The San Francisco 49ers last free agent signing of the offseason was pass rusher Elvis Dumervil. The team signed him in early June, just before minicamp, and hope he can bring something to the pass rush as a nickel defensive end.
Dumervil lasted as long as he did in free agency in part because he spent the past two seasons dealing with an Achilles injury. He had 17.0 sacks in his last fully healthy season, and while that was three years ago, there is hope he can provide a boost to a pass rush that has struggled in recent seasons.
The 49ers don the pads on Sunday, and that will bring one-on-one pass rush drills. The team has practiced without pads since the offseason workout program, and while there is some physicality to it, there’s nothing like what we’ll start to see moving forward.
On Saturday, Dumervil met with the media to discuss practice thus far, and what Sunday will bring. He had some interesting comments about facing off against left tackle Joe Staley and right tackle Trent Brown. He thinks they each offer a different challenge, with Staley bringing more athleticism, and Brown bringing more size.
Dumervil is impressed with the natural tools Brown brings, pointing out that he has traits you can never teach a player. He also references making sure Brown is in shape and improving his technique. Those are the big questions with Brown, because there is no question his combination of size and speed is kind of ridiculous.
Here are Dumervil’s comments on the two tackles. He talked about the challenges, but also made it clear that they don’t present serious problems to him.
Facing Joe Staley, Trent Brown:
“We’ve danced off a few times in my career. I really have a tremendous amount of respect for Joe. And you see why he’s a good player. Now being his teammate, he practices hard, so I really feel like we have one of the top tackle duos I’ve ever played with. I think Brown and Joe present two different types of styles, but I think very effective. It’s exciting to be able to sharpen my skills and really try and get those guys game ready, so when game-day comes, they feel like they’ve seen things before. So we have a lot of different style of rushes on defense, so I think from the height difference and the size difference, we’re gonna present a lot of opportunities for each other to help each other out.”
On Trent Brown:
“He’s born with things you can’t work towards. He has nice, big size, long arms, and he can move. So those type of things separate you from the pack because not everybody is as big as this guy. Now it’s just getting him in shape, fine-tuning his technique — I think the offensive line coach does a great job with that part. And it’s just a matter of going hard every play, and getting me better, gett him better hopefully, and see what happens.”
Have one of the two (Staley, Brown) given him more problems:
“It’s not gonna be a problem. It’s never gonna be a problem. It’s more of a way where I can go either side and get what I think — for me I like it because I go against a heavy guy, and I go against a quicker guy. For me, you won’t go against, in the National Football League, a guy as quick as Joe often, or a guy as big as Trent. Having both guys on the same team is tremendous talent for us as a defender, to really try and go out there and dominate them. But problems, we don’t really have problems.”