"You could definitely tell it's a tight group. We're on the way up," Irvin told ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez.
"You have a lot of guys who are willing to listen to the older guys, so that's the greatest thing about coming to a situation like this ... I have to say, it's a bunch of guys who are hungry," Irvin said. "They are ready to take the next step. We know what we have to do. We've seen the blueprint to win a Super Bowl -- it's running the ball and playing great defense. I think we are ready to take that next step and really capture this AFC West."
Irvin also promised this wouldn't be his last sound bite, saying: "They didn't bring me here to be a follower. I'm a very outspoken guy. ... I'm coming to be a leader. I'm not stepping on any toes, but if I have something to say, I am going to say it."
The pairing of Irvin and All-Pro quarterback-wrecker Khalil Mack makes this Oakland defense a factor in the deep and talented AFC West. It's not crazy to ponder a division crown, but the Raiders are among a handful of promising young clubs -- including the Jaguars, Titans and Bucs -- who need to turn offseason potential into wins.
According to Irvin, that won't be a problem for the Silver and Black.