Former Ravens and Broncos LB Elvis Dumervil recently commented on the trade between his two former clubs.
“It’s a big gamble—definitely desperate, no doubt,” Dumervil said. “It all depends on that running game and who is coaching them on the offensive side of the ball.”
I’m completely in agreement with Dumervil for this part. As many of you know, I live right here in Colorado. I’ve experienced the years of everybody in this wonderful state praising Elway until their face turns blue. But I’m tired of hearing about the general manager who never prepared for a life without a Hall of Fame quarterback.
After Manning retired, Elway attempted to sign Osweiler to a $13 million AAV contract in 2016. If not for the Texans inking Osweiler to a four-year/$72 million deal, we’d still be laughing about this. He acquired Paxton Lynch who has completely fizzled out of the league. Then, he signs Case Keenum to a two-year/$36 million deal. Yes, I know he signed Keenum as a stop-gap with upside but many critics knew Keenum wasn’t the reason for the Minnesota Vikings’ success. One year later, Elway trades for Flacco.
So yes, the move is blatantly desperate and it’s not shade on Joe, it’s on Elway.
Dumervil spent six seasons in Mile High before a bizarre fax machine mistake forced Denver to cut the pass rusher in 2013. After the mishap, Dumervil joined the Ravens on a five-year/$35 million deal (if he hit all incentives).
Years later, after retiring in 2018, the linebacker is sharing his opinions with TMZ Sports.
“I think Joe Flacco needs an offensive guru,” Dumervil said. “I don’t think he really had that in Baltimore, to his credit. But I do feel that, if he doesn’t have a coach who can coach him—the Sean Payton’s, the Josh McDaniel’s, these kind of guys, he’s going to fail miserably in Denver.”
I think a lot of what Dumervil said is true, though a bit more harsh than I’d state. Fans of Flacco and his time with the Ravens heralded the addition of Gary Kubiak; he brought the offense to new heights. The team leaned on the running game and Kubiak schemed to Flacco’s strong suits. The running game was heavily utilized (Justin Forsett had 1266 yds. and eight rushing touchdowns) and Flacco finished with 3986 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. At the time, those were all career highs or tied for career highs for the quarterback.
I believe Dumervil wasn’t trying to call out Flacco’s game. He was pointing towards Elway’s lack of plan after winning a championship with a top quarterback in NFL history. Now, he doesn’t have the advantages from years past and it’s showing.