It’s clear that the Denver Broncos’ offense revolves around Peyton Manning. What’s becoming evident as well is that the team’s defense revolves around team-leading sack man Von Miller.
“We have designs bringing pressure from a lot of areas and that’s part of what we do—not only to affect the quarterback and to make it tough for them to know where we’re coming from, but also for them to be able to block Von [Miller],” defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said. “At the end of the day, if you spend too much time on Von, we’re going to try to hit you from the back side. It all ties together.”
Miller followed up his 11.5 sack rookie year with 18.5 (and a pick six) in his second year. Just how is he going to make another jump like that into his third season?
Del Rio talked about Miller needing to perform more consistently. While he had all of those sacks and tackles for a loss, the mental errors were still there, according to Del Rio.
“Be able to play longer, play harder,” Del Rio said of how Miller can improve. “So his conditioning can improve. There are always things that a player can work on and strive for to get better.”
Miller took to yoga last off season with Jason Pierre-Paul. He didn’t do much weight training down in Miami. This off season is much different.
“I’m cutting out the yoga,” Miller said. “I think it worked well for me, but I’m just trying to be a beast. I’m trying to get away from the Gumby stuff. I don’t want to rely on that. I just want that to be like second nature. I want to play football…I want to work out, not do the yoga stuff—I want to get my conditioning up so I can play offense, too (laughing). I just want to get it done.”
While he was joking about playing on offense (imagine Miller as a tight end or full back?), he wasn’t joking about doing what it takes to get better.
It was in mid-January that Miller sat in front of his locker with full pads on and his head down well after the Broncos’ heartbreaking playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens. That feeling right there has fueled his off season work, I’m sure.