The big topic after Thursday’s practice was the fines that Von Miller has incurred since entering the league last season.
In less than two seasons of play, Miller has racked up 6 fines.
“It’s a fast game,” head coach John Fox said. “It’s a combative game played by combative people. You always try to curve it the best you can. There’s a smaller strike zone, so to speak, in our league now, whether you’re playing in the secondary or upfront in the rush element.”
Miller was informed by the league office on Friday that he was being fined $25,000 for a “below the knees” hit on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman. That’s in addition to his $21,000 fine for the hit he put on Cam Newton in November, and for the $15,750 hit he put on Matt Schaub in September.
“No, clearly not, just a really good player,” defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said of whether Miller is playing dirty. “I think all of the guys, defensive guys, are attempting to learn as much as they can about how the game’s being called and how they can stay within the rules, still do your job and play defense and keep people from scoring.”
Miller’s aggressive style of play has helped him to 16 sacks, 24 tackles for a loss, 6 forced fumbles, and a pick-6 this season alone.
Miller isn’t going to let the fines effect him, even with a possible suspension looming overhead.
“You try to go out there and play with a fanatical effort and a relentless pursuit to the ball,” Miller said. “Sometimes things just happen. But those fines, I was thrown into the quarterback. It wasn’t me actually aiming in those areas. I could see if a guy was coming across the middle and it was helmet-to-helmet, but none of my fines were like that. I was actually thrown by the offensive lineman down toward the quarterback’s leg area. It really doesn’t bother me too much because I know that’s not the type of player I am. It was just the type of circumstances that happened that put me in those positions.”
In his rookie year, Miller was fined $15,000 for a hit on Carson Palmer, $25,000 for a hit onMark Sanchez, and $7,500 for a hit against the Patriots last January.