Von Miller was inspired by Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant this offseason.
That’s not to say Miller hasn’t been all-in for Broncos Country for the last several years, but the winning hasn’t been their for the Rocky Mountains’ favorite NFL franchise. Since winning Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers back, the Broncos haven’t sniffed the postseason. Miller narrowed his focus this offseason, as he was inspired by Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
“Michael Jordan was the best that ever played,” said Miller on Tuesday. “Was I really making that commitment to the game?… Kobe was one of the best to play the game. Was I doing the things Kobe was doing?” Clearly, Miller was inspired to be like Mike after watching The Last Dance on ESPN, as well as embrace his inner Mamba Mentality after Bryant’s tragic passing back in January.
How good can Von Miller be on the wrong side of 30 for the Denver Broncos?
Miller is already Canton bound. His Super Bowl 50 MVP back in 2015 helped solidify he’ll have a bronze bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one of these days. The Broncos’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M University inked a lucrative contract to stay in the Mile High City shortly after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. However, the winning has subsided since then.
Will Miller’s best remaining days in the NFL be akin to what he experienced on that early February night back in 2016, winning Super Bowl MVP? Probably not, but he can help the Broncos win Super Bowl No. 4 in their history before his skill set rapidly declines. He must take on a leadership role and help get the absolute most out of his pass-rushing teammate Bradley Chubb.
If Miller can be the kind of teammate DeMarcus Ware was for him early in his Broncos career for Chubb, Denver may have enough horses in the stable to make a push back into relevancy in the AFC. Of course, much of Denver’s upward trajectory as a team will hinge on the growth and development of Drew Lock at quarterback. If he pops in the next year or so, Denver has a chance.
Overall, we’re getting a strong impression from Miller that he’s on the back-nine. There’s nothing wrong with that, as he’s had a phenomenal nine-year NFL career out of Texas A&M. But like he alluded to with his Jordan and Bryant inspirations, does Miller want to be known as a great player for the Broncos or as an NFL legend? He has the time to finish his NFL back-nine on a high note.
A fully committed Miller is a scary thing for the rest of the AFC West outside of Denver, Colorado.