Elvis Dumervil is a new addition to the 49ers defense and coach Kyle Shanahan said that he’s in “very good shape,” but the team won’t be putting him on the field during this week’s minicamp.
Shanahan said they felt it was more important for Dumervil to learn the team’s scheme and get familiar with his teammates before moving up to full practice participation at training camp this summer. Shanahan also said that he thinks Dumervil can be a plus for the team even when he’s not rushing quarterbacks off the edge, however.
“Yeah, totally. We would never bring in a guy just to be a mentor, but in Elvis’s case it’s a huge bonus,” Shanahan said in comments distributed by the team. “I still believe Elvis can play. I think he put it on tape at the end of last year when he started to get more over his injury. He’s had a hell-of-a career, but Elvis is a pro. I think Elvis lives and dies getting to the quarterback. He’s thinking about it all the time, every day, when he’s in the building, when he’s outside the building. Anytime you can have a guy who thinks that way, who has also had the success, it rubs off on people. What Dwight Freeney did last year for [Falcons linebacker] Vic Beasley I thought was huge, and I think when you bring in veterans like this who have had success, who know how to do it the right way, everyone learns from that.”
The 49ers have turned over a major part of the roster since hiring Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch at the start of the offseason, something that comes as no surprise given their lack of success on the field the last two years. Building a better roster will certainly be focused on players younger than Dumervil and some of the other free agents they’ve brought in this offseason, but the team obviously feels that experienced players can help them on multiple fronts while they identify those players.