In the third preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams, Von Miller played more snaps than he had the entire preseason combined. Creating pressure on the Rams quarterbacks and ending a third down attempt early on with a patented sack, the Broncos star looked to get back into full form.
After having a summer fit for a Super Bowl MVP, on top of a contentious contract negation that dragged on into the offseason, Miller hasn’t had as much preparation with the team as he usually would. Though you wouldn’t have noticed Saturday.
“If we were ready for it, we’d be playing right now,” said Miller about the team's readiness to play the Panthers in the season opener. “There’s still some time and we want to take full advantage of that time. I don’t want to sit here and say ‘We’re ready to go right now,’ but come Thursday [Sept. 8], we’ll be ready to go.”
In taking all the preparation he can get, Miller explained that he’s slowly getting into game shape and ready to take on the title defense.
“I feel good. I feel better than I’ve ever felt before in my conditioning with the speed of the game. I’m feeling comfortable out there and I’m ready to go back to the regular season.”
While we might not be there yet, the Broncos pass rushing ace was happy to be back in the swing of things getting some more consistent playing time and producing, of course.
“It feels good, man,” said No. 58. “Sacks are what I’m supposed to do. That’s in the description. Whenever I can go out there and do my job, it’s always great. You’re not going to go out there and get sacks every single game, but preseason, regular season, whatever it may be, whenever I can go out there and get a sack or two, it’s definitely relieving.”
Miller’s ability as a devastating force on the edge is well known and documented. The Broncos are developing an impressive stable of edge rushers, behind Von, who’ve impressed this offseason, beyond just Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray.
“We had a whole bunch of young guys go out there,” said Von. “I don’t want to sit here and talk about myself all day. [LB] Sadat Sulleyman had a great day today. [LB] Dekoda [Watson], he’s not young, but he went out there and looked like a sack master, so I’m proud of those guys. I’m in the meeting room with all of those guys and to go out there and see those guys have some success is great.”
One of the few shortcomings for the Broncos defensively was a high level of penalties that helped prolong opposing drives, leading to a field goal in at least one instance.
“I don’t want to say that I encourage the 15-yard flag,” said Miller about the penalties. “But I do encourage the aggressive behavior from my guys out there. It’s a man’s game. Whenever we get those penalties, it’s unfortunate but it’s not going to end the game for us. When the penalties start to lose games for you, that’s when it becomes a problem. But today, it was OK.”
Though he wouldn’t concede that he and his teammates are quite ready for the regular season, as it quickly approaches the Denver ‘D’ with its pass rush leading the way looked nothing short of unstoppable against the Rams. Just what Miller’s used to.