The San Francisco 49ers decision to sign Elvis Dumervil could be big for improving the pass rush, but it is just as valuable, if not more so, in helping develop some of the team’s younger talent. Dumervil shares agents with rookie Solomon Thomas, and they appear to have developed a solid working relationship thus far.
Dumervil has been spotted talking to Thomas, pulling him aside to discuss certain aspects of his game. Dumervil said on Saturday that Thomas will be a dominant player in this league, but, “I made a commitment to him that anything I see that can help him, I’ll be there to try and help with any questions.”
However, the learning has gone both ways. Dumervil said that Thomas asked a question about a certain technique, and the veteran realized it was a new way he could potentially approach something. I imagine Dumervil has a lot more to teach Thomas than vice versa, but the relationship is a two-way street.
Here’s what Dumervil had to say about working with Thomas.
On being a teacher to younger players:
“Yea, I’ve done it all my career. It’s a way to kind of give back to the things that have helped me throughout my career. I know at this point in my career we’re only as strong as our weakest link. At the end of the day, if I can pour out and help get the guys wherever they need to get to, so game 1, it makes me a better player because everybody else is a better player. I really believe in iron sharpens iron.”
On impressions of Solomon Thomas:
“He’s obviously raised well, he’s a great kid. We have the same agent, so we kind of knew of each other, so we had that relationship there. He loves football, I love it. He loves trying to get to the quarterback, being disruptive, and he’s eager to learn. As a leader too, as you teach, you learn as well. So the more I try to help, the more I learn things. Like today, I learned some things from him today. He asked a question about a certain technique, and I was like, ‘Oh, I never did it that way.’ So, you never know if you can learn something, so I appreciate those type of relationships.”
On what he told Thomas when he pulled him aside during practice:
“I mean Solomon, there’s a reason he was the number three pick. I wanna make sure we understand that, he’s a dominant player, he’s going to be a dominant player this year. But I made a commitment to him that anything I see that can help him, I’ll be there to try and help with any questions. I explained to him, you’re here for a reason, you were the third pick for a reason. And he’s a great player, it’s just a matter of him realizing, if you dominate in high school, you’ll dominate in college. If you dominate in college, you’ll dominate in the NFL. Once he realizes that, it’s the same guys, once he gets that, he’ll do what he needs to do.”