SANTA CLARA — Elvis Dumervil is preaching patience when it comes to the 49ers dismal sack totals. He’s also not distraught about being stuck on 99 career sacks through the first three weeks of the regular season.
“I’ve been in this league for a while,” Dumervil said. “Sacks come in bunches. It’s not anything to be stressing about.”
There’s been no shortage of hand-wringing about the 49ers’ pass rush, which is tied for 30th in the NFL with just three sacks. And Dumervil, who signed a two-year, $8 million deal in the offseason to help in that department, has been shut out — officially, at least — by Carolina, Seattle and the Los Angeles Rams.
Still, the 49ers are confident and the analytics seem to confirm that Dumervil — and others — will start getting to the quarterback soon enough.
In limited snaps in pass rush situations, Dumervil, according to Pro Football Focus, is fifth out of 57 qualifying 4-3 defensive ends in a stat called pass rush productivity rating, which measures pressure per pass rush snap. Extra weight is given toward sacks, as opposed to hits and hurries.
Dumervil, 33, has a rating of 15.8 with eight pressures in 38 pass rush snaps. Dallas’ Demarcus Lawrence leads the league with a rating of 22.6.
“It’s so freaking close for those guys and if they continue to just freaking work there’s no doubt in my mind the sacks are going to come in bunches and all that stuff will happen,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said Thursday.
The trick, according to the 49ers, is to be more consistent from game to game and to defend well on first down to help bring up second-and-long and third-and-long situations. That will give Dumervil a chance to come onto the field more often and provide opportunities for players like tackle DeForest Buckner to get one-on-one situations along the line of scrimmage.
“I do have great faith in the defense and I cannot wait, I cannot wait for Sunday to see what we’re made of,” Saleh said.
Dumervil nearly reached 100 sacks for his career in the first quarter last Thursday.
With the Rams facing third-and-7 on their own 28, Dumervil came off the left edge, got around offensive lineman Robert Havenstein on the outside and sacked Jared Goff for a 12-yard loss.
But cornerback Dontae Johnson was called for holding on the play, the Rams got a first down and never faced with a third and long for the rest of the drive. The took a 14-7 lead as Goff threw a 7-yard touchdown pass from to Todd Gurley.
Now, after lining up against mobile quarterbacks Cam Newton and Russell Wilson in weeks 1 and 2, then facing Goff, who used some timing routes to help elude pressure, Dumervil and the 49ers are preparing to face Arizona and the decidedly less mobile and less young Carson Palmer.
Dumervil has four career sacks against Palmer, who was dropped six times on Sunday by Dallas. Both of the 49ers’ next two opponents — Arizona and Indianapolis — are two of the three remaining NFL teams that Dumervil has yet to record a sack against. The other is the Rams.
Sunday’s game against a less than fleet-of-foot quarterback would seem to represent an ideal opportunity to finally reach the milestone.
“I’m just trying not to be 0-4, to be honest,” Dumervil said. “Yeah, you want to get to 100 sacks, but at the same time, you want to get a win, too. What’s the point of a sack if you don’t get the win?”
• Linebacker NaVorro Bowman said three extra days of rest has his body feeling “100 times better” heading into what he hopes will be Sunday’s first win at Arizona.
“We have to win if we want to change this culture,” Bowman said. “…If things continue to go the way that they’ve been going, I’ve seen it and it’s never good, so we want to try to change that.”
Bowman, who missed a few tackles in last Thursday’s 41-39 loss against the Rams, is still adjusting to Saleh’s new, single-gap scheme.
“Understanding the scheme and absorbing the (opposing) offense has been my biggest challenge, just trying to do those two things at once, and I feel I’m getting more comfortable with that,” said Bowman, adding how it’s “been awhile” since he played so much considering last year’s Oct. 2 Achilles tear.
• Safety Jaquiski Tartt and linebacker Brock Coyle have cleared post-concussion protocol but fullback Kyle Juszczyk remained in a non-contact jersey at practice.
Staff writer Cam Inman contributed to this report.
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