ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – Outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller played coy when asked their personal goals for the 2015 season. But with a little prodding and reminders of records and rankings within reach, the pass-rushing duo open up about expectations for this season.
For Ware, his 127 career sacks ranks 14th all-time. He needs 15 sacks to surpass Michael Strahan's 141 ½ for the No. 5 spot all-time, something that he sees as an achievable feat this season.
"That's something that I always strive for and look towards," Ware said. "I know who's there—Michael Strahan—a guy that I always looked up to. That's a big feat, but it is accomplishable this season."
Miller, who ranks third in NFL history (since 1982) in sacks per game (0.88) in a minimum of 40 games, is looking for his fourth double-digit sack season.
The best shots from Day 8 of training camp at UCHealth Training Center. (All photos by Eric Lars Bakke)
"I just want to come out and be the Von that I know I can be," Miller said. "I want to be dominant. I want to be inspiring to my teammate. I want to inspire my teammates to play better and I want to feed off them and I want them to feed off me—just have one of those dream seasons, just like every year."
Confidence definitely isn't an issue when it comes to Miller and Ware. They speak highly of each other and the overall defense.
Ware, entering his 11th season in the NFL, is a nice complement to Miller's youth and both are excelling under new Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and his staff.
"Von just makes the game look easy," Ware said. "Von has really picked up. Von is Von again. You can see that from him running tackles over, running around the corner, acting like old Von. After his surgery last year, he really sort of reinvented himself. You can sort of see it this year. It carried over to this year. He's rolling."
The Broncos have just surpassed the first week mark of training camp and will soon start game prep for their first preseason contest at Seattle. But Miller already likes what he sees from the defense thus far.
"It's great. We're blitzing," Miller said. "I'll be rushing the quarterback and chasing after the quarterback. It's nothing too new. It's going to be a great defense. It plays to all our strengths. [CB] Chris Harris [Jr.] is going to have a great year; [CB] Aqib [Talib] and all of those guys should get a whole bunch of picks. We should get a whole bunch of sacks. We're still just building, we're still just taking it one day at a time, but I feel good for where we are right now. We still have a long way to go, but if we can keep taking it one day at a time, like I said before, we'll be alright."