Will Von Miller Become Elite Like J.J. Watt?


There’s no doubt J.J. Watt is the best defensive player in the NFL.

Some could argue he’s the best all-around player in the league. Chew on this, Broncos Country: The same coaches who developed Watt now have their hands on Von Miller and the Denver Broncos defense.

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Miller has had his moments through the first four seasons of his career – mainly the first two when he became one of the best pass rushers in the league. The last two seasons have seen a drop off because of off-field issues and an ACL tear. Despite playing all of this most recent season, Miller was still feeling the effects of the knee injury that impacted his entire offseason.

The other aspect that held Miller back was the system he played in. Last season as the most recent example, it seemed as if Jack Del Rio didn’t put Miller in the best position to have success. Why was his best pass rusher covering the best tight end in football? It made as much sense as the Broncos defensive backs playing off receivers 45 yards.

That’s where Wade Phillips, Bill Kolar, Reggie Herring and Fred Pagac come into the fold. Unlike Del Rio, Phillips and his staff will put Miller in the best position possible to have success. That means turning Miller loose and let him do what he does best: rush the quarterback.

“I think we’ll be a little more aggressive,” Miller told the Broncos website. “I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be pretty exciting.”

Oct 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Given the success Phillips and this staff have had in the past with guys like Watt, all of Broncos Country should be extremely excited at what Miller could do in this defense.

It’s not just Miller. DeMarcus Ware had his best seasons with Herring as his position coach with the Dallas Cowboys. So that’s another reason to get amped over what this defense could do and look like this season.

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“I’ve been working extremely hard this offseason,” Miller told the team website. “Last year I couldn’t really do as much with the ACL surgery, but now I’m 100 percent and I’m doing all I can every single day. I’m looking forward to my teammates and all the guys leaning on me to make some plays.”

We’ve heard about the potential Miller has since he was drafted by the Broncos. We got a great glimpse of that his first two seasons. With this coaching staff, its history and aggressive approach, Miller will finally take the step to elite and special. Just as Watt did to become the best defensive player in the NFL and arguably the best all-around player.

If Miller doesn’t, he may have to deal with a coach who wrestled a bear.

Next: What will Elway and the Broncos do with their kicker?

Next: Are the Broncos interested in Rodney Hudson and Mike Iupati?

November 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs center Rodney Hudson (61) blocks Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson (99) during the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports