It's hard to find Glenn Dorsey in a bad mood these days.
The sixth-year defensive lineman has proven to be a valuable free agent addition to the San Francisco 49ers. When Dorsey walks through the locker room during media availability, he's typically upbeat, despite being drenched in sweat from lifting weights.
Dorsey, a 6-foot-1, 297-pound lineman, pressed into action at nose tackle, has been working hard throughout his time in the Bay Area.
"He's done well," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said on Thursday.
Dorsey has made three consecutive starts at nose tackle for the 49ers after starter Ian Williams was lost for the season with a broken ankle.
Dorsey has 35 tackles according to the count of San Francisco's coaches, including 21 tackles in his last three starts. Besides being able to get off double-team blocks as the anchor of San Francisco's 3-4 scheme, Dorsey has penetrated up the field to record 2.0 sacks.
Mastering the nose tackle position has been a challenge at times, but Dorsey admits that his work ethic has enabled him to play like his college days. At LSU, Dorsey was the first player in school history to win the Lombardi, Outland, Nagurski and Lott Awards while helping the Tigers win a BCS Championship in 2007. The following season, Dorsey was the No. 5 overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dorsey decided a change of scenery would be best to start the 2013 season and thought it would be best to join a respected 49ers defensive unit.
Dorsey, on a two-year contract with the 49ers, finds himself as a starter and as a contributor. He credits summer workouts with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald in helping him get in the best shape of his life. Dorsey pointed to uphill sprints in San Jose being a major key to his improved play.
"I think it's paying off," Dorsey said. "That's truly how I feel. I feel like I'm explosive like I used to be. My strength is there and my technique is getting there. I'm very confident right now."
Fangio sees it, too.
"To his credit, he came here day one right after he signed and threw himself into our offseason program, got himself in the best shape he's been in, I believe, since he's been in pro football," Fangio said. "And he's doing a nice job for us, and he's fitting in well with the guys and everybody loves having him on the team."
All-Pro linebacker Joe Staley is one of those members of the locker room. Willis raved about Dorsey's recent play.
"One thing I love most, he listens really well," Willis explained. "When we have feedback, he's able to talk to us and he's able to read blocks. For a big man, he moves really well."
Dorsey was part of the 49ers defensive line rotation to start the season, but has now taken over a major role on San Francisco's base defense without the service of Williams in the lineup.
"With Ian going down," Willis began, "it's been a blessing to have someone like (Dorsey) be able to step up and play as good as he has so far.
"This is his first time playing nose. I just see a guy who's consistently getting better every week. That's what it's about, not staying the same, being better than you were the week before and he's certainly doing that."
Dorsey's not a traditional nose tackle, but he has the strength and athleticism to give opposing offensive linemen trouble.
Although he's made an impact in the early stages of his 49ers career, Dorsey is not finished working by any means. That's why he's always working up a sweat.
"I'm still growing and learning," Dorsey said.