(Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens)
Talk of Fame Network
First, Elvis Dumervil set sack records in high school. Then he set sack records in college. Then he set sack records with the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens.
Now he looks into his crystal ball and sees the NFL singe-season sack record of 22.5, set in 2001 by Michael Strahan, getting broken. So, naturally, we asked him by whom and when, and Dumervil was more than happy to reply when he appeared on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast.
“It’s going to fall very soon,” he said of Strahan's mark, “and I hope I’m the one who breaks it. I think the league is going to a lot of pass-happy offense. And the thing about it is, is that there are so many great rushers I give it in the next couple of years that the record will be broken... for sure."
Kansas City's Justin Houston nearly broke it last season, finishing with 22, and Jared Allen produced the same number in 2011. For that reason, San Francisco’s Aldon Smith two years ago predicted the record would fall and that he would break it.
But that's not all. He said he could hit 30 sacks in one year.
“Thirty sacks?” said Dumervil, one of two featured guests on our Countdown to the Draft. “I want to give more credit to offensive coordinators. And I like to go into the game respecting my opponent. For a guy to get 30 sacks, that would be remarkable. Not in my lifetime.”
Dumervil, who told the Talk of Fame he prefers playing linebacker to defensive end, grew up in a family where he studied his brothers as football role models – with each, he said, a terrific pass rusher. But when it came to modeling his pass-rush skills after an NFL player, he found the perfect guy in an outside linebacker in Kansas City.
Hall-of-Famer Derrick Thomas.
“That’s the reason why I wear number 58,” he said. “I thought he demonstrated great burst and was relentless toward the quarterback at the finish. And I always admired that.”
Like Thomas, Dumervil is a master of the strip sack – with the Baltimore pass rusher setting an NCAA record in college in his career and producing 20 in eight pro seasons.
“I watched (Thomas) a ton,” he said. “I’m a student of the game. I study guys and I have a tremendous amount of respect for players and the art of rushing the passer. I think it is something that is … I’m not going to say undervalued because, obviously, the NFL rewards those guys who get sacks … but I think it’s an art that is very difficult and unique to everyone, and it’s an art I don’t underestimate. So I respect anyone who can get to the quarterback.”