Linebacker Von Miller has been the leader of the Broncos defense for quite some time. Even with the 3-8 record in 2017, Miller’s leadership doesn’t change. “It’s not about wins or losses. I just try to be the guy that my teammates voted me to be. With that priority, coming in here every day, it doesn’t really matter if you win or lose, we still have a job. I still have a role and it’s to do that.”
Miller says his teammate, Shaq Barrett is getting better at his position. “I feel like I get asked this question at least once a month. It’s great. I’ve been with Shaq, what, four years now? I saw him Day 1 until now. It’s beautiful…You give a guy a chance and they run a mile with it. That’s what it’s about.”
During a string of bad games, players are going to hear criticism of their play. It’s never easy to hear what you did wrong, but some players react well to criticism and it helps them play better. “It just depends on the kid. It depends on who you’re talking to. Me, if I was a rookie, I would like it straight and blunt. I would like it exactly—I want you to tell me to truth. So, after the game, if I got beat, I want you to say, ‘Von, you got beat. This right here—this and that.’ That’s what I would want. I wouldn’t feel—I’m already going to feel bad about the game, but that wouldn’t make me feel any worse.”
This has been the worst season (record-wise) of Miller’s career, but he downplayed the notion of it being difficult for him. “Tough? The toughest season? It’s not tough. Look at this facility we have, look at this. It’s not tough to come up here every day. The media, they love me. I mean, it’s not tough to come to work every day. It is a tough league and it is a tough sport. We’re losing right now and it’s a terrible feeling, but at the end of the day it’s not too tough. We just have to figure out ways to win and everything will be back right.”
Plenty of criticism has gone all around the Broncos, especially the coaching staff. Miller doesn’t agree, “I say this time and time again. It has nothing to do with coaching. If that was the case, let’s just make up our own plays and go out there… I’m a locker room guy. I like to keep the locker room solid and we still have a solid locker room. Like what you said, we just have to figure out ways to win. We have to figure out how to win the games we’re supposed to win and we have to figure out ways to win the games that we’re not supposed to win. That’s just how it is.”
Denver has played three quarterbacks in eleven games this year but Miller didn’t agree with the idea that the quarterback carousel has been difficult. “It really doesn’t matter who we throw out there. I can play quarterback (laughing). I feel like once you start blaming this and putting blame here, you really lose control. I lose control of the situation once I put the situation in somebody else’s hands. If I start blaming special teams and offense, then that’s what it’s going to be. I like to put the weight on my shoulders.”
The Broncos are in Miami this Sunday to face off against former Broncos: OC Adam Gase, TE Julius Thomas, TE AJ Derby, and QB Jay Cutler. They’ll look to get their first win in eight weeks.