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When Elvis Dumervil was asked to move from defensive end to outside linebacker to fit the Broncos' new 3-4 scheme, nobody knew for sure if he would work out at the new position.

When Elvis Dumervil was asked to move from defensive end to outside linebacker to fit the Broncos' new 3-4 scheme, nobody knew for sure if he would work out at the new position. Surely, it's safe to say, very few people expected the move to work out this well.

Dumervil, who had a good training camp and preseason, tied a franchise record with four sacks against Cleveland on Sunday. His quickness off the edge has been a huge asset to the Broncos' defense during the scheme transition.

"He can get underneath you and push you back to the quarterback," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. "He is a unique player."

The Broncos needed an elite edge rusher for their 3-4, and Dumervil might end up being that player. He was a good pass rusher at end, although last year his numbers trailed off. He got off to a slow start because of a hand injury and never recovered.

Dumervil didn't know what to expect this season. He had never played outside linebacker, but he deserves credit for working hard to learn the new position. The Broncos have been smart too, not asking him to get outside his comfort level too often in the scheme.

Eventually, Dumervil started translating his pass rush ability to outside linebacker, zipping by Browns right tackle John St. Clair often on Sunday. Dumervil lines up at right outside linebacker in the base defense but moves to the left side for passing situations.

"It hasn't been easy," Dumervil said. "I still have a lot to learn. I feel like I am going the right direction, though."

NOTES, QUOTES
--Broncos coach Josh McDaniels insisted there was no reason receiver Brandon Marshall sat out during a long stretch of the second quarter. Marshall was on the sideline and apparently ready to go, but the Broncos kept using Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley in the three-receiver sets.

"No reason," McDaniels said. "All our guys are ready to go whenever we call their number and we were doing some different things, moving people in and out."

--The Broncos have been spreading the ball around through two games, especially in the passing game. While that might not be great for people that expected big years out of Eddie Royal or Brandon Marshall, Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said he doesn't believe in trying to get players a certain amount of touches in a game.

"I don't buy into forcing the ball, I think you get into problems," McDaniels said. "I think that creates turnovers. Defenses would love that if you force the ball to one guy."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
PLAYER NOTES
--S Darcel McBath got his first career interception in the final seconds of Sunday's game. McBath could eventually find himself with a role in passing situations, but for the first two weeks most of his work has come on special teams. McBath was a second-round pick.

--Brett Kern rebounded nicely in Week 2. After a rough opener, Kern averaged 54.5 yards against the Browns and helped keep their dangerous returner Joshua Cribbs in check.

--G Russ Hochstein didn't start his second straight game at right guard because Chris Kuper returned from injury. But Hochstein was used as a fullback in the goal-line offense. Hochstein is a typical Patriots lineman, meaning he could be used in gadget situations by Josh McDaniels.

--CB Alphonso Smith handled punt returns for the Broncos on Sunday. He didn't break any long returns but had no ball security issues, which was a concern for the team through preseason.

--LB Darrell Reid led the Broncos with two special-teams tackles against Cleveland. Reid, who also plays in the nickel defense, is quickly becoming a valuable and versatile player for the team.



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