Von Miller focused on the present, but with an eye on late career honors
Available to comment on the Broncos’ Ring of Fame election and the upcoming induction of quarterback Peyton Manning into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, outside linebacker Von Miller was asked to consider his own legacy last week.
Miller starts the 2021 season with 106 sacks, the first in Broncos history and tied for 25th since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.
“I think about the Ring of Fame and all that, but I’m still stuck here in the present,” the No.58 said. “Every time you step into the league you want to go to the Hall of Fame and you want to be one of the best players in your franchise.
“At the same time… there is so much going on right now. There is so much to do with our team. There are so many games to win before I can really start to think about the Ring of Fame. “
Miller’s eventual honor at Mile-High-Stadium is secure even if he leaves after his contract expires next March. But he might have work to do to join his former teammates Manning and cornerback Champ Bailey as Cantonal caps in the first round.
The magic number for Miller should be 125 bags. Eighteen players have reached this milestone and 11 are in the Hall of Fame. Four more (Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Dwight Freeney and DeMarcus Ware) are not yet eligible and three (Jared Allen, John Abraham and Leslie O’Neal) are eligible, but were not elected.
Miller, who turned 32 in March, already has a stellar resume that includes an entire decade (2010s) pick, three first-team All-Pro selections, eight Pro Bowls, and the Super Bowl 50 MVP award.
Two more double-digit sack seasons, which would take him to at least 126 sacks, could seal his first-round status.
“Personally, I think I have more to prove and more to give to the Country Broncos,” said Miller.
“I can’t sit here and lie (and say) that I don’t think about going to the Ring of Fame and the Hall of Fame,” he added.
Jokic comparable. Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets became the least drafted player to win the NBA MVP (No. 41 overall); the previous low was # 15.
Going back to 1980 with the NFL MVP award illustrates the differences between professional football and basketball. Eighteen first-round picks won at least one MVP, followed by three in round 2, two each in rounds 3, 4 and 6, one each in rounds 13-14, and one undrafted player. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner was the only player not drafted, but among those not selected in the first round – Brett Favre (second), Joe Montana (third) and Tom Brady / Terrell Davis (sixth).
Spencer’s advice. Broncos wide receiver Diontae Spencer has carved out a place as a returner after being undrafted, twice retired and playing for Canada. This year’s roster includes undrafted rookie receivers DeVontres Dukes, Warren Jackson and Branden Mack. Spencer’s advice to them if asked?
“(Do) everything,” he said. “Whatever their name, whether it’s the bottom of the attacking depth chart or the bottom of the special teams depth chart, just make sure to keep going. I feel like that’s how you make the team – in special teams if you’re a bubble guy. “
Adept of common practices. The Broncos will travel to Eagan, Minnesota in mid-August for joint practices with the Vikings ahead of the teams’ pre-season game on August 14 in Minneapolis.
Two years ago, the Broncos hosted San Francisco for two days of training, but all joint practices last year have been canceled. These training sessions will be beneficial this year as the teams play a small pre-season game (three).
“They’re great even if you’re doing the par four,” said coach Vic Fangio. “I think training against another team has huge benefits. It’s good to go cover someone different as a defensive back. It’s good to block someone different and race against different linemen. … I just think it’s a great job.
The influence of Fassel. The world of professional football lost a good one last week when Jim Fassel passed away at the age of 71. Fassel was on the Stanford coaching staff for the four years of John Elway’s college career, the last two as offensive coordinator, and served as Wade Phillips offensive coordinator with the Broncos in 1993-94.
Elway had 41 touchdowns and 20 interceptions and the Broncos went 16-16.
“I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without Jim Fassel,” Elway said in a video for the Broncos website. “Jim was such a great offensive spirit. I trusted him so much. We have created this bond that you want to have as a football player and coach. He was tough when I wasn’t playing very well and gave me the reasons.
Good luck to the Ravens. Former Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James remains connected to the team through his grievance fight (best he can hope for is a small settlement), but overall he’s now Baltimore’s problem. .
The Ravens signed James, torn Achilles and everything in between, on a two-year contract, essentially paying for his rehab this year. Prepare for all kinds of drama, coach John Harbaugh.