Nov 10, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) warms up prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
It was a troubling 2013 for Von Miller.
After news broke that he would be facing a six game ban due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Miller returned in week seven against the Colts around 270 pounds, nearly 20 heavier than his playing weight the year before. Miller then tore his ACL in December, but is on track to be ready for the Broncos’ season opener, another season debut for Miller against the Colts.
He is now back to his old weight, and working on a new form to get back the elite quickness he had in 2011-12 when he was among the league’s best pass rushers. Miller said the weight gain was simply something he tried in order to add power.
“It was just experimentation, and it didn’t work as well as I thought it would,” Miller said. “ … Me, being able to be lighter is better for me.”
The Broncos are hoping that Miller’s off-field issues are behind him. After he was suspended for six games, he failed to appear in court for a traffic citation, and people were starting to wonder if the hard-working, down-to-earth Von the Broncos drafted was turning into a complete bafoon. He says he’s now in a much better spot than he was a year ago, apparently having learned from his mistakes.
“I’m just in a great spot in my life and I’m enjoying it,” Miller said.
What would be incredible for Denver is to have two elite pass rushers again, much like they did when Miller and Elvis Dumervil, now a Baltimore Raven, helped the Broncos to lead the NFL in sacks in 2012.
Their plan to achieve that? How about three years, $30 million for Miller’s idol, DeMarcus Ware?
“DeMarcus is just, it’s kind of hard to explain, he’s just one of those special guys that you just don’t have to, like … I don’t know, it’s just like DeMarcus already knows what I’m going to ask him even before I ask him,” Miller said on Wednesday. “Sometimes he’s just like a psychic, he already knows what I’m going to ask him. We start talking about it and he just explains it so well.
He’s a great teacher, it’s different than any relationship I’ve ever had with anybody else… I’m not afraid to say it, I want to be like DeMarcus Ware.”
That’s a good quote when you look at the future of the Broncos as well as the present. Ware is one of the NFL’s best when it comes to performance not only on the field, but making an impact off of it.
Von Miller has been part of a ton of community activities in Denver, and he’s not a bad kid by any means. He made some bad decisions that cost him — and his team — greatly.
The early returns on the DeMarcus Ware investment are very positive, reports out of Dove Valley indicating he looks as explosive as he did in his prime years with Dallas. Denver is hoping to get at least three more of those prime years out of Ware, and perhaps he can help squeeze the very best out of a young Von Miller, whose best years are still yet ahead of him.