DENVER (CBS) – Things are going much better for Broncos defenseman Elvis Dumervil than they were a year ago.
Dumervil, who was an opposing quarterback’s worst nightmare during the 2009 season, suffered a torn pectoral muscle early in Training Camp last year and missed the entire 2010 season.
The defense clearly missed his presence terribly. They landed with a thud at the bottom of the rankings for NFL team defense.
Broncos fans are breathing a sigh of relief now, because “Doom” is back. Dumervil sat down with CBS4′s Gary Miller after playing a few downs with the first team defense in the Broncos first preseason game and said he’s seeing some positive signs that the defense will be improved this year.
For one thing, the hire of defensive-minded coach John Fox will help, Dumervil said.
“We’ve finally got an ace card in our pocket,” Dumervil said. “Coach Fox is very knowledgeable and I’m going to try to pick his brain as much as possible.”
Dumervil said Fox is a hit so far in Training Camp. “I think the players love him and want to play hard for him,” he said.
Another thing that will help is fresh blood on the defensive squad. Dumervil says he’s impressed so far with rookies Von Miller, Rahim Moore and Nate Irving. He also praised the play of newcomers Ty Warren and Brodrick Bunkley, both veterans.
“I think we’ve got a bunch of good guys, so we’re just going to try to gel it in,” he said.
In 2009, when Dumervil led the league with 17 sacks, he was a linebacker in what was a 3-4 defense. Now he’s back to defensive end in the Broncos’ current 4-3 defense.
“I think I want to be as good as I can be for whatever position I’m playing,” he said. “Most importantly, you’ve got to win. That’s the No. 1 goal for me this year. Obviously for us to win I’ve got to do my part and beyond.”
After a year of recovery and the NFL lockout’s conclusion, Dumervil says he appreciates football more than ever.