When told he has a career-high 88 tackles, according to coach-kept statistics, in his sixth NFL season, Dorsey looked in disbelief. His 13 tackles against the St. Louis Rams in Week 13 was also a single-game career high, but the humble nose tackle wasn't aware of that stat either.
Pats on the back aren't necessary for Dorsey, who seldom finds himself looking at the stat sheet.
"We don't need all the glory," Dorsey said about San Francisco's defensive linemen. "We do the hard work and it pays off. When we come back and watch film and you see that we just dominated this guy, we just dominated this front, this team, this rush.
"That's the type of satisfaction we take in our jobs. We don't look for the accolades. Just being able to dominate you opponent is enough in itself."
When Dorsey signed with the 49ers as a free agent this offseason, coaches praised his versatility to be able to play all three defensive line positions. With the Kansas City Chiefs, his first NFL team, Dorsey played defensive end, a similar spot to Justin Smith's defensive tackle role in the 49ers scheme.
Dorsey, however, was called upon to assume the 49ers starting role at nose tackle after Ian Williams was placed on injured reserve with a broken ankle in Week 2.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Dorsey may have "found a home" at nose tackle, the position the fifth overall draft pick in 2008 hopes to play for the foreseeable future.
"I like it a lot," Dorsey said. "It's a hard position to play. You don't get any glory from it, but I'm OK with that. It's cool with me. I like nose. It's like I get to play in my own little box. A lot of teams like to come out and establish something directly in the center of the defense. I like that challenge every week, to be able to stop them from the middle."
Dorsey credits his strong play to his position coach, Jim Tomsula, as well as Smith and Ray McDonald. Smith, in particular, has shown Dorsey how to recognize how offensive lines are trying to attack him.
"Justin has taught me how to adjust on the run," Dorsey explained. "You get in a game where you've seen a team do one thing all year, but when they get to a game, they do something different to us. He's taught me to be able to see that and adjust to what they're doing and be able to beat the blocks."
The 49ers defensive line had its hands full against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14, a team known for creating havoc with cut-blocks in addition to a zone-running scheme. The No. 2 rushing attack in the NFL, led by Marshawn Lynch, was held to just 86 yards on the ground in a 19-17 49ers win.
While the game wasn't a so-called must-win, it meant much more to Dorsey and the 49ers, who looked to atone for a 29-3 defeat at Seattle in Week 2.
"The first time around, we felt like we didn't play up to our potential and a lot of people were sleeping on us," Dorsey said. "I kind of like that. I just think it was important for us to come out and show that we can get a good win against a good team and just show everybody that we're for real."
Currently the No. 6 seed in the NFC, the 49ers are peaking at the right time with their "backs against the wall," according to Dorsey.
"There are a lot of fighters on this team," Dorsey said. "There are a lot of guys who take pride in what they do. A lot of guys take pride in wearing that helmet, that last name on their jersey. There's a lot of pride in this building and we have to work hard every week. When it comes to gameday, you want to see success. You want to win and a lot of guys strive for that."