ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — When announcing Elvis Dumervil’s contract extension Thursday night, Head Coach Josh McDaniels and General Manager Brian Xanders lauded the Broncos’ sackmaster for his professionalism through this offseason.
On a Friday conference call, Dumervil said surrounding himself with a supportive group of family, friends and teammates proved the key to successfully managing a potentially uncomfortable situation.
“At the end of the day, I knew my value and there was no need to go out and pout the way other guys have handled things,” Dumervil said. “Character is No. 1 for me, and I knew if I could bring the stats along with it, I’d have a good chance. Nothing’s for sure, but I’ll take my chances with that.”
In 2009, Dumervil earned All-Pro status and his first Pro Bowl selection after leading the league with 17 sacks, cementing his status as one of the league’s premier pass rushers.
Coming into this season, the former fourth round pick from Louisville wanted a new contract, but he also didn’t want his contract to be a distraction to himself or his team.
Thursday’s announcement ensured that when he reports to training camp next week his only focus will be continuing to perfect his technique as an outside linebacker and improving on his big 2009 season.
“(The contract) was something I didn’t really want to dwell on,” Dumervil said. “I was hoping to get it done because I wanted to go into the season all football. That was able to get done, so that was a blessing in itself, and I’m excited about that.”
Since being selected by the Broncos in the 2006 draft, Dumervil has produced. He’s tallied 43 total sacks, 11 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and an interception in 61 career games. The linebacker has provided at least five sacks each season, and his 13 multi-sack games rank second in the league in that span.
Now Dumervil can look forward to being a key pillar on Broncos’ defenses in 2010 and beyond.
Less than 24 hours after the agreement became official, Dumervil said he’s still basking in the excitement of the news.
“My phone got flooded with text messages from a lot of very supportive family members and friends,” Dumervil said. “It was a great time to kind of sit back and realize what happened. It’s still a little shocking. Not shocking, but it hasn’t sunk in much. It’s a great feeling to have.”
Below are several notable quotations from Dumervil’s Friday morning conference call:
On his development as a linebacker:
“I’m a long way from where I was last year, but I’m just getting started still — if that makes sense. Mentally, I feel a whole lot more comfortable as far as the position and knowing coverage assignments. It’s not totally new any more, but the thing is I do have to work on a few techniques that I’ve got to really hammer on in training camp. I’m really excited about that.”
On getting help from his teammates rushing the passer:
“If my sack totals go down and other guys make plays, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not really about the numbers all the time. It’s about how effective I can be.”
On if his motivation changes with a new contract:
“I love the game either way. If I had a contract or not, I’d come out because I love the game. To me, (my motivation is) more personal as far as the guys who came in with me. It goes deeper (than money). People want to come into my head, it’s like a maze. It’s different than people might think it is. I have many ways to get me going. With that, I don’t think the contract or me trying to prove I’m worth the money changes the situation to me.”
On if he can improve going forward:
“I think I’m just getting started. I really do. I think this is a good opportunity for me to come into training camp and get better. Last year was the first year like I said earlier. Now with the same linebackers coach and kind of going over the same defense almost and being in the same system and not having to learn a new position, I think that favors me a little.”
– Eric Detweiler