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'Expect a Shaq you've never seen before': Barrett's breakout season could be coming


When Von Miller hosted his first Pass-Rush Summit in 2017, Shaquil Barrett wasn't in attendance.

And he heard about that — quite a bit.

When Miller and Shane Ray returned from the workout at Stanford, they couldn't stop talking about the level of instruction they'd received from some of the NFL's best, both past and present.

Barrett didn't make the same mistake in 2018.

"Last year, I missed it and Shane and Von came back talking about how good it was, and I was disappointed I couldn't make it, because they got to learn from all these amazing people," Barrett said in late June. "Just to be able to be down here and learn a couple more moves and learn how to perfect the moves that I do now is just going to help be a 100-times-better football player."

Barrett was the only other Broncos player to join Miller at Big Cedar Lodge for the summit, where Hall of Famers Bruce Smith and Warren Sapp offered him tips during on-field work and broke down his film during a classroom session.


In Barrett's eyes, that was knowledge he couldn't find anywhere else.

"These guys have been through it," Barrett said. "They came out on the top of it. The stuff they actually did, worked. To get the best coaching, I think they need to have been in the situation before and know how to approach it. ... Just to be able to get that coaching and teaching from them is just something that I had to take the opportunity to get."

The instruction could pay immediate dividends.

Barrett said he received tips to improve his current rushing moves and also picked up some new tactics that Broncos fans should see this fall.

"If I don't [use them], shoot, I ain't trying to get better," Barrett said.

And the former undrafted Colorado State rusher certainly plans to get better.

He has made a substantial impact for the Broncos over the previous three years, and he hopes the lessons from this year's summit will only accelerate his growth.

Barrett recorded 5.5 sacks in 2015 and another four in 2017, and he's forced seven fumbles in his 48 career appearances.

That's been more than enough to impress Miller, who said in June he expects big things from the 25-year-old outside linebacker.

"I think everybody knows the type of player that he can be," Miller said. "His 10-sack season is coming. He has all the tools. He's fast, he's quick, he's great with his hands. He's done great things for us. He's a starter. On any other team, he'd be their premier pass rushers.

"The future is great for Shaq. He's super young. He's got a ton of football ahead of him."

From the Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri, Von Miller, Shaquil Barrett and some of their NFL peers shared pass-rushing tips and received instruction from Pro Football Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Bruce Smith, among other pass-rushing coaches.

Barrett should be in complete control of at least one issue that plagued him late in the year.

Last season, three of his sacks came within the Broncos' first seven games. And while he forced a pair of fumbles and recorded another sack in the weeks that followed, Barrett admits that he didn't attack film study the same way that he did early in the season.

That will change this season, he said in June, and he plans to attack practice with renewed vigor.

"I just need to get better from last year," Barrett said. "I want this year to be my best year in football ever. I'm working for it. I'm going to be doing everything I need to do to get to that point.

"Just expect a Shaq that you've never seen before."

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