Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is regarded as a long shot to become the NFL Defensive Player of the Year despite being tied with Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston for the NFL lead with 16 sacks.
The award is expected to go to Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt for the second time in his career.
While Dumervil isn't a full-time defensive player like Houston and Watt, because he splits snaps at strong-side outside linebacker with Courtney Upshaw, he says he deserves consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.
"I definitely think I should be up there," Dumervil said of the award. "Needless to say, it's not always about that. It's really not about you. You can be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and be at home. It doesn't really resonate. You get in the playoffs and get a chance for a title, that's why I came to Baltimore. That's something I'm here for, that's why I'm here."
Dumervil is a strong Pro Bowl candidate and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording 3.5 sacks Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Dumervil has already broken Peter Boulware's single-season franchise record of 15 sacks.
Dumervil has eight sacks in his past four games.
"Pass rush is all about get-off and finish," Dumervil said. "I practice that every day. I practice that in my sleep mentally. It's a technique for me. I just try to do my job."
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will be the target this week. The rookie has a strong arm, but he has been sacked 38 times behind a struggling offensive line and has also been intercepted 16 times.
"He's talented, man," Dumervil said. "He can make all the throws. He's a guy who can hurt you. It gives us opportunities to be disruptive and get to him. They've been having guys go in and out of the lineup. It's been difficult for them to be cohesive and have that type of rhythm. They've got a lot of talent."