Many of the questions surrounding the 2013 Baltimore Ravens are focused around team leadership. After having one of the best leaders of all time in middle linebacker Ray Lewis retire and losing another team leader via free agency in Ed Reed, many fans and NFL analysts have wondered where that leadership would come from.
No question quarterback Joe Flacco is ready to lead this offense and this team but obviously Flacco isn't on the field with the defense. So, someone will need to step up into the role formerly held by Lewis. That person may just be one of the newest Ravens, Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil was known to be a leader in Denver where he spent the first seven seasons of his NFL career.
When a paperwork snafu allowed Elvis to become a free agent this off season the Ravens jumped at the chance to add another dominant pass rusher to their defense to pair with Terrell Suggs. The Ravens wanted Dumervil for more than just his ability to get to the quarterback however. Shortly after Dumervil signed with the Ravens Broncos linebacker Von Miller came out with a statement praising Elvis for being the leader of the defense in Denver for the past seven seasons. This is big praise coming from a guy like Miller who is considered to be one of the games elite linebackers.
Dumervil has already shown why he was such a leader in Denver in his short time here in Baltimore. He has participated in every one of the Ravens off season work out programs so far and seems to be quickly earning the respect of those around him. A former fourth round pick, Dumervil says he knows what it is like to have to work for your spot on the team.
"That’s just always what I’ve done since [I was] a rookie," Dumervil said. "You never know when that opportunity stops, so I always just take advantage of every opportunity."
The Ravens did everything they could to make Dumervil understand that they appreciated him for the player he is and wanted him to be a Raven. It looks like that work will pay off as he has shown to be just as advertised so far. A leader of men on the field that leads by example. To think that the Ravens got him for less than the Browns are paying former Raven Paul Kruger is amazing.