Denver Broncos | News

'All the great pass-rushers have done it': Von Miller driven to lead the league in sacks


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It seems like Von Miller has it all. He has a Super Bowl ring, Super Bowl MVP honors, eight Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro nods and, as of Monday morning, a unanimous selection to the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team.

But there's one thing he still wants to accomplish.

"I've got to lead the league in sacks," Miller told Steve Atwater in an interview for that will be posted Monday evening. "And I feel like leading the league in sacks and Defensive Player of the Year go hand in hand. … I've got to put out one of those 22-sack years, 22-plus."

Miller may already be considered one of the all-time greats, but having a season like that will put him in the kind of company he wants to keep.

"Every great pass-rusher is doing it," Miller said. "I just can't average high sack [numbers] — I've got to lead the league. … DeMarcus [Ware] has done it, J.J. [Watt] has done it, Aaron Donald — all the great pass-rushers have done it, and I have to do it. I'm not going to stop until [I do it]."

Miller's single-season career best came in 2012 when he followed up his Defensive Rookie of the Year season with an 18.5-sack performance. He had the third-most sacks that season, just two short of Watt's league-leading 20.5 sacks.

As he looks to surpass that performance, Miller said he's excited about the 2020 season, especially with the new additions to the roster.

"I had been telling the guys, like, last season, 'We're going to go and get one or two more dogs. That's all we need, one or two more dogs,'" Miller said. "And guys were like, 'What position are we going to get?' I was like, 'It doesn't matter; we've got guys everywhere. We need one or two more dogs. It doesn't matter if its running back, tight end, receiver, defensive end, it don't matter.' And that's what Elway went and got: He got us one or two more dogs. We've got a really competitive team this year."

Defensively, the Broncos added two key players via trade: five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and 2017 Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye. As they arrive in Denver, they'll be joined by players like Bradley Chubb and Bryce Callahan, who are expected to return from injuries they suffered in 2019.

"A guy like me, it's easy to get me excited, but I'm super excited about the team that we've got this year," Miller said. "Jurrell Casey; we're going to get Chubb back; we've got A.J. Bouye; we're going to have Bryce Callahan back; I am super excited to see A.J. Johnson in his second season starting."

With that collection of talent, Miller may return to the ranks he reached in 2012 and exceed it.

In 2018, his only full season playing alongside Chubb, he tied for fourth-most sacks in the NFL with 14.5, his second-best season output. With Chubb back in the fold, Miller would likely face more one-on-one matchup opportunities — which almost always favor Miller.

If Miller can get those openings, he could claim one of the last major accomplishments remaining for a storied career.

Since entering the league in 2011, Von Miller has taken down 51 quarterbacks for a total of 112.5 sacks, including the playoffs. Take a look at each one, sorted by the number of sacks Miller has had on each one.

Related Content