Elvis will be in the building Sunday. That is Broncos' outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and his league-leading 15 sacks.
At 5-foot-11 and 248 pounds, Dumervil has found instant success in his first year in the Broncos' 3-4 defense. He is not your prototypical pass rusher. Rather, he's a short, stocky player with long arms and instant leverage, much like Pittsburgh's James Harrison.
"I think he's one of the best D-ends we're going to face this year," right tackle Winston Justice said of Dumervil. "Most D-ends in the league are 6-5, 6-6, 6-3. You're not going to find a guy that's 5-11. You have to get used to it. It's different."
Coaches and players agree that Dumervil is a unique talent.
"He's not a real big guy, but he is a great leverage player. He has tremendous quickness and speed," said head coach Andy Reid. "He is having one of those years where he's gotten after every tackle that he's played. Our tackles have got to prepare themselves for a heck of a battle with him."
Tight end Brent Celek is familiar with Dumervil from the days when his Cincinnati Bearcats clashed with Dumervil's Louisville Cardinals.
"We're going to have to account for him on every play," Celek said. "He's good at getting off the ball quick. That's his biggest asset. He gets off so quick so he can get guys in a backpedal and then he'll bullrush you."
Up until this season, Dumervil played exclusively in a three-point stance. Now he's an outside linebacker who has increased his career sack total to 41 and is capable of bringing the heat from either side.
"He's very good at what he does," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "He has made some very good tackles (look foolish)."
The Eagles have allowed just eight sacks during their five-game winning streak and did not allow a sack last Sunday against the 49ers. Justice and Co. will look to keep Donovan McNabb clean on Sunday despite the efforts of the league's sackmaster.
Though the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Justice will be looking down at Dumervil, he has the utmost respect for his opponent.
"It's going to be a challenge for me and for Jason (Peters) and for the rest of the offensive line," Justice said. "He's so low to the ground. He has a low center of gravity. Most bull-rush guys are bigger guys, but he's a small guy that can also bull-rush too, which is a good combination."
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 2:30 a.m., December 25