When Elvis Dumervil signed with the Ravensearlier this offseason, he said that he wanted to participate in every possible part of the offseason program.
And that's exactly what he's done.
Over the past two months, Dumervil has been a regular participant in the team's voluntary conditioning, football school and Organized Team Activities (OTAs). He's quickly learned the defense and established himself in the locker room.
"He hasn't missed one thing since he's been here," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I feel like he's emerging as a leader for our football team."
In his short time with the Ravens, Dumervil has already earned the respect of his coaches and teammates. He was known as a leader during his time with the Broncos, and that reputation has carried over to the Ravens.
"I'm just coming here, just being who I am," Dumervil said. "I think before you become a good leader, you've got to follow. Right now, I've come to a first-class organization, from the owner down, head coach, [General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome], and those guys really demonstrate the way they want things to be done."
Dumervil's arrival is part of an overall transition taking place within the Ravens locker room, especially on defense. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are gone, and now it's time for a new core group of leaders to emerge.
While Dumervil emphasized that he's not looking to take over for Lewis and the legacy the future Hall of Famer left in Baltimore, he's does want to learn from what Lewis established during his 17 NFL seasons.
"I think you can learn from your past, and I think the history, the past he's left here was remarkable and sort of set in stone," Dumervil said. "His place will always be marked here, and you've just got to learn from that and try to keep it going."
Harbaugh echoed that Lewis will always be part of the Ravens, but that the leadership void is being filled by the players like Dumervil.
"Some other guys grow up behind into that opportunity," Harbaugh said. "That's what will happen. I can see guys doing it already."
Having the opportunity to be one of those players was part of the attraction for Dumervil to get right to work during the offseason. He's one of the veterans who has been in Baltimore since the training program began, and that commitment can rub off on younger players.
"That's why I think it's important to come out, offseason training, OTAs and those things, let the younger guys know it's a profession, you've got to be professional about it, and you take your job seriously," Dumervil said.
Dumervil signed a five-year deal reportedly worth $35 million to join the Ravens, and veterans with big contracts often don't regularly attend the voluntary workouts.
But for Dumervil, a former fourth-round pick, skipping the workouts was never even an option.
"That's just always what I've done since [I was] a rookie," Dumervil said. "You never know when that opportunity stops, so I always just take advantage of every opportunity."
Dumervil came to the Ravens after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos. In addition to adjusting to a new team, locker room and city, Dumervil also had to learn a new position.
The Broncos played a 4-3 defense, while the Ravens run a 3-4. He was a defensive end in Denver's scheme, and now will play outside linebacker.
"Coming into a new position – new atmosphere – I just wanted to get involved and get acclimated with the guys as soon as possible, learn a new position," Dumervil said. "Those things, collectively, on top of what I just do normally– I thought it was important [to participate]."
Now that he's already learned the defense and established himself as a leader, Dumervil's focus is to be ready for when the season rolls around, and continue building on the Ravens' tradition of defensive dominance.
"The picture is there of what you need to do, and I just try to come in and do what I need to do to win," Dumervil said.