This post was made in the interest of conversation, debate, and for the purpose of learning something. It wasn't made to point fingers at anyone's opinions, and I don't expect it to devolve into that. I will keep this short, as I hope the meat of the conversation and flow of information happens in the comments, as I am primarily asking a question above all else.
Let's get to it. In light of the great news that Elvis Dumervil wants to be a Bronco and that our front office are of the same mind, it got me thinking on a subject that has been brewing in my cockamamie mind for entirely too long.
How bad is our pass-rushing maestro at stopping the run?
I'll let it be known where I stand on the matter while admitting that I am hazy about it, hence the post:
I am of the opinion that Doom isn't as bad as everyone makes him out to be in the run game. I have seen comments as recently as 5 minutes ago along with several years old, saying things such as, "Doom is a great pass-rusher, but he is a liability in the run game." And "He can't be considered an elite player until he learns how to defend the run." And, "He doesn't have the skill set to be effective in the run game, therefore he is, and always will be, a situational pass-rusher." Along with those thoughts, are the notion that he should not be paid a large contract because of his faults in the run game. But let's not go there, as I'm looking at this more from a tecnical on the field perspective than an economical one.
Last season, his first in a new system at an entirely new position, Elvis put up 17 sacks (leading the league) and had 42 tackles. He also didn't miss a single tackle on the season. He is the only player in the league who can boast that stat.
My Hasty Conclusion
So, as I see it, we can reasonably assume that when Doom is in position to make a tackle, he gets the job done. Therefore, my conclusion is that the only way Doom can be considered a liability in the run game is if he is routinely out of position on running plays. Meaning he either takes the wrong path to the ball carrier, or is taken out of the play completely by a blocker. I haven't seen any empirical evidence that this is the case, so I am going to ask a series of questions in numbered form to make it easier for y'all to discuss.
1. What makes Doom a bad run defender at the OLB position? Is it his inability to shed blockers and get to the runner? Is he bad at diagnosing the direction of the play? Another factor?
2. Does Doom's skillset as a player make him a player "doomed" to always be a situational pass rusher and a liability in the run game?
3. How much of the stigma that he is a bad run defender can be attributed to the poor defensive line play on his side from last season? (possibly not referring to the first half of the season, and more so the second half) Is it fair to say that not having a true run-stuffer who demanded a double team amongst our front 3 could be to blame for Doom being blocked out of plays at a high rate?
4. How much can he be expected to improve in the run game this season, given that it is his second season at the new position and that he should have some more effective fat guys in front of him?
I will also admit that I probably didn't focus on Dumervil too much in the run game, which is another reason for this post. Since I probably missed the majority of his work against the run last season, I am hoping someone who did put more focus and effort into watching it could chime in with their thoughts.
Also, I was unable to find much video of Dumervil in the run game, his highlights understandably consist of him crunching QB's. Does anyone have any video or statistical evidence of Doom struggling (or excelling) in the run game?
I look forward to the discussion.