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Vic Fangio on Von Miller's Pre-Browns Smack Talk: 'Do Your Talking on the Field'

Vic Fangio let Von Miller know what he thought of the bulletin board material the rush linebacker gave the Browns in Week 7.

Two days before the Denver Broncos' Week 7 road trip to take on the Cleveland Browns, rush linebacker Von Miller provided the opponent some motivation in the form of a bulletin board-sized sticky note

In regards to whichever offensive tackle would be lining up against him on Thursday night, Miller said, "I don’t know who the tackle is that I’m going against, but I’m going to kill him," Miller said with a laugh. "I’m going to kill him (laughs) and the other guy on the other side (laughs)."

Fast forward to Friday and the eight-time Pro Bowler has a lot of egg on his face. Miller exited Thursday night's game in the second quarter with an ankle sprain and did not return, finishing the day with two tackles (one solo) and... zero sacks. 

Although the final 17-14 score makes the game look closer than it was, the Browns absolutely trounced the Broncos in all phases. Miller and his defensive counterparts allowed Cleveland's third-string running back D'Ernest Johnson to rush for 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. 

Johnson earned the highest single-game grade for a running back that Pro Football Focus has ever awarded a player. The loss hurt every Bronco's pride, but how the Browns won adds insult to the injury. 

"My pride is hurting more than anything else," Miller said post-game when asked about his injured ankle. "I talked a lot of sh*t before this game and I made it personal." 

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Indeed, the Browns took it to the Broncos like they had a vendetta to settle. Miller miscalculated his opponent, and, if we're being honest, the mettle of his teammates. Unlike his Week 7 guarantee to 'whoop' the Arizona Cardinals back in 2018, his pre-game boasts this time around did absolutely nothing to galvanize the Broncos. 

On Monday, with the dust having settled somewhat on what was Denver's fourth straight loss, head coach Vic Fangio broke his silence on what he thought of Miller's bulletin-board material. 

“Well, my style has always been not to say very much," Fangio said. "Do your talking on the field. It’s not my style.”

Maybe. Maybe not. Fangio did talk a whole lot of smack about John Harbaugh three weeks ago after the Baltimore Ravens beat the pants off the Broncos. In this case, however, what's good for the goose ain't good for the gander. 

Perhaps in running his mouth about the Browns and the team's offensive tackles, Miller put too much pressure on himself. 

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“Maybe he did," Fangio said. "I think you’d have to ask him that.”

While it's possible Miller's trash talk did add more pressure to Miller's shoulders than he was capable of handling, there's no doubt it ended up being an albatross hung around the neck of his entire team. 

The Broncos weren't equal to their opportunity on Thursday night and were beaten by the 'backup Browns', led by a familiar face in Case Keenum who made complete his sweet revenge game. That's a nice skin Keenum can hang on the wall after his one-year stint in Denver turned out. 

Fangio might have been relieved for the subject matter during Monday's presser back home in Denver to have shifted away from him and onto the most famous player on the team. However, the pressure Denver's head coach is now under is immense. 

Most Broncos fans are openly calling for Fangio's job on social media and are demanding the team make some sort of coaching adjustments in the wake of the team's fourth consecutive loss, each of which has been uniquely disappointing, and, at times, embarrassing. Take your pick on which loss was the most humiliating — getting curb-stomped by a Las Vegas Raiders team whose head coach had resigned in disgrace just days earlier or being dominated by a wounded Browns squad with a former Bronco under center starting second and third-string guys at multiple positions. 

Either way, the heat is on high under Fangio's coaching seat. His public posture, however, is unrelenting. 

“I’m not worried about my coaching status," Fangio said. "What I’m worried about is this team and doing anything and everything we can to get our guys coached up to play better. That’s my only focus.”

The Broncos now enter a 'mini-bye' with no opponent to play until October 31 when the Washington Football Team rolls into the Mile High City. Between now and then, it'll be interesting to see whether the Broncos make any coaching adjustments (relative to who's calling offensive and defensive plays) or any personnel changes (I.E.: sitting Teddy Bridgewater down for Drew Lock). 

Don't hold your breath on either possibility coming to fruition — at least, not while Fangio still holds the head coach title in Denver. 

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