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Von Miller: Offside penalties are like taxes on sacks

Posted Nov 9, 2017

You'll want to hear the All-Pro outside linebacker out on this one.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Von Miller knew the question was on its way.

After an offside penalty and neutral-zone infraction cost the Broncos against the Eagles, Miller knew the question was coming during his Thursday media availability.

And he was ready with an answer to explain the momentary lapses.

“I was so tuned into the game,” Miller said. “Half of the time, I don’t even hear the fans or the scoreboard or even guys on the sideline. I’m so in tune with my guy, the ball, the quarterback [and] the formation. When I’m in my stance, there are some plays when I’m more tense than others.

“If it’s the beginning of the game, first-and-10, anything that moves, [I go]. I have to change that out of my game. Anything that moves, I’m going. On those plays, I’m vulnerable for offsides.”

Miller was first whistled when he jumped on a hard count on a second-and-2 in the second quarter. The penalty gave the Eagles a first down, and Jay Ajayi then carried the ball two consecutive times for a combined 60 yards and a touchdown.

His second infraction came on the series after his strip sack of Nick Foles. On second-and-9, Miller fell victim to the cadence again and was tagged with a neutral-zone infraction.

That one, he said Thursday afternoon, caught him by surprise.

“I’m looking at the scoreboard,” Miller said, “we were down by like 30 points, they’ve got Nick Foles in. [I’m thinking], everything is on one, [they’re] trying to get out of here. But obviously I was wrong.”

That thorough answer would’ve sufficed, but Miller wasn’t done. Instead of just explaining the penalties, Miller explained his whole philosophy around the issue.

“I look at it like taxes,” Miller said.

“The sacks are going to come, so the false starts and the offsides are like taxes on those. You’ve got to pay taxes. I would like to [keep] my taxes minimal. I wouldn’t like to have two a game. Probably one every three games would be cool. Two a game is just not good.

“[Outside linebackers] coach [Fred Pagac], he coaches us better than that. [Defensive line] coach [Bill] Kollar, all the guys coach us better than that. It’s just, especially when you’re down, you’re just more inclined to take risks like that. Never on third-and-10, never in crucial situations for me, but there are some plays where I walk out there — and even as a fan I think you can feel it — like, ‘OK, they’ve been moving the ball. They’ve been going on one for the last six snaps.’ I’m a gambling man. Gambling got me here.”

Miller was quick to limit the scope of the tax allusion, though.

Asked whether a recent string of losses was a Super Bowl 50 tax, of sorts, Miller quickly rebuked that idea.

“Losses? No, that’s too big of a tax. You never want to pay in losses. Never.”