Von Miller's Ambitious Goals for 2020 Should Excite Every Broncos Fan

KeithCummings

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. 

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (15)
No. 1-9
Denver_guy
Denver_guy

It’s not going to happen. There are a few things working against Von. 1, the offense would have to score 27 or so a game to have a chance. 2, vons age, 3 and maybe most importantly, the qbs Von faces get rid of the ball quickly. All things are not equal and he has no chance

Ringneck1
Ringneck1

This is a joke. Von is another CHJ when it comes to talking big and never delivering. Von has rattled off this stuff ad nauseam since the SB and has not delivered and no one, not the team or media holds him accountable. Last year it was Von predicting 30 sacks between he and chubb, then he goes sackless for what the first 4 games. Somehow here we are listening to a guy who got 8 last year talking about 22, it's time for reality check. Every year it's a different work out plan blah blah blah. What it likely comes down to is motivation and leadership are the missing ingredients which I believe Demarcus Ware provided. There's already an article about von perfecting his DJ skills this off-season. Seriously? Maybe he should be focused on football skills?

Being named to the decade team is a great honor but that was for the last decade, not the upcoming. He's been a great bronco. But it's been an awful long time since von was Von and he's on the wrong side of 30 now. Without a renaissance we could see a vonless broncos team as early as next off season. Eventually a cap hit of >$20 million is going to be evaluated against marginal production....

Not to be down on von too much, but the parallels between he and CHJ are to close to ignore. CHJ depending on the year, wanted to chase the best receiver every down, until he tried and couldn't keep up. I wanna play outside cause that's where the interceptions happen then he didn't get any picks. So I want to play inside where the action is. Still didn't get any picks but no one here ever remembers the stuff they spew out once they are granted certain status in Denver.

RickyBobby_0815
RickyBobby_0815

What everyone seems to not realize is that Von hasn’t had the same impact ever since Malik Jackson took the money from Jacksonville. He’s blocked my multiple lineman on a regular basis and it didn’t help that Chubb missed most of the year plus an entirely new defensive scheme to learn.
Being in this D for a second year and with Casey up the middle, I would expect a bounce back year. One last thing, next year’s deal is a team option.

DW77
DW77

I don't understand the badmouthing of Von's goal. He is making no guarantees--only trying to push himself to do his best. Would people commenting and critiquing the reality of his goal prefer that he say--"I am sure I will get more than 8 sacks next year!" For me, I say give it all you've got Von, and if you only make 11 or 12 sacks--great!

Chilly303
Chilly303

Looking at the opponents the Broncos have....

About half the teams outside division play gave up nearly 40 sacks or more last season. Shaq Barrett led the league with nearly 20, and he's nowhere near the level Von's at. Not possible??? Right, lol.

Ringneck1
Ringneck1

Because all it is is a lot of chatter that he never makes good on. I believe that he is one of the vets that let this team down after the SB by a lack of accountability. I think he should be embarrassed over last year's performance and humbly prove his point this season.

1 Reply

VinSinz Bronko
VinSinz Bronko

You obviously missed all of his press conferences and and post game interviews. He always pointed all fingers at himself and stayed positive all season. Do you understand the definition of accountability? Rightfully so Lock got a lot of credit for the 4-1 finish. No one talks about the team dinner Von called after that tough Vikings loss. That was just as big a reason for that finish. That kept the team together and may have even helped launch Luck's career. The team was fragile, but that dinner kept them together and they didn't quit. Lock's fresh energy was the perfect catalyst to help finish strong. But not for that team outing it would have been difficult for Luck to get the team turned around.

Chilly303
Chilly303

1st team All-Pro in 2016, same as 2015. 2nd team All-Pro in 2017 and 2018. As a matter of fact, only two seasons since entering the league was he not on the 1st or 2nd team, 2013 and last season. Last season.... new coach, new defensive scheme. Chubb misses most of the year, the Broncos have a few rookies getting significant time in Chubb's place when they were counted on only for limited action. Wolfe misses games at the end of the season. Harris plays inside and midseason moves to end, on the opposite side. Miller misses a game, plays through injury, gets double teamed quite often, and doesn't point fingers or blame his injury. He's not happy with how he produced last season. And you keep on with, what is it..... accountability? Still SMH.

dremsmith1
dremsmith1

I haven't found doubting Von to be a sensible course. Next season he'll have an established scheme, healthy Von, healthy Chubb, Casey, Harris, Jones, and Walker all with pass rush chops. Why doubt him? The 'not good in the locker room' meme is silly. It takes more than 1 guy, and we didn't have that last season. Casey, from all reports, isn't shy about speaking up. I'm looking forward to the year

Heeted
Heeted

That D line press up the middle is key. Von will def get back to double digits + Secondary coverage should be vastly improved creating another sec to reach target. Takes a unit not a one man game.... Offense needs to do their part


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