“We believe in Coach ‘Harbs’ [John Harbaugh]. We’ll forever keep playing hard for him, and we’ll play hard for one another, for this city, for the fans. It’s a great organization, so quit is not in our DNA. You can count on the Ravens fighting until the end of the season.” ~ Elvis Dumervil
Elvis Dumervil hasn’t had the luxury of playing opposite Terrell Suggs this season. Consequently his splash stats – sacks, have suffered. He’s on track to register 8 sacks which pale in comparison to the 17 he recorded in 2014.
But he keeps grinding – keeps chopping wood.
It would be rather easy and arguably understandable if Dumervil coasted a bit down the homestretch of this dreadful season, preserving himself for his paydays in 2016 and 2017 when he’ll earn $5M and $6M respectively. Instead he’s amped up his play even if the stats belie the effort.
And he’s become a leader.
Doom is ranked as the league’s 12th best edge defender by Pro Football Focus and compares favorably to some of the NFL’s best.
Luck hasn’t exactly been on Dumervil’s side. He left the Broncos primarily because his agent botched up a fax that would have kept him in Denver. Since his departure the Broncos have enjoyed greater success than he has as a Raven. Had he stayed he would have played in his first Super Bowl.
Today Dumervil finds himself playing for a team in tatters, shredded by injury and drowning in underachievement. Yet his determination remains undeterred despite a 23-23 record while wearing purple and black.
The Ravens, like Dumervil, are playing for pride and given the quality of the organization, 2015 is likely to be an anomaly. It’s also likely to be a learning experience that will make the Baltimore Ravens better for years to come.
Particularly when they take the field with men of character – men like Elvis Dumervil.