NFL

NFL AM: Baltimore’s Elvis Dumervil Sets Lofty Personal, Team Goals

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Dumervil Eyes Sack Record, Super Bowl

There are personal goals and there are team goals. In the case of Ravens edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, those two things are perfectly intertwined.

The dynamic edge rusher is on the brink of a some impressive individual numbers. He finished last season with 17 sacks, third-most in the league and just six shy of breaking the single-season record (22.5). That leaves him 10 sacks away from 100 for his career, a number only 30 players have ever exceeded.

According to Dumervil, if he posts the kind of numbers he wants in 2015, it will take the Ravens where they want to go.

“If I can hit that number, that’ll mean we’ll be in the Super Bowl for sure,” said Dumervil, via The Baltimore Sun. “You try to win games, you try to win championships. To me, there’s nothing more important, because you can have the stats and accolades, but if you’re sitting home, it really doesn’t do any justice.”

This may be wishful thinking on Dumervil’s part. He put up impressive numbers last year — the 17 sacks tied his career best and were six more than he had posted in any of the three previous seasons — yet the Ravens still ranked No. 23 against the pass.

Also working against Dumervil’s optimism is this fun fact: seven of his 17 sacks came in Baltimore’s four games against NFC South opponents. That joke of a division appears nowhere on this year’s schedule, replaced by four games against arguably the toughest division in the league, the NFC West. Dumervil will be hard pressed to ring up seven sacks against Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Carson Palmer and Nick Foles.

Additionally, Dumervil and the rest of the Ravens pass rushers will have to adjust to life without Haloti Ngata in the middle occupying multiple offensive linemen.

It’s a tall task facing the Ravens defense. So it’s only fitting the 5’11” Dumervil is the one to step up to the challenge.

Quarless Arrested for Firing Gun

Packers TE Andrew Quarless spent his Independence Day in ironic fashion … he was arrested for and charged with misdemeanor discharging a firearm in public.

According to an incident report obtained by NFL Media, offers were called to the scene at the 500th block of Lenox Avenue in Miami Beach after two shots were fired. This took place following an argument between two males and a group of females near a parking garage.

Police found Quarless a few blocks away from the scene, allegedly trying to hide his firearm in a potted plant near a local bar. Police matched rounds from the gun to those found near the parking garage.

No one was injured in the incident.

“We are aware of the matter involving Andrew Quarless and are in the process of gathering more information. We will withhold further comment,” the Packers said in a statement.

This action is almost certain to result in a suspension for Quarless. His timing couldn’t be worse, either, as a decision on Tom Brady’s appeal is expected to come down this week. Quarless’ suspension will have to be significantly longer than Brady’s; fans will riot if Commissioner Roger Goodell comes across as tougher on under-inflated footballs than he does on gun violence.

Packers fans should not expect to see their tight end until Week 7 at the earliest. That is a big blow for Green Bay, as Quarless comes off a season in which he caught 29 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He was expected to contribute even more in 2015, with Aaron Rodgers claiming earlier this offseason that Quarless was ready to “take the jump” in 2015.

But instead of the Lambeau Leap, Quarless will have to settle for the Lauderdale lock-up.

Tice Impressed by O-Line Group

Last week, we rolled out a story covering a few former head coaches who are embarking on new jobs this season as positional assistants. One qualifier we did not cover is Mike Tice, the former Vikings head coach who is now coaching the offensive line for his old buddy Jack Del Rio in Oakland.

Tice has yet to see his new group in action with full pads on, let alone in a game environment, but he is already optimistic about the men charged with protecting second-year quarterback Derek Carr.

“I’m pretty excited about the group I have to work with,” Tice told SiriusXM NFL Radio, according to CSNBayArea.com. “First of all, it’s the biggest — I was telling my wife and some friends the other day — it’s the biggest, most athletic group of guys I’ve worked with before.”

The pressure is rising for Oakland’s offensive linemen, as the Raiders finally have enough talent at the skill positions to score some points if Carr is given time to throw. Amari Cooper, Latavius Murray and Mychal Rivera are all oozing with big-play ability. Also, newcomers Michael Crabtree. Roy Helu and Clive Walford give Oakland more quality depth than it has had at any point in the last decade.

Bottom line: if the quarterback has time to throw, this offense will go.

Del Rio believes his group can get it done. His confidence is especially high in second-year guard Gabe Jackson, who was the best offensive linemen throughout Oakland’s offseason program.

“I think the guys on the offensive side are very impressive. We have a good blend of older and middle-aged and some younger guys that are going be to rising stars in the league,” Tice said. “I think a guy that’s had the best offseason of everybody, and that’s Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi State. [I’ve] had some familiarity with him in the Senior Bowl two years ago, when we coached the Senior Bowl when I was in Atlanta, he was on the opposing team and I got to spend some time with him. Gabe is a big, athletic, strong — great football background. His dad was a high school football coach. I think he’s a rising star. I think he has a chance to be a really good one.”

If Tice is correct, the Raiders will have a chance to challenge for their first winning season since their Super Bowl run in 2002.

Want to talk more about these and other headlines? Join Michael Lombardo for his weekly NFL Chat on Friday at 2pm EST. But you don’t have to wait until then … you can ask your question now!  


About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has spent more than 10 years as a team expert at Scout.com, primarily covering the Chargers, Cardinals and Panthers. He has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and other venues.