The Denver Broncos are in the midst of one of the worst seasons in franchise history. They have a 3-9 overall record, they have lost eight-straight games, and they are getting embarrassed by mediocre opponents. One bright spot for the Broncos, however, has been the play of Von Miller.
The five-time All-Pro outside linebacker is one sack away from his sixth career double-digit sack season, despite constant double and triple teams from opposing offenses.
On Thursday afternoon, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was asked if Miller should be a candidate for the 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. His response was telling.
“That’s hard to say, that’s not my call,” Joseph explained. “Von’s been good for us. Again, Von’s a player that if you don’t gameplan for Von, Von can wreck the game. I would say this, Von gets a lot of attention on Sundays and Von’s been really great in the run game and in the pass game. Guys have double teamed him and sometimes triple-teamed Von. It’s tough to say if his performances have been worthy of that award, that’s not my call. For us, he’s a special player.”
As Joseph insinuated, a lot of Miller’s value doesn’t show up on the stat sheets. When he is occupying two or three blockers, his teammates are freed up to make plays, which they haven’t been able to do with much consistency this fall.
“We get all of our stuff from our analytics guys and right now he’s the most disruptive player at his position in the NFL in terms of quarterback pressure and sacks when you look at the entire picture,” defensive coordinator Joe Woods said on Thursday. “He’s still getting it done, and again, he draws attention. If they’re going to pay that much attention to block him, then we got one-on-ones on the other side and those guys have to win.”
At the end of the day, the Broncos are wasting another great year from the former Texas A&M star. Given their record, it’s highly unlikely that Miller will have a realistic shot at winning his first career Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017.