If it weren’t for A-Rod and his shenanigans, Von Miller would be getting a lot more time on SportsCenter these days.
Miller is officially being suspended without pay for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Is this the same guy that guaranteed a Broncos Championship in 2013? This means the Broncos will play the Ravens, Giants, Eagles, Raiders, Cowboys, and Jaguars without the two-time Pro Bowler and 2011′s defensive rookie of the year. The good news? He’s only missing one AFC West game.
“Although my suspension doesn’t result from a positive test, there is no excuse for my violations of the rules,” Miller said in a statement. “I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself. I am especially sorry for the effect of my bad decisions on others. I will not make the same mistakes about adhering to the policy in the future. During my time off the field, I will work tirelessly and focus exclusively on remaining in peak shape. I look forward to contributing immediately upon my return to the field and bringing a championship back to the people of Denver.”
Just earlier in the day before news broke, the Broncos finally got Miller up in front of the
firing squad, errr, I mean media to address the “unofficial news.” Miller went through the motions of a well-coached press conference, throwing cliche after cliche out such as “taking it one day at a time” and “trusting in the process.” It was clear that he wasn’t shaking in his cleats.
Miller said multiple times that he wanted a “fair and speedy” resolution. How’s mere hours for speedy?
How can fans trust in a player who can’t take care of his responsibilities off the field?
This week has been especially rough in the Miller news department. Monday afternoon, news broke that his name is listed (among others’) as a possible witness in a death-penalty trial for a suspect who killed five people in Denver last year.
The Broncos said that Miller has “no direct involvement” in the case.
With Miller’s suspension, the Broncos have to start preparing for life without arguably their best defensive player. The suspension will go into effect after the team’s last regular season game. With that, there’s no reason Miller should be out there with the one’s anymore.
Wesley Woodyard will line up at middle linebacker, Danny Trevathan will take Woodyard’s spot at weakside linebacker, and Shaun Phillips will fill the void at strongside linebacker in the team’s base defense.
“Next man up until it’s last man up” is the Broncos’ philosophy. Phillips came to Denver with 69.5 career sacks, 355 tackles, 20 forced fumbles, and 6 interceptions. That’s not a bad “next man up.”
It’s a good thing the Broncos added some depth to the linebacker position when they signed 12-year, 6-2, 240-pound linebacker Paris Lenon immediately following his workout on Tuesday. Lenon has 122 starts in 175 career regular-season games with the Packers, Lions, Rams, and Cardinals.
Miller’s suspension ensures that he will be coming back fresh and healthy for the final ten games. Miller can be at the team facility during the suspension, but he cannot practice.
Will the Broncos be fine without Miller? Absolutely. Would Miller be fine without the Broncos? Who knows.