The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 11, 2013

Perfect start doesn’t mean Von Miller hasn’t been missed

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos will welcome back Von Miller with a 6-0 record if they take care of business against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars.

Just because they’ve handled their business doesn’t mean they haven’t sorely missed their suspended All-Pro linebacker.

Without Miller to command double teams and pester the passer like he did while racking up 30 sacks in his first two seasons, the Broncos find themselves ranked dead last in the league against the pass.

Despite a No. 1 ranking against the run, they own the 29th-best defense overall, hardly the formula for a championship even with Peyton Manning’s terrific start.

“You want to win. But winning these games doesn’t put a ring on our fingers,” Champ Bailey said. “I mean, we’ve got to get better. We know that. That’s what it boils down to: how good are we going to get?”

Miller will have a lot to say about that.

During his six-game drug suspension, he was banned from the practice field but not the weight room, and it’s obvious as he struts around shirtless in the locker room that he has a thicker torso and biceps.

“I’m like, ‘Von, you look like you almost might just play D-end,” teammate Chris Harris said.

Miller said last summer that he was undersized and “that’s always been a goal for me is to be bigger, stronger, faster,” so he wanted to get up to 260 pounds, five more than last year and 23 more than 2011, when he won the league’s Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

To that end, he spent some time during his suspension working with a personal trainer, which Harris said was a message to his teammates about Miller’s determination to atone for his mistakes.

Miller will have to shake off the rust and regain his cardiovascular conditioning and it’s likely he’ll need plenty of breathers when he makes his 2013 debut at Indianapolis on Oct. 20. But his presence is expected to raise everybody else’s game because of the attention he commands.

“Von Miller is our guy,” Harris said. “We can’t wait to have him.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V UNT Sooners blank Mean Green thanks to one-hit shutout from Stevens

    Kelsey Stevens’ impact at Oklahoma continues to grow....

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners rolling in almost every program

    It doesn’t seem so long ago, yet it’s been almost a decade since I wrote a snarky, though not inaccurate column questioning the head-coach-hiring skills of Sooner athletics director Joe Castiglione....

    April 24, 2014

  • Grizzlies will let Russ shoot

    During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper. Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Tigers, T-Wolves set for showdown

    For many teams in Norman, the Crosstown Clash is the biggest date on their schedule. It’s the game that can make or break the season. The one that determines bragging rights, and the one that the players are most concerned about....

    April 24, 2014

  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014

  • North playing for big picture, NHS fighting for a better place at the table

    While the focus for the next two days will be on the Crosstown Clash, there's also an important postseason race taking place for Norman High and Norman North's baseball teams....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mets edge Cards

    NEW YORK — With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind....

    April 24, 2014

  • Seahawks will open against Packers

    NEW YORK — As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL’s regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4....

    April 24, 2014

  • Heat hold off ’Cats

    MIAMI — LeBron James drove to the rim as time was winding down, got clobbered by Josh McRoberts and sat on the hardwood gathering himself for a few seconds afterward. It was fitting. Miami took Charlotte’s best shot, and survived....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mavs even series with Spurs

    SAN ANTONIO — Monta Ellis scored 21 points and the Dallas Mavericks rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece....

    April 24, 2014

Facebook