SATURDAY MORNING QUATERBACK: Del Rio Done with Apologies, Says Miller Will Be Even Better
By Todd Baker
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
IS IT REALLY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND ALREADY!? It seems like only a few weeks ago I was standing alongside rabid Broncos fans in sub-zero temperatures tearing my heart out. I wasn’t thinking about the redemption that comes with a new season but rather lamenting what could and should have been as well as searching for answers… and a heat lamp, perhaps. That was actually over four months ago.
Jack Del Rio said this week that he got “tired of apologizing” for letting fans (who also happen to be neighbors) down back in January. He wasn’t saying that he hadn’t in fact felt sorry or that he hadn’t let Bronco fans down. He acknowledged that and took it a step further stating, “Obviously we let ourselves down first.”
Del Rio’s statement simply places the extremely disappointing events of January 12 in the past… WHERE THEY BELONG! Whether you are as shocked as I am that it’s already summer (well… almost!), it means that football is right around the corner. There is no time to focus on anything but the present and prepare for the future. Besides, in addition to Del Rio’s comments on the events that unfolded in last season’s playoffs, he also stated that Von Miller “can get better”. He can?!
From a statistical standpoint Von Miller’s first two seasons have been incredible. He has already logged 30 sacks! He was on pace to set the single season sack record for much of last year and finished with 18.5. If he makes the same kind of leap in production this year he will ultimately attain the distinction he was so close to in 2012-2013. Also, he’s durable. He’s played in 31 of 32 games despite wearing a cast for almost half of 2011. An improved Miller means an improved defensive overall, of course, and that must be a frightening prospect for the AFC and league as a whole. Simply consider that Denver had a top five defense last season en route to an 11 game win streak and a 13-3 finish.
If Miller gets better that means the additions of Shaun Phillips and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were a success. It means that suring up the defensve line by re-signing Kevin Vickerson and adding Sylvester Williams and Terrance Knighton created the type of pressure that allowed Miller to pick his spots and make quarterbacks awfully uncomfortable.
Del Rio shouldn’t be apologizing anymore. It’s summer time and preparations for the 2013 season are underway. An improved Von Miller is an exciting prospect for all Bronco fans and the prospects for his improvement are good. The Broncos have made solid off season moves.
Hey, it’s Memorial Day weekend. Whatever you and your family have planned, it shouldn’t be about hanging on to the cold days of winter… it should be about what lies ahead. There is a lot to look forward to. Enjoy your long weekend, Broncos fans. It will be football season before you know it.