Elvis Dumervil left the building in the off season, but lucky for him, he gets to revisit his old team to kick off the 2013 NFL season.
The Baltimore Ravens are using Dumervil much like the Broncos did, according to John Fox.
“He’s kind of a ‘Sam’ linebacker type guy on base downs and a very talented rusher on third down,” Fox said.
Dumervil had 11 sacks last season, but became a household name in 2009 when he led the league in quarterback takedowns with 17.
Fax machines aside, Dumervil was a very good player during his time in Denver, and up until he signed with the Ravens, he wanted revenge on them like the rest of last year’s players on the Broncos roster.
The Broncos have looked at tape from their two games against the Ravens last year, but they’re preparing for a very different team, particularly defensively. One that includes Elvis Dumervil and takes Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Bernard Pollard, and Cary Williams off the roster.
For a Super Bowl winning team, the Ravens made some stunning moves in an attempt to get younger, stronger, and faster. Fixing something that isn’t broke actually goes against the evolution of the NFL, and perhaps that’s why many defending Super Bowl champions don’t repeat the following year.
The Ravens defense in 2012 wasn’t exactly Super Bowl caliber. They were 15th in sacks, 17th in both yards allowed and in their pass defense. Against the run, they were even worse, ranking 20th.
The team signed Dumervil, and bulked up their run defense by adding Chris Canty and Marcus Spears to the defensive lines. They’re throwing Michael Huff into the secondary, and they have Daryl Smith in at linebacker now. Their first four picks in the 2013 draft were defensive players.
While the Ravens may have actually improved on defense, they’re facing the Broncos in week one, which hasn’t allowed the new group enough time to gel on the field for a full 60 minutes. That’s where the Broncos’ offense has the advantage. The fact that they’ll presumably be running the no-huddle at 5,280 feet above sea level to kick the season off when conditioning is still an issue for some players spells trouble for this new-look Ravens defense.
It’s something that even Dumvervil can’t really game plan for. Advantage Broncos.