal and he wants the best out of his players. He’s yelling and screaming because he wants to push you and get every drop out of you that you have in you. I like that type of coach.”


After going through the pre-draft process and having every aspect of his game dissected, Edwards Jr. is ready to get to work and just play football.
That being said, he’s not forgetting all of the negative feedback he received throughout the process, and is using that to fuel him going forward.

Edwards Jr. : Just a chip on my shoulder from just naysayers or people that criticized me so much,” Edwards Jr. said. “Really I wanted to prove to myself. I have a chip on myself because I want to be the best that I can be.”

The Oakland Raiders Sign Former Seattle Seahawks Linebacker Malcolm Smith

March 11, 2015 3:42 PM PT

Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent Linebacker Malcolm Smith, the club announced Wednesday.

Smith joins the Raiders following four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, helping Seattle to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances the last two years. In helping the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII, Smith was named the game’s MVP after recording nine tackles (five solo), one fumble recovery and a 69-yard interception returned for a touchdown.

Over his four years in Seattle, the 6-foot, 226-pounder played in 57 games with 16 starts, totaling 105 tackles (68 solo), two sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed. He has also played in eight postseason games with eight starts, posting 27 tackles (16 solo), one fumble recovery, two interceptions and two passes defensed.

Last season, Smith played in 14 games with five starts for Seattle, posting 33 tackles (24 solo), two forced fumbles and one pass defensed.

A native of Northridge, California, Smith was originally selected by the Seahawks in the seventh round (242nd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of USC. Playing three seasons under Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., who was the linebackers coach at USC from 2004-09, Smith played in 47 games over four seasons, recording 174 tackles, one sack and two interceptions.

Malcolm Smith signed a 2 year / $7,000,000 contract with the Oakland Raiders, including a $2,000,000 signing bonus, $3,750,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $3,500,000.

The Oakland Raiders Media Conference Call Q & A

Q: How much did having Ken Norton, Jr. here attract you to come play for the Raiders?

Smith: “It was a big part. It wasn’t the most important thing, but it was definitely a bonus and being familiar with him and his style and the things he wants to do. I feel like I can help him as well as help the team.”

Q: Was there any hesitation about going from one team that has had a lot of success over recent years to one that has not?

Smith: “It’s something that you think about, making that move. It’s something you have to consider, but I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to impart some of the things that I’ve learned on the team and hopefully encourage some guys around me, and we can get the most out of each other and turn this thing around.”

Q: Have they explained to you exactly what your role is going to be, if you will play in the middle some or focus on the outside?

Smith: “It hasn’t been really clear, but they’ve given me some ideas. The thought is to get the best guys on the field and I’m going to absolutely do my best to compete and get out there and whether that’s the middle or wherever else.”

Q: How did this whole thing come together, was it a long time coming or was it recent?

Smith: “Well, free agency just started a couple days ago, but I didn’t know what to expect going into the whole process. It kind of just happened and I’m happy the way it has turned out.”

Q: How big of a factor was coming to play for Ken Norton Jr.?

Smith: “It’s not the biggest factor but it’s definitely an awesome plus. I know his style, I know kind of the way he wants things to be done and I should know the system pretty well. I feel like it’s going to be an opportunity for me to show my skill.”

Q: How do you think you’ll be used?

Smith: “Honestly, I just want to find a way on the field. However that takes, I’m willing to do whatever and I’m going to do whatever for us to be a better team.”

Q: How would you describe your season last year and was it difficult coming from being Super Bowl MVP to playing as a reserve?

Smith: “I was a reserve in the Super Bowl, so you can only make as many plays as you get opportunities and that day I was fortunate enough to get a lot of opportunities. I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunities. I can only dictate with my play, so, that’s what I plan on doing.”