|08-31-2007, 04:13 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Dumervil not shortchanged
By Mark Kiszla
Denver Post Staff Columnist
The favorite football player of Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil died in 2000.
"Derrick Thomas," said Dumervil, saluting the late, great NFL linebacker, who was paralyzed and later died from injuries suffered in an automobile accident. "That was my guy when I was growing up."
I searched the eyes of Dumervil to note the mix of admiration and pain for Thomas, his lost hero.
Then, Dumervil did something both amazing and amusing.
To make eye contact, he looked back up at me, a scrawny, 5-foot-11 sportswriter.
"I've heard it all about being too small," Dumervil said. "Maybe that's why I've always got a chip on my shoulder."
Say a little prayer for the Broncos defense, 11 guys in search of a swagger after the huge departure of captain Al Wilson and the shocking death of cornerback Darrent Williams.
Call me crazy. But I think Elvis might be the answer.
He's the Little Big Man.
"Whoever makes plays is the guy you look up to," said Dumervil, uttering words that could serve as his motto.
On the crown of a football field, Dumervil does not stand 6 feet tall. The team roster lists him at 5-11, which has to be at least one full inch generous of what this defensive end actually measures in his socks.
Randy Newman sang, "Short people got no reason to live."
No person in his right mind would have reason to believe that miniature Elvis might lead the league in quarterback sacks. You've got to pick him up just to say hello.
"This year, I can get 12 to 15 sacks. Easy," said Dumervil, who got credited with taking down the quarterback 8½ times as a rookie with the Broncos a year ago.
What, is Dumervil nuts? Miami Dolphins superstar Jason Taylor did not produce 15 sacks a year ago. At 6-6, Taylor is the defensive end of NFL Films' dreams, and handsome enough to be on the cover of GQ. Dumervil looks more like a guy who drives a truck that delivers magazines.
"I know it sounds crazy," said Dumervil, insisting he is ready to take the place of injured Denver defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, and stuff the run as well as create havoc on the pass rush. "But I think I can do it."
Walk the floors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and you won't find one enshrined player who worked the defensive line who was as short as Dumervil.
Now, there was a Hall of Fame lineman that Dumervil could almost look in the eye. The dude was fondly called "Fats" Henry. At 5-11 and 245 pounds, he was a defensive beast back in the day. Of course, Henry's day was back when a player with a fine ride drove to work in a Model T. "Fats" signed with the Canton Bulldogs in 1920, on the same morning that the NFL was born.
Nearly a century later, when a man as short as Dumervil has the outsized ambition to be among the NFL leaders in sacks, you have to admire his chutzpah.
"I've got a lot of sheriff in me," Dumervil said.
Every Colorado kid who hasn't worn his Earl Boykins jersey since the Nuggets traded the pint-sized, 5-5 guard out of town should go out and spend every last penny of saved allowance money on the No. 92 that Dumervil wears for the Broncos.
For all the Pro Bowl credentials that cornerback Champ Bailey or safety John Lynch could wave, the personality of a defense must be set in the front seven, where most of the big, nasty collisions take place.
Even if Dumervil doesn't figure to be on the field for every down, he can make the hits that stick in the psyche of opponents.
If the Broncos, who look dazed and confused in the scheme of new defensive guru Jim Bates, are going to be tough enough to scare anybody this season, I guarantee you the legend of Dumervil will grow.
"I know a lot people look at me and think, 'Aw, he's listed at 5-11 and 255, and that ain't nothing.' But I'm strong. Real strong," Dumervil said.
"Sometimes, when I'm out there on the field, rushing the quarterback, I honestly don't even think it's me. There must be this angel inside of me, doing things I never thought possible."
It must be a real big angel.
Heaven help the fool who gets in Dumervil's way.
|08-31-2007, 12:42 PM||#7|
The Kranz Dictum
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tranquility Base
when I go to the SD game I am going to make a sign that says:
Come play with my "Little Elvis"
Or something else that alludes to the fact that Elvis called his pee pee "Little Elvis"
...sorry best I could do a friday morn between meetings...
|08-31-2007, 04:44 PM||#8|
Join Date: Jan 2003
I'll take a 5'10 guy with a chip on his shoulder over a 6'6" dufus for football anyday.
|08-31-2007, 04:53 PM||#9|
Shanahan wtfpwns me
Join Date: Aug 2004
No kidding thats what this Defense needs, guys that believe they can and will do whatever they possibly can to prove it.
Everyone wants to talk about Moss, Crowder, and even Thomas(hell I even thought he would be a stud in this league).. But when its all said and done 5 or 6 years down the road, I think its going to be Elvis that stands head and shoulders above all other Broncos D-lineman.
|08-31-2007, 05:32 PM||#11|
Lace em' up and lets go!!
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Dakota
I would rather have a freakish talented 6"5 guy with a chip on his shoulder personally.
|08-31-2007, 09:42 PM||#16|
helmet to helmet hitter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Arlington, TX
|09-01-2007, 12:04 AM||#17|
Attack at all times . . .
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AFC West Championshipville
IMO, Elvis should see a lot of snaps. He disrupts a passing O, the team needs that. Seems like the D staff figured early in camp he was a square peg in the round hole they imagined the D should look like. If they had LB's able to cleanup maybe they would have thought differently, at least I hope so.