The acquisition of Elvis Dumervil was a signing helped by fate, and it's one, coupled with the other under-the-radar signings made by general manager Ozzie Newsome this offseason, that will be provide a major boost to the team's Super Bowl repeat campaign.
Let's examine what Dumervil brings from an on-field standpoint.
The 29-year-old is undersized for his position, standing 5'11'' and weighing 260 pounds.
On occasion, his smaller stature is the reason why he's engulfed by mammoth offensive tackles. But most of the time, his low center-of-gravity helps him bend around the edge and makes it extremely difficult for those same left and right tackles to reach down to control him at the point of attack.
Check this sequence in Week 6's thrilling comeback win against the San Diego Chargers.
Dumervil is lined up at left defensive end and is set to work against right tackle Jeromey Clary.
Upon the snap, the Broncos pass-rusher demonstrated a decent burst and was met by the right tackle at the corner. But due to his unrelenting will, deceptive strength and especially his lack of ideal height, notice how Clary was forced to reach and almost lunge at Dumervil when attempting to make contact.
Clary is not balanced, therefore Dumervil was able to use violent hand work to move past him en route to Philip Rivers.
Dumervil also flourishes as a strip-sack artist.
Instead of simply dragging Rivers to the turf or sizing up a highlight-reel hit, Dumervil slapped the ball out of Rivers' hand, which forced a game-changing fumble.
Without question, Dumervil is a pass-rushing specialist. However, just because he's more proficient getting after the quarterback than he is stuffing the run, it doesn't mean he's not valuable.
Actually, Dumervil isn't totally lost when it comes to setting the edge and staying fundamentally sound as a run defender.
In the same game, Dumervil displayed his discipline on a toss to the left that was supposed to look like a power run to the right.
Instead of over-pursuing, the Louisville product set what initially appeared to be the backside edge and was quick enough to cut off Ryan Mathews before the running back could turn the corner.
The play resulted in a one-yard loss.
He has accumulated 63.5 sacks in six professional seasons and 91 games, and, actually, his 52 combined tackles and six forced fumbles in 2012 were career highs.
Does Dumervil's presence mean Baltimore won't experience some growing pains from their offseason loss?
However, as an ideal complement to the physically imposing Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil will play a vital role in the Ravens successfully turning the chapter from the Reed and Lewis era and making a run to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
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