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Von Miller shows maturity as the new face of the Broncos

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If there was any doubt John Elway and Denver could trust the Super Bowl 50 MVP given his past indiscretions, the last two weeks have removed all of it in emphatic fashion.

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Could it be, Von Miller has grown up?

Not long ago, people doubted him more than Donald Trump at a hippy convention.

Teams weren't sure they could trust him, and neither were John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

Was Miller mature enough? Had he learned from his past indiscretions? When he "gets paid," will he relapse? Is he worth it?

What's not disputed is the fact he's the best defensive player in the NFL, just had one of the greatest postseasons any defender has had and was the Super Bowl 50 MVP.

As early as last August, signs were there that the doubt about Miller's maturity was unfounded. But the last two weeks have silenced all of those questions swirling around him in emphatic fashion.

Since putting the NFL on notice that he is the best defensive player in the NFL, he's conducted himself with class and maturity.

And Miller has been everywhere the last two weeks. It would be easier to list the places he hasn't been. He's shown another side of himself even people inside Broncos Country may not have seen before. Perhaps it's been contrived by his "people." But there's no doubt it's real.

This has been Miller's time to shine and he's taken full advantage of it.

He's been funny, honest, intelligent and represented the Broncos in a way that would make Pat Bowlen proud. It should make fans feel the same way.

He's been funny, honest, intelligent and represented the Broncos in a way that would make Pat Bowlen proud. It should make fans feel the same way. To take this a step further: With Peyton Manning likely on the brink of retirement, Miller is now the face of the franchise.

To take this a step further: With Peyton Manning likely on the brink of retirement, Miller is now the face of the franchise.

Two years ago, some wanted to run him out of the Mile High City.

Miller had just been suspended six games and was now in Stage 3 of the NFL's substance abuse program. If he tested positive again, the result was a minimum of a one-year suspension.

From former Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson to the fans, what he could do on the field wasn't enough. You couldn't trust him. His teammates couldn't trust him.

Miller was stamped with the "selfish player" tag. The question wasn't so much would he finish his career in Denver, but if he could put down the pipe and not lose a year. Miller was initially placed in the substance abuse program for a positive test of marijuana.

Then Elway signed veteran DeMarcus Ware. The move made the Broncos defense better on multiple fronts. Not only for Ware's ability to get after quarterbacks but because he was Miller's idol. Ware could give Miller the kick in the butt he needed. And who better to give it to him than the guy he looked up to?

Miller said two years ago there wasn't anything he could tell the fans or his teammates to earn back their trust. Instead, he said he'd do it through his actions.

His teammates, coaches and front office personnel were perhaps the first to notice the change when multiple drug tests came back negative. And this was a guy who was tested multiple times a week.

His actions were rewarded by the NFL last August when he was removed from the substance abuse program.

As Mike Klis with 9News reported then, Miller can thank the NFL's revised drug policy that was collectively renegotiated by owners and players back in September 2014. Previously, a player in Stage 3 of the program remained there for the duration of his career and a subsequent violation would result in a minimum suspension of a full season. Now, if a player such as Miller has the perseverance to overcome mistakes, he gets removed from the program.

That was the first evidence the doubt people had was unfounded.

Then Miller started to take on the role of a leader in the Denver locker room.

Then he put forth one of the best defensive performances in postseason history to lead his team to a Super Bowl win. For those who don't think Miller is the best defensive player in the NFL, J.J. Watt has neither a ring nor Super Bowl MVP.

Now, Miller's the face of the Super Bowl champions.

The doubt has vanished.

He's grown up.