Von Miller's Ambitious Goals for 2020 Should Excite Every Broncos Fan
Only last week, Denver Broncos' second-year QB Drew Lock was laying out his agenda for next season, which included a mixture of measured confidence and youthful optimism. This week, franchise cornerstone Von Miller decided to raise the bar of expectations even higher by outlining lofty personal goals for 2020. .
“I’ve got to lead the league in sacks,” Miller told Steve Atwater in a conversation on the tam site. “And I feel like leading the league in sacks and defensive player of the year go hand in hand….I’ve got to put out one of those 22-sack years, 22-plus [sacks].”
That kind of production would eclipse Miller’s career-high of 18.5 sacks which he registered in his second year back in 2012. He is desperate to quickly change the narrative of last season where his sacks dipped down to single digits with only 8.
That was partly due to an early-season injury to edge-rushing partner Bradley Chubb that resulted in Miller receiving constant double-teaming. Not that the Super Bowl 50 MVP is using any of it as an excuse. For him to stand amongst the game's great pass rushers all-time, he believes he has to deliver on his aspirations.
“Every great pass-rusher is doing it. I can’t average high sack [numbers] – I’ve got to lead the league,” Miller said. “DeMarcus [Ware] has done it, J.J [Watt] has done it, Aaron Donald – all great pass-rushers have done it, and I have to do it. I’m not going to stop until [I do it].”
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To help him in his quest, Chubb will return to partner with Miller, who was voted unanimously onto the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s on Monday. With Chubb back on the field, Miller should receive more one-on-one opportunities, which should result in bigger sack totals.
This offseason has also seen a big new addition to the defensive ranks with perennial Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey joining the defensive line, adding his talents to a young and emerging unit. Suffice to say, Miller is excited about it.
“He can rush with me, rush with Chubb. We get Shelby [Harris] back. We get DeMarcus Walker. We’re going to get Dre’Mont Jones back as well," Miller said. "I feel pretty excited about what we have. It’s going to be exciting."
Putting some fresh blood alongside Von in order to rush opposing QBs is only one part of the puzzle, as Miller sees it. The locker room needed new leaders or “dogs” this offseason in equal measure.
Ever since the famous Super Bowl 50 team was dismantled, the Broncos have missed those vocal and strident "dogs" on defense. That vital dynamic is now back in the mix and Miller foresaw it happening this offseason.
“I had been telling the guys, like, last season, ‘we’re going to go and get on or two more dogs,’” Miller recalled. “And the guys were like ‘what position are we going to get?’ I was like ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s an RB, TE, receiver, defensive end, it doesn’t matter.’ And that’s what Elway went and got: He got us one or two more dogs. We’ve got a really competitive team this year.”
Having the team captain buy into the GM’s offseason maneuverings is a recipe for success, so finding Miller and John Elway on the same page is massively encouraging. Miller has been doing his own offseason essential work on the West Coast, in San Francisco, before jetting back to Denver to use his own private gym during the NFL lockdown.
Such challenging times don't appear to have put a dampener on the growing excitement that is swelling in the Broncos' ranks. Stemming from Elway’s shrewd new additions and the lofty goals of team leaders, the Broncos are feeding off a big positive vibe heading into the NFL Draft.
If Von can deliver his 22 sacks and DPoY ambitions, Broncos Country can only imagine what that kind of massive uptick will result in the standings.