Dumervil new "Face of the Broncos"

After months of negotiations, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil officially became the face of the Denver Broncos a few days before training camp.

He signed a six-year, $61.5 million extension, the biggest deal the Broncos have handed out since Champ Bailey's extension in 2004. The signing was important for the Broncos, because coach Josh McDaniels' tenure has been marked by talented players like Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall departing. The Broncos needed to make a statement that Dumervil's work ethic and demeanor off the field are the traits McDaniels wants in his program.

McDaniels mentioned Dumervil and Chris Kuper, Denver's right guard who also signed a contract extension this offseason, as players who set the tone for his program, and those players will be rewarded.

"I can't say enough about Elvis and Chris and the professionalism that all of our players have displayed, but especially those two in a situation where they didn't have to do that," McDaniels said. "I thought they represented themselves and the organization with a lot of class."

Dumervil was a key part of the 2006 draft class that included Cutler, Marshall and Tony Scheffler, all of whom were traded by McDaniels. Those players were shipped off because they were problems off the field, and Dumervil understood his circumstance was different.

"As far as the players I was drafted with, things happen," Dumervil said. "You know, I think the organization has to do what is best for the organization and the players have to do what is best for them."

Now Dumervil has to live up to his contract, which won't be easy.

"It's a lot of pressure, huh?" Dumervil said.

Dumervil will see more attention after posting 17 sacks last year, although teams were well aware of him last season as well. However, he does figure that teams will game-plan with him in mind this season.

"That's the challenge you welcome," Dumervil said. "That's football. It's the best of the best and that's why I go out and train and you run all these gassers and lift (in the) weight room and all that stuff.

"I think the coaching staff is very creative in a way so it's exciting to see the different things we can do and free up other guys so it'll be fun."

If Dumervil gets more double-team attention, other players have to put pressure on the quarterback. Robert Ayers didn't have a sack last season, but he is a former first-round pick and has the ability to make an impact. McDaniels also singled out Jarvis Moss, another former first-round pick who had a good offseason, as a potential factor opposite Dumervil.

"If you assign two people to one in the pass rush that usually gives multiple people the opportunity to rush one-on-one so the pressure or the responsibility will not just go to one player if they're trying to dictate that Elvis will not beat them in terms of creating sacks and pressures on the quarterback," McDaniels said. "I think that responsibility is a team responsibility and I think our players will see that as such."



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