So the off-season rankings and lists continue by the dozens from every major media outlet, and Von Miller has found his way onto several of them.
Here are a few that stuck out to me.
Creating the perfect pass rusher: the get-off of Von Miller
Gil Brandt from NFL.com is doing a series of morphing elite players' traits into one super player. In his piece about building the perfect pass rusher, he started with Von's get-off.
Some people just seem to be born with this trait. Quickness is a factor, but it's about more than that; it's about combining that quickness with outstanding reaction skills to be able to give yourself a major advantage when the ball is snapped. Think of base stealers in baseball -- some guys run fast, but some guys just have a knack for getting a jump on the base path. Guys with good get-off are the guys who make big-time plays, especially on third down; they're often so fast, it looks almost like they're offsides.
Of course, it helps when you're the kind of athlete who can post a 6.7-second three-cone drill, a 4.06-second short shuttle, a 37-inch vertical and a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, as Miller did at the NFLScouting Combine. If not for Cam Newton, Miller could have been the first player taken in the 2011NFL Draft. The MVP of Super Bowl 50 was unimaginably quick at the combine back when he was a prospect; he moved like a big cat in the bag drills. Miller's strip-sack of Newton in the first quarter of theSuper Bowl, which led to the game's first touchdown, is a perfect illustration of how the Broncos' dynamo wreaks havoc on the field with his get-off.
The whole article is a pretty cool read. I think Von could actually be up there for multiple traits that he lists, but I guess it wouldn't be too fun to just build a mix of J.J. Watt and Von Miller ;)
Brandt is dead-on picking this particular trait to highlight though because when I watch tape on Von, I am constantly amazed by his ability to explode off the line, often before the offensive players even move.
Brandt mentions that famous Super Bowl play that will forever be replayed in Bronco Super Bowl lore. Here is a screen shot from that play right as the ball is being snapped. Look where the ball is. Kalil hasn't even got the ball past his rear end and Von has already started up the field. You can't see it super well in this pic, but notice the motion blur on his right hand.
Here are a few more examples from the Super Bowl of just how quick off the line Miller is.
This one is my favorite. The Patriots have a 6th lineman in with the express purpose of setting out wide to nullify Von's outside rush. Look how far off the ball he is when no one else in the photo has even moved yet.
Remember that hoopla leading up to the AFCCG where Von joked (and he was joking, no matter how much the media wanted to frame it as trash talk) that he only needed 2 seconds to sack Brady when asked about him getting the ball out so fast? Well check the game clock during this sack. The gif further up where he almost sacked Newton in the end zone, he gets there in 2 seconds as well.
Von Miller's spin move
The next list Von made was Pro Football Focus' top 10 most unstoppable forces. Von Miller's spin move checked in at #5.
5. Von Miller’s spin move
When you have the upfield burst that Miller does, you better have a good counter, and the Bronco may well have the best one in the NFL. The inside spin move is deadly if executed correctly, but it takes a rare blend of speed, power, and balance to pull off—a rare blend that Miller has in spades. In fact, 16 of Miller’s pressures a year ago came via the spin move.
We just saw how dangerous Von's get-off is which allows him to blow by tackles on the edge. Thus, most tackles don't even see it coming when Von tazmanian devils inside leaving them looking helpless and foolish.
That was just highlighting two of Von's elite attributes. We didn't even get to his strength, bend, versatility, awareness. No wonder Adam Schein lists him as one of the leagues most indispensable players!