By Rich Kurtzman
Elvis Dumervil, DE #92
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Experience: 7 years
Elvis Dumervil is a fighter, a warrior and an absolute animal on the football field.
The left defensive end wasn’t even expected to play last Sunday after injuring his left shoulder the week before, but Broncos players and fans were pleasantly surprised to see him take the gridiron and at tip-top shape. If that shoulder was bothering him, you’d never know by watching the man go wild on the Chargers. Dumervil was dynamic as ever, using his strength and quickness to overtake would-be blockers as he was a domineering force all day long.
He was part of Denver’s defense controlling the line of scrimmage and controlling the game. The Broncos simply wouldn’t allow San Diego to convert on third down, and the Chargers started 0-10 on the crucial down to start the game. The Orange Crush even forced two penalties—a false start and hold—as San Diego’s offensive line was over-matched.
For Dumervil, it wasn’t just about putting pressure on Philip Rivers—which he did—but flying all over the field to make plays. He ended the contest with six total tackles, and it was his final play that summed up his team’s triumph over their division rivals. With time ticking away and San Diego still only down seven points, Rivers dropped back to find a receiver on to have “Dr. Doom” bring the pain, sack the quarterback while forcing and recovering the fumble. It secured the Broncos win and all but guaranteed a back-to-back division championship for the men from the Mile High City.
Of course, he’s been much more than a one-hit wonder; Dumervil’s a major reason why Denver’s defensive front is the best in football. The team’s 35 total sacks lead the league; Dumervil and edge-rushing pal Von Miller—or Doom and Gloom as fans affectionately call them—have astonishingly accounted for 21 combined sacks.
While Miller is a rising superstar, Dumervil has been developing his craft in Denver longer—seven seasons total—and the veteran’s “quiet” year is making lots of noise on the stat sheet. The 5’11” defensive end—originally thought of as a “tweener,” too small to play professionally at a high level—is currently 10th in the NFL with eight sacks. Those sacks have resulted in 54 yards lost by opposing quarterbacks; but that’s not all. When Dumervil get to the QB, he rakes, chops and pokes at the football to jar it loose, forcing six fumbles, which is second-best in the NFL. Those have certainly contributed to the Broncos’ beastly 13 forced turnovers over the last five games, with the team winning each contest.
Before Miller was drafted No. 2 overall in 2011, Dumervil was the man that made Denver’s D go, but he seems fine with taking a back seat the stardom while continuing to work diligently to be the best player possible. Due to his lack of size, he’s always had to fight to prove himself, which has turned out to be a positive character trait for the short D-end from Miami, Florida.
If you watch him on Sundays, he’ll most likely be using that shorter stature to win the leverage battle against giant offensive tackles. He’s the kind of player that lets his Pro Bowl caliber play speak for itself, not needing to trash talk to win battles. He’s a leader on and off the field through his drive, determination and dedication while being a crucial piece to the Denver D’s pass-rushing prowess.
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Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Find more of Rich’s Denver Broncos pieces on Examiner.com.