Elvis Dumervil, who agreed to a two-year contract with the 49ers this week, has his sights set well beyond just reaching the 100-sack milestone.
After being limited to nine sacks in 24 games over the past two seasons while struggling with an Achilles injury, Dumervil told NBC Sports Bay Area he believes the 49ers will be vastly improved from a team that went 2-14 last season under Chip Kelly.
"I think we’ll surprise a lot of people with the roster we have," he said. "Me personally, a lot of people will be surprised with the way I move this year. I’m excited."
Dumervil, a five-time Pro Bowl player, is confident he has plenty of good football remaining in his 33-year-old body, which influenced his decision-making this offseason after the Baltimore Ravens released him in March.
“If it was a situation where I felt it was my last year, that’s all I have left, I just want to win the Super Bowl (because) I just got one year left on my body, I could have gone about it different,” Dumervil said.
“A lot of people are confused about where I’m at physically and mentally. . . Mentally and physically, I feel great. I know I have a few years left, for sure.”
Dumervil matched his career-best with 17 sacks in 2014. But his production dropped to six sacks the following season while playing through an Achilles injury that plagued him from training camp. He underwent surgery in February 2016 to repair an Achilles that was 60-percent torn.
Dumervil returned in the fourth week of last season. After playing two games, he was sidelined five more games before finishing the season.
His two sacks in eight games gave Dumervil 99 career sacks in 146 games over 10 NFL seasons.
“The last two years, I really didn’t play because I was dealing with an Achilles injury.,” Dumervil said. “Sometimes you don’t know if you’re hurt or injured. It was a situation where I thought I was hurt. You play through hurt. But I was really injured.”
Dumervil said he spoke with a “handful of teams” during the three months he remained on the market as a free agent but decided to sign with the 49ers because of several factors, including his familiarity with general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.
In Dumervil’s first two NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos, Lynch was his teammate. Also, Shanahan’s father, Mike, was the Denver coach who selected Dumervil in the fourth round of the 2006 draft.
Dumervil said first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh helped sell him on the idea of signing with the 49ers during their meeting in Santa Clara last week.
“I was very impressed with coach Saleh, Robert Saleh," Dumervil said. "I really didn’t know him. But we sat down and talked football. I knew the offense. I’m really not concerned on that side. But I didn’t know the defensive coordinator. That’s why I wanted to go out and talk football. “
Dumervil has experienced a lot of different schemes in his career. During his first seven NFL seasons with the Broncos, Dumervil played under six different defensive coordinators. He said that versatility should enable him to fit wherever he's most needed.
“I’ve been around a lot of different defensive schemes: 3-4, 4-3, defensive end, outside linebacker,” Dumervil said. “I’ve done it. When I sat down with (Saleh), I was very impressed by his style and his vision and the way he makes things simplified. I was very impressed, ‘Man, I like what he’s talking about.’ I think he’s going to be a very good defensive coordinator.
“For me, it’s just a matter of hitting the quarterback. That’s what I envision.”