Remembering Von Miller’s Masterful Career with the Broncos
ENGLEWOOD, Colorado – When Von Miller one day returns to Empower Field at Mile High for his Ring of Fame induction or to receive his Hall of Fame ring, his legacy will be marked by trophies and withdrawals.
He will likely be billed as the Super Bowl 50 MVP – the driving force behind Denver’s third World Championship – and the franchise’s all-time leading sack performer.
His 110.5 regular-season sacks are a testament to the production of the 2011 runner-up overall during his tenure in Denver, which ended Monday. The Broncos have agreed to trade Miller to the Rams in exchange for second and third round picks in 2022.
There may be a way, however, to remember Miller’s career in the Broncos beyond the scoring marks and the various quarterbacks Miller added to his collection of those he sacked.
Instead, let’s choose to remember Miller’s masterful career in Denver, through the lens of time.
Start with the immediate and the fleeting. The tenths of a second it took Miller to get off the line of scrimmage, timing his jumps with the very snap of the ball. The irrationally quick way he bent under a tackle to reach the quarterback. The instant he could change the game with a third sack or by snatching the ball.
If you turned away for even a moment, you might miss out on this game-changing or franchise-changing game that Miller was so capable of creating.
Miller’s ability to use time to his advantage wasn’t limited to a second here and there. Equally impressive was the vast and enduring nature of his success. For 142 games over 11 seasons, Miller was a constant lag. He recorded double-digit sacks in seven of his first eight seasons, including a five-season streak from 2014 to 2018. He won three All-Pro first-team nominations, eight Pro Bowl selections and recorded 26 forced fumbles in career with 110.5 sacks.
Perhaps the most fitting tribute to his consistent game was his unanimous selection to the 2010 NFL All-Star Team of the Decade. For 10 seasons in his No.58 jersey, he stacked stellar moments.
But even Miller, arguably the greatest defensive player in franchise history, cannot go undefeated against the clock. And Miller and the Broncos have reached the point where they need to move forward in different directions.
In doing so, it won’t overshadow the moments Miller gave to the Denver community, both on and off the pitch. The honors of Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011, a career-high 18.5 sacks in 2012, his masterful comeback campaign in 2014 and his 2018 sack to pass Simon Fletcher for the all-time lead of the franchise are indelible. The same goes for Miller’s contributions to his community, as he has helped hundreds of young children gain clear vision and self-confidence through Von’s Vision. He was honored in 2018 as the team’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, but his efforts have extended well beyond that single season.
Then, of course, there’s Miller’s crowning glory – a set of games in which he gained national recognition. In the 2015 playoffs, Miller put on a tour de force beating Tom Brady and Cam Newton to five sacks, six quarterback hits, one interception and two forced fumbles. It is far from an exaggeration to say that the Broncos would not have won their third World Championship without Miller’s locked performances in the AFC Championship and Super Bowl 50. As confetti rained in Santa Clara, Miller rightly accepted MVP honors.