Dumervil excited to become key cog in Ravens defense
In his short time with the Ravens, Elvis Dumervil has already excited many of his new teammates. Most notably, Terrell Suggs.
Dumervil and Suggs have the potential to be the NFL’s best pass-rushing linebacker tandem. Dumervil has averaged 12 ½ sacks the past three seasons. Suggs is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and looks fully recovered from last season’s Achilles injury.
Suggs believes that opposing defenses will have a difficult time keeping Dumervil away from the quarterback.
"I’m ecstatic," Suggs said last week at minicamp. "I’ve had good guys on the side of me before. I had a great guy in Jarret Johnson. He wasn’t really known for his pass-rushing. Paul (Kruger), he had a really good year, explosive year last year. To get a guy that his No. 1 thing is to get after the quarterback is really exciting, especially (because) we added the addition of (Chris) Canty. We get 92 (Haloti Ngata) healthy. We are going to be a nice little solid front."
Getting Dumervil was an unexpected gift for the Ravens. He had agreed to a new contract with the Broncos, but the paperwork did not arrive at the league office by the March 14 deadline. That contract was voided, Dumervil became a free agent again, and the Ravens inked him to a five-year deal, worth up to $35 million, with $12 million guaranteed.
At age 29, is Dumervil still a double-digit sack master, or a player whose best seasons have passed? That is the question Dumervil seems driven to answer. He was a full participant in offseason workouts. He often left the field with a smile, looking comfortable in his new surroundings.
Dumervil faces the challenge of learning a new role, as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, instead of being a defensive end in a 4-3 with the Broncos. Having Ravens linebackers coach Don Martindale to work with should be an edge for Dumervil. Martindale was the Broncos’ linebacker coach when Dumervil led the NFL with 17 sacks in 2009. Martindale’s presence was a reason that Dumervil wanted to sign with the Ravens.
Some free agent signings don’t pan out. However, as the Ravens look forward to training camp, Dumervil looks driven to give the Ravens their money’s worth.