With Renewed Hope & Full Stomachs, it's Onto Buffalo for Miller & the Broncos
You know you have reached a level of considerable fame when the media take a keen interest in who you invite to dinner. In the immediate aftermath of the Denver Broncos' morale-sapping loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Von Miller decided on the spur of the moment to invite his teammates out for dinner as a group.
This simple exercise in team bonding has, mostly by accident, sparked debate and analysis into the deep meanings for the Broncos and their inner makeup. Does it have any bearing on how this team is coming together and will it develop them into winners, or is it quite frankly a group of guys chowing down together?
Miller himself has been keen to play down any Zen-like meanings as it relates to his team.
“It was just dinner," Miller said on Thursday. "I don’t really want to make it bigger than what it was. It was just dinner with the guys. I know a couple of guys talked about it and stuff and what it meant to the team, but for me, it was just dinner.”
As much as the Broncos star pass rusher was anxious to play the greater significance of the team meeting up, it has most certainly struck a chord with some players who look up to and admire the Super Bowl 50 MVP. It has also had a galvanizing effect, projecting a united front to all of Broncos Country.
Standing with a record of 3-7, including four painful fourth-quarter capitulations, there would have been a feeling of dread having to board the team charter home under yet another losing cloud. Miller, while happy to lighten the mood in the locker room, is still blunt and to the point over where the team is this year.
“The reality is, we’re 3-7 and it’s tough for us right now.” Miller admitted. “We’re just trying to keep the mood and the energy the way it was in the following weeks.”
If there was any Miller masterplan or whether it was just a simple social gesture, it hit on a feel that modern-day professional sports teams really crave these days — to feel relaxed and loose. By No. 58 playing down any deeper significance of the dinner, it allowed the players to bond naturally and in a relaxed open frame of mind, instead of a business mentality where it was all football.
In a troubled week where media reports were of the coaches and players clashing, with Vic Fangio’s old school techniques and methods, everything has pointed to the Broncos doing their level best to remain focused internally and police themselves.
Higher up the chain of command, John Elway has backed the beleaguered Fangio publicly. Miller also came out in support of the positives that are going on at Dove Valley.
“Honestly, simply the energy we have, the type of players that we have and the type of coaches that we have. It’s just a matter of time before we become a great team again.”
Miller finished with a prediction.
“Great coaches and great players usually equal success… I know that it’ll happen for us.”
These confident assurances can only offer hope to all involved with the Broncos. Mentally refreshed and inspired by renewed hope, and with full stomachs, it’s onto Buffalo.