Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos' Von Miller: "I'm a Work in Progress"

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Miller? Miller? Miller?

My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’ brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with a girl who said linebacker Von Miller was in fact on the field last week when the Denver Broncos played the Kansas City Chiefs. For further proof, he tallied one mark on the stat sheet – a single tackle.

After 11.5 sacks his rookie year and 18.5 sacks his second year, Miller was expected to be just as productive despite serving a six-game suspension to start the season. Through four games, Miller has two sacks to go along with 14 tackles (four for a loss), and a forced fumble.

“I really don’t think I have scratched the surface of what I can be,” Miller admitted.

According to him, he needs to step up his practice habits.

“I’m a work in progress,” Miller said. “I definitely feel like I could be more productive. It starts in practice. I got to have better practices and I think that it will carry over into the game. That’s the easiest thing to fix is myself.”

Jack Del Rio made it public Monday that he thinks Miller needs to be more impactful. Calling a player out in front of the media is nothing short of a whip to the rear.

Shaun Phillips leads the team in sacks (9.0), which is great, but Miller needs to get in on the game changing plays as well.

A case could be made that Miller needed to get his football “legs” back under him. A player can workout out all he wants, but until that player gets on the field and starts hitting, only then will football fitness come. With four games in the body, now is the time for Miller to step into his role for which he was drafted No. 2 overall.

The New England Patriots have given up 28 sacks this season, which is the 8th most in the league. Of course Tom Brady has great pocket awareness and he gets the ball out quickly, but Miller has to take advantage of a weaker offensive line.

This is the week where Miller needs to step on the gas, and keep his foot there for the rest of the season. A productive and relatively fresh Von Miller during the playoffs is exactly what the Broncos need to win a third championship ring.

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  • Joe Soriano

    To be honest with you, I think he’s played great. Even though it hasn’t shown up in the stat sheet, I think Miller’s still played at a high level upon his return. But the fact that he’s right about not being at full strength is the truly scary part; he’s easily one of the best players in the game.

    • KimCon14

      I’d call him mediocre right now regardless of the stat sheet. If the Broncos’ defense were playing awful, fingers would point in Miller’s direction quite a bit.

  • anon76returns

    I’ve been chatting with Soriano about the impact of Miller’s return on the D recently, and I think you’re pretty strongly underestimating his contribution. According to the MMQB’s “Pressure points” stats, Denver has gone from the 15th ranked D at getting pressure on the QB, to the 5th ranked D overall (and has the best ranking in the league over that 5 week stretch). The increased pressure has finally started to bail out our secondary, and over those 4 games opposing QB’s have a 54% completion (60% BV, or before Von), 5.7 yards/att (8.2 BV), 10.6 yards/completion (14.1 BV), throw for 191 yards/game (303 BV), and have a QB rating of 75 (89 BV). Every single one of those stats would be in the top 5 in the league over the last 4 games, while every one excepting completion % (16th) was in the bottom half of the league BV, with yards/game being 31st and yards/completion being the worst in the league by some margin.

    Obviously when you go from bottom half to top 5 in an area that’s a huge jump, and it’s not a coincidence that this coincided with the return of Von. In his first 3 games back MMQB had him grade out in the top 10 of all edge rushers in each game. PFF had him as one of the top 2 edge rushers of the week in 2 of those games. To get both that level of production and consistency from a player that missed nearly half the season is remarkable.

    If Von says he’s not satisfied with his performance, then great. If Del Rio wants to motivate him further, that’s fine too. But it’s difficult to imagine a more night and day difference between the Denver defense BV vs. the last 4 games, which is the very definition of a player having an impact.