ENGLEWOOD – So, Elvis Dumervil doesn’t have any sacks through the first two games.
Hardly a big deal this early in the season. Or so the Denver Broncos defensive end thought. His mom recently called and asked him very matter-of-factly, “Why don’t you have any sacks yet?”
So maybe this was a little bigger deal than he figured.
Dumervil insists his sackless start has more to do with double teams than anything else. Blockers simply have figured out a way to neutralize his patented moves, the ones that led to a league-leading 17 sacks in 2009.
Now, it’s up to Dumervil to counter. He’s watching tape of sack specialists from around the league, looking for new maneuvers he can incorporate into his pass rush.
“It’s a chess match,” said Dumervil, whose Broncos (1-1) will host Houston (2-0) today. “It’s all about studying film, knowing what’s coming and when it’s coming. I’ve got to get a step ahead of them.”
Them, of course, would be offensive linemen and whoever else tries to get in his way.
Dumervil frequently has to go through a hulking offensive tackle, with a tight end or a running back waiting for him should he break free.
His reputation simply has preceded him. So low to the ground and so fast to the quarterback, the undersized Dumervil is difficult to contain. Well, with one blocker anyway.
“Teams just account for you. It happens. It’s not like I’m just running around one-on-ones,” said Dumervil, who didn’t have his first sack until Nov. 6 last season and still finished with 9½. “I’ve just got to do a better job chipping and getting around double-teams.
“When (the sacks) come, they will come in bunches.”
As for his mom chiming in, Dumervil just laughed.
“She just loves sacks, too,” he said. “She’s my biggest fan. She’s always asking me about sacks.”
Dumervil nearly had a few against Pittsburgh in the season opener, hitting Ben Roethlisberger five times. But he just couldn’t bring the big QB to the ground.
“If I get there quicker, we wouldn’t be having this talk,” said Dumervil, a fourth-round pick in 2006 out of Louisville. “It’s not like I’m nowhere around the quarterback.”
Nor is he shirking his other responsibilities. Dumervil has been solid against the run.
“Look, sacks are going to come,” defensive tackle Justin Bannan said. “Dumervil is going to get his sacks.”