Von Miller is one of my personal favorite players on the Broncos. Whether it’s his ridulous off field persona, or his insane physical gifts, he is the type of rare player you need on your defense. I can only think of one defender better than him, and that is J.J. Watt. Von is the type of guy a team in transition needs to keep around for stability. We don’t want him realizing his potential 20 sack years with another team.
The scary part is, is that Von has yet to even realize his full potential.
Here we see Von use his speed, but also his underrated power to embarrass Wayne Hunter en route to a sack. Keep in mind that Wayne Hunter is listed at 6’5, 320, while Von is 6’3, 249 in a good day. Most NFL pass rushers are either masters of converting speed to power (see above) rush moves, or using agility to bend around the corner. Miller is the rare player who does both.
Here he absolutely blows by Mike Adams, and gets an easy sack. The amount of talent he displays on this play is a little ridiculous. Players aren’t supposed to have the speed strength burst combo that Von possesses, and that is what makes him a special player. He also however has the technique to be a 20+ sack artist.
Watch his burst to and hand usage to break through the seam, and put a big man in Cam Newton flat on his back. That is a great talent technique combo.
Yet another example of his wide variation of moves, here we see a devastating spin move which quickly gets Von past the Right Tackle. A star of Miller’s caliber however often faces two blockers, and he is quickly able to disengage from the Guard and get the sack. Although Von has performed well, he has been incredibly underutilized.
The Panthers are in the gun on 3rd and 4, and the Bronco’s defense is expecting pass, seeing as they are only rushing 4 men. Yet, the playcaller (I believe it was Dennis Allen at this time) rushes Danny Trevathan, a great coverage linebacker, and drops the best pass rusher on the team into a spy. Von is a well balanced player capable of playing good coverage, but c’mon. You need your primary pass rusher to be getting after the QB in these situations. Von finally decided to rush after seeing no pressure from his teammates, and got to Cam easily. Von is really not a fit for a 4-3 outside linebacker, and his talents have largely been wasted these last couple years. Still, according to the football geniuses over at PFF, all this conservative usage has caused Miller to become a balanced player against the run and the pass. This will only help him as the Broncos move to a 3-4. Here’s an excerpt from SportingNews.com’s pre-draft scouting report of Miller:
He has lined up as both an end and an outside linebacker and has been productive from both spots. He could play in any NFL scheme but is best suited to play rush linebacker in a 3-4 system.
Sporting News, as well as other sites, also found issue with his college run stopping and coverage skills. With those issues worked out, he now can move back into a position where his number one responsibility is getting to the QB. Considering that he’s done that 49 times in four seasons out of position (including an 18.5 2012 year), he will flourish in that role.
The Pass Rusher market has also never been cheaper.
Last week, I wrote a piece including a bit about the Wide Receiver market being over inflated due to Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald’s deals. The opposite has happened with the pass rusher market. While Mario Williams’s 6 year, 96 million dollar deal in 2012 initially set the market, Robert Quinn’s new deal is a reasonable 5 year, 57 million dollar deal, with only about 16 million fully guaranteed. Pass Rusher is supposed to be the second most important position in football, and yet the Pass Rusher market is set very reasonably. Calvin’s deal was a 7 year, 113 million dollar deal with 50 million guaranteed. Johnson is guaranteed to make almost as much as Quinn, a star in his own right, could possibly make in his whole deal. If we averaged out Quinn’s same deal into a 7 year figure, we get a 79.8 million dollar deal with only 22.4 million in guarantees. That is an incredibly reasonable deal for a durable superstar with no injury issues.
Elway needs to resign Von Miller before the pass rush market resets. Von, a player who has had well documented legal and medical issues, could be had for a steal. It is my opinion that these issues are behind him, but at a negotiation table they do come into play. Therefore, we could resign a player as great as Von for less than what Quinn makes. We have an opportunity to steal a possible Hall of Fame talent for less than Hall of Fame market value, but that window could be closing. Opportunities to retain superstar team leaders for less than market value don’t come around often, so Elway needs to make an effort to resign Von Miller. And just in case you doubt that Von is in fact a superior talent, here is my rebuttal:
Thanks for reading, and go Broncos!