You can now breathe easy Broncos fans! In a saga that seemed to last until the very last minute, in the end, John Elway got his man. On Friday, Von Miller and the Broncos agreed to a six year, 114 million dollar extension, keeping him in a Denver Broncos uniform for the foreseeable future. And I ,for one, couldn’t be happier.
Over the past few days since the Friday deadline, I’ve either read or seen a lot of sportscasters and analysts saying that it was a bad move and that they wouldn’t have given a linebacker that type of money. First of all, Von Miller isn’t your average run of the mill linebacker. He is a true talent. Players of his ability don’t come along but maybe once every 10 to 15 years.
He has said that he idolized the late Derrick Thomas, and the irony of it is he plays similar to the man he grew up watching. He can singlehandedly disrupt an entire offense with his pass rush ability. I know what you’re thinking: one player can’t stop an entire offense. Ask Cam Newton or Tom Brady that and I’m sure they’ll tell you otherwise.
Since entering the league in 2011, Von Miller has amounted 60 sacks, which is already 20th among active sack leaders and trailing only JJ Watt from the 2011 class. They say that big time players make big time plays in big games. If that’s what you believe or if that’s the criteria that you use to judge a players worth, then allow me to give you some numbers that show just how dominant Von Miller was in this past postseason. In three games, Von Miller amassed 13 total tackles (11 solo, 2 assisted), 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 pass breakups, and an interception. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call disruption.
That isn’t even taking into account the number of times that he rushed and/or hit the QB. Sure our secondary had something to do with those numbers, but you still have to be able to get there and make the play.
Now, let’s talk the Super Bowl. In the biggest game and the biggest stage that an NFL player can play in, Von Miller shined the brightest. I remember having a conversation with one of my co-workers at my job (who is a die hard Panthers fan)the week of the Super Bowl. He was telling me how the Panthers were going to destroy us and how we couldn’t stop Cam Newton. I told him that the Super Bowl was going to come down to Mike Remmers vs. Von Miller. I pointed out that the only game that Carolina had lost last year was against the Atlanta Falcons. The reason that they lost that game is because Vic Beasley was dominating Mike Remmers coming off the edge and he even sealed the game at the end with a strip sack in that game. I told him that Vic Beasley is good but Von Miller is on a whole other level. He said “Man, you’re crazy!! There’s no way that one player is going to be able to stop Cam Newton!” I told him that Von Miller is the type of player where if you don’t block him, he can mess up your entire game plan.
When the Super Bowl came around, I sat back and watched one of the greatest individual defensive performances that I’ve ever seen in a Super Bowl. Von Miller accounted for six tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. On the plays that Von Miller sacked Cam Newton, the average time from the snap to when he made contact with Cam Newton was 2.9 seconds!! That wasn’t a typo. 2.9 SECONDS!! On the play where he got the strip sack on Cam Newton to seal the game, he got to Cam Newton in 2.3 SECONDS!! There aren’t too many players that are physically able to do that. It seems like something that you would read in a comic book or something. In a game where Cam Newton aka “Super Cam” was supposed to be the hero, Von Miller stole the spotlight.
So you can say what you want and have your opinion about how much we overpaid Von Miller, but I’m pretty sure you wish he was on your team! You would take him in a heartbeat. But my advice for this upcoming football season is go in the kitchen, grab you some popcorn, and just watch! You’re going to see something special when he steps onto the field!