Von Miller is making a bold pledge for 2017.
It will be his best ever.
For a recent Super Bowl MVP who has been edged out of the Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row, that’s a big claim – but a welcomed one.
2017 is the year of no excuses.
No contract issues. No Hollywood dancing. No missing OTAs.
It’s about work and focus.
“I feel like this Von coming up is going to be my best Von that I put forward,” Miller said after the second day of OTAs. “It’s going to be my best year. That’s what I’m going for. I’m going to be here every single day training. …I’m settled in, and it’s time to go play.”
Miller, whose offseason was a lot different this time around without so many obligations and appearances, said the entire team was frustrated over last season’s finish.
“I wouldn’t say that we were upset. We want to win. When you’re not winning, somebody is going to get upset, especially with an organization that we have here where winning is the expectation,” he said, noting it wasn’t just guys on offense or defense or special teams. “When you don’t win, everyone gets frustrated.”
He’s not OK with not making the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/nSICnVmDXE— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 11, 2017
New head coach Vance Joseph is expected to bring the winds of change to a locker room still looking for some leaders on offense and defense – especially now that DeMarcus Ware has retired and Peyton Manning’s void is still being felt.
“That’s tough. It’s just like when Peyton left. You can’t really just fill that void. You just have to modify the team and move on,” Miller pointed out. “Other leaders will step up. Other players will step up.”
Miller, who has been a leader by example, says he plans to help fill those leadership holes this season.
“I feel like my whole career I’ve always been kind of the people’s champ in the locker room,” he said, noting that stepping in for Ware is definitely “one of my goals” but the No. 1 goal is winning games. “That’s why I’m here.”
An important piece in leading the Broncos’ “unique locker room” back to a winning culture will be the new coach – and Miller believes Joseph is the right man for the job.
“I love him, really,” Miller said. “He connects well with all of the guys that we have in the locker room. We have a unique locker room, so it takes a unique coach to really make that connection. He’s definitely doing it from Day One.”
There's a lot of time between now and the 2017 season, right?— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 10, 2017
"There's no time to waste."
» https://t.co/zM4kGPNvq1 pic.twitter.com/woDXsyOla1
Miller is also excited about looking forward. He didn’t like missing the playoffs, but he doesn’t think the Broncos are far from getting back on track.
“It’s tough to win. We have a high standard here. I don’t think it was the noise that got us off that path. It just happened,” he said. “We have the best secondary in the National Football League still. We still have all of our key components. This year is going to be a good one for us.”
Part of his optimism stems from some bolstering the Broncos did in free agency on the defensive line with big men Domata Peko and Zach Kerr.
“Have you seen those guys? Those guys are huge,” said the premier edge rusher in the NFL about his new teammates. “We were working out today and I was like, ‘Yeah, he’s going to be great for us.’ Just by looking at those guys, you can already tell they’re going to be able to feel and correct some of those weaknesses that we had last year.”
Besides the "Year of the Von," who else needs to have a "personal best" kind of year?
This poll is closed
"Year of the Trev"
"Year of the Hammerhead"
"Year of the trenches"
"Year of the Pax"
"Year of the Run"