Robert Ayers is ready to fill Dumervil’s shoes


Broncos fans have fretted for weeks about the future of the defensive end position given the departure of Elvis Dumervil.

Robert Ayers thinks there’s nothing to worry about.

A first-round pick in 2009 whose career to date has been underwhelming at best, Ayers sees himself as the guy who’ll step up, now that Dumvervil has stepped off.

“He’s a guy that mentored me a lot, taught me a lot about the game,” Ayers told reporters on Wednesday regarding Dumervil.  “I’ve grown as a man since I’ve been here and as a player in the NFL.  It’s tough to see him go.  But it’s part of the business, and I know it’s a big opportunity for myself.  We’ve talked about it.  One thing he said, ‘Man, do your thing.  You’re more than ready.’  He’s still encouraging.  It’s an unfortunate situation, but it’s an opportunity that I look forward to taking advantage of.”

And so Ayers wasn’t surprised when he was told that he’d be the starting defensive end on the right side of the line.

“That was my mindset once I heard the news [about Dumervil],” Ayers said.  “I knew it was an opportunity for me, and I’m looking forward to it.  The fact that he says that doesn’t make me relax or anything — it makes me hungry.  Because I know there are a lot of expectations, and I have high expectations of myself.  So I’m just looking forward to working hard and being ready to take advantage of it.”

Ayers has 6.5 career sacks in four seasons, via 57 games and 24 starts.  He earned zero starts in 2012, the first year of his career in which Ayers didn’t start at least one game.

After talking over an extended period of time with defensive end Dwight Freeney, the Broncos signed former Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips to a one-year deal with no guaranteed money and an intention to make him a defensive end in the 4-3.  To keep that starting job in 2013, Ayers may have to hold off Phillips.

15 responses to “Robert Ayers is ready to fill Dumervil’s shoes

  1. He’ll be fine. Von attracts so much attention you could put anyone in that spot and he’d put up numbers.

  2. Lol, yea cuz they signed a scrub to give you competition your talking about a guy who lead his team in sacks, ff, can cover and is crafty at picking the ball off.

    Sounds to me like your being replaced and will be lucky to make the team

  3. 6.5 Sacks in 4 years now that is bad and putting it kindly. He is a bust and that is all.

  4. I think Elway has awful drafts. Their defense is swiss cheese and they addressed one need in the draft defensively with a 5th round CB in the 3rd round. They had time to replace “Doom” with a viable replacement via the draft whether it had been a 1st rounder or 2nd rounder. Their secondary is pitiful and received no help or even competition pieces through the draft. But hey they picked up a solid wes welker to help their dismal passing attack!(Sarcasm), a Zone blocking RB in Montee Ball, (They don’t run a zone blocking scheme anymore) and a solid defensive tackle that was a nice safe pick in the 1st. Elway is horrible as a GM hence them signing their best pick up in 2 yrs Tom Heckert. Elway thinking like a QB when putting a team together won’t get it done this year again. MPO is Manning is Manning but he looked fatigued at the end of year when the games mattered most.

  5. I like Robert Ayers. I think this might be the only opportunity he has in Denver before his contract is up but I think he has potential. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in camp.

  6. Guy was a first rounder; Doom was a four. We have all been ready for him to do something the last couple of years. It would be great to see him make a play at some point and make us all forget about the abysmal performance Doom had in the playoffs!

  7. They signed Phillips to rush the passer, so Ayers will be expected to play primarily on run downs just like last year. He may be asked to play a few more snaps, but this “starter” distinction is really nominal. A rotation of Phillips and Ayers at RDE might actually be better than Dumervil and Ayers because Dumervil is among the worst defensive linemen in the NFL at stopping the run (Football Outsiders had him graded 6th from the bottom among all qualifying linemen in 2012). They also drafted Quanterus Smith as a long term developmental prospect as a pass rusher. The Broncos D line will be just fine without Dumervil.

  8. 10x better run stopper then Dumervil, but that’s pretty much his only specialty. I hope he’s improved as a pass rusher but I have my doubts. I know Jason Babin was considered a bust before he finally broke out going into his seventh season or something like that, but that’s pretty rare… I’m assuming Phillips will take over his role on obvious passing downs.

  9. steelerberd says:
    May 9, 2013 12:02 AM
    I think Elway has awful drafts. Their defense is swiss cheese and they addressed one need in the draft defensively with a 5th round CB in the 3rd round.
    That “Swiss cheese” defense that you mention was 2nd in the NFL in total defense in 2012 – 3rd against the pass, 3rd against the run. I hate when people that don’t watch football comment on these posts.

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