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Next Day Notebook: Aiming to Improve

Posted Nov 19, 2012

The Broncos are striving to get better, Von Miller imitated a video game character in a sack celebration and familiarity among the offensive players is producing points.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Following a season sweep of San Diego, the Broncos hold a 7-3 record and a three-game lead in the AFC West. But Head Coach John Fox continues to remind his players that the only thing they are promised is a 7-9 record. The team likes the position it is in, but knows the ultimate goal is a ways away.

"What we become will be how we perform these last six games," Fox said. "If you don't continue to improve, all of the sudden, you can change those things. That's our deal right now. We like our team. We have a great locker room. We're going to have to continue to work hard to get where we want to go."

Progress is key. That rings even truer after watching tape of Sunday's win versus the Chargers. Fox's reaction to the game film was that there is room for improvement "in all three phases."

"In this league, you're either getting better or you're getting worse," Fox said. "You don't stay the same. That's the mindset."

One specific area that Denver will look to get better at is third-and-short situations. The Broncos offense was one-of-three on third-and-1 plays on Sunday.

"We haven't probably been as successful as we'd like to be on third-and-one," Fox said. "That's an area we can improve at without a doubt."


On the other side of the ball, linebacker Von Miller has continued to stand out in his sophomore season. The NFL's leader in sacks and tackles for loss - 13 and 23, respectively -- added to both totals last night by sacking quarterback Philip Rivers three times, recording two tackles for loss and forcing two fumbles.

After Miller's first sack, he celebrated the play by rolling off of Rivers and continuing to somersault multiple times. Miller said after the game he was recreating a move from Sonic the Hedgehog, a video game character.

"I got on a little lightning strip," he said. "I just felt like Sonic on that play. That was it. You've got to show some excitement when you're making plays."

In the video game and on the football field, Sonic and Miller share a quality that is crucial to the linebacker's success.

"You've just got to be relentless," Miller said. "To be a great pass-rusher, in my opinion, I've only had a little bit of time in this league but from what I've seen from the vets who have been doing it for a long time, you've just got to have a relentless pursuit and a fanatical effort to the ball."

It's the type of personality Miller has - imitating a video game character on the field - that makes him so enjoyable to coach and play with. Fox won't make any predictions on Miller's career, but he is eager to find out what's in store for him.

"He's a very talented young man," Fox said. "Fun to coach, fun to be around. I don't want to put too much pressure on him but he's got a bright future ahead of him, I can say that. We'll see where he goes."

Miller takes a similar mindset, knowing the his strong individual performances and the team's 7-3 record are only glimpses of the success they can experience.

"There are a lot of games to be played," he said. "Great players, they turn it on late in the season. I'm hoping and praying that I'll be able to do that. I've just got to take it one day at a time."


With less than two minutes left in the first half, quarterback Peyton Manning hit wide receiver Brandon Stokley for a 31-yard touchdown, their fifth end zone connection of the year.

In their fifth year as a tandem after spending 2006-09 together in Indianapolis, Fox said that the success they have enjoyed with one another is a credit to the chemistry they still shared. While Fox said the decision to sign Stokley in the offseason was "pretty easy," the 14th-year receiver has impressed the coach with his production and longevity.

"I think there was a comfort zone (between Manning and Stokley)," Fox said. "He looks like he did 10 years ago, athletically. He's taken great care of himself. He's played quite a few plays. He played 59 (plays) yesterday. He's pretty remarkable, actually, for the time he's spent in the league."

On the same subject, Fox mentioned the familiarity between center Dan Koppen and Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu. Magazu coached Koppen at Boston College from 1999-2001. Entering Week 11, Koppen was yet to allow a sack in 2012.


In addition to the news on McGahee, Fox called cornerback Omar Bolden "day-to-day" after suffering a concussion in the first quarter. Fox will provide another update following Wednesday's practice.