- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Yes, they're the newest starters to the Baltimore Ravens defense and both will improve Baltimore's front seven. There's also another trend: they each have something to prove.
This could end up being more valuable to the Ravens than the rest of the league when you look at the past decade. You can make an argument that recent defending Super Bowl champions aren't as hungry as the previous year. There has to be some reason why the last seven Super Bowl winners have failed to win a playoff game the following season.
You got the sense that there is an edge with Dumervil. He always had to overcome criticism that he was undersized. Then, this offseason, the Broncos asked him to take a $4 million pay cut after he recorded 11 sacks. After Dumervil agreed to the reduction, his paperwork didn't get to the team in time and the Broncos released him rather than pay him $12 million this year.
"I have a chip on my shoulder," Dumervil said at this introductory news conference Tuesday, "I may have a brick wall now."
It's a similar storyline with Canty, who signed with the Ravens two weeks ago. Canty has to show he can bounce back from a season in which groin and knee injuries limited him to nine games. The Giants released him without even offering him a pay cut from his $6.25 million salary.
Now, Dumervil and Canty will team up to help get the Ravens back to the Super Bowl and improve a pass defense that recorded 37 sacks, which ranked 15th in the NFL.
Ravens inside linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale knows how motivated Dumervil can be. Martindale coached him in Denver for two seasons (2009 and 2010).
“When Elvis came out from Louisville, at that time he said, ‘I’m the best pass-rusher in the draft,’” Martindale said. “And all he’s done year in and year out is he’s tried to be the best pass-rusher, not to take away from any of the other great pass-rushers in this league. And his numbers show you that he’s been really successful.”