ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —Von Miller has always been a fan of the game.
That's been particularly true as an NFL star, as Miller has made a habit of mingling with other players at the Pro Bowl and has hosted his own Pass Rush Summit on several occasions.
As he's focused on his own career in Denver, he's kept his eye on the rest of the league, and he said Monday that he's "constantly scouting players."
So when the Broncos traded for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in late April, Miller knew Denver had added a solid player to their offense.
"When we got Teddy, I felt like that was a great move," Miller said. "Teddy's ready to come in and play. Teddy's ready to come in and compete. I think that's what we need in the quarterback position. I'm not saying that this guy's going to be the No. 1 guy, or this guy's going to be the No. 1 guy. I'm not saying that yet, but we have a healthy quarterback competition that can only give us positive things out of that group. Teddy's been a great vet for a long time. He's been able to play and lead his teams to wins. It'd be great to have him in there with [QBs] Drew [Lock] and Brett Rypien and just push the guys. I'm just excited."
Miller and the rest of the Broncos' roster got their first in-person look at their new teammate on Monday, as the team took part in the first practice of organized team activities. Bridgewater and Lock are expected to compete in a "50/50" competition that Head Coach Vic Fangio said will not truly take shape until this summer.
Bridgewater spoke to Miller earlier on Monday, and the Broncos' star defender had advice for the team's newest QB as he aims to win the starting job.
"The first thing [Miller] said today was, 'You're here to play football now,'" Bridgewater said. "That's my mindset now. I'm here to play football and whatever happens, happens. I'm here to help this team become a better team. I'm here to help players become better football players and men become better men. Whatever happens, I'm here to play football and I'll take whatever comes with it."
In Bridgewater, the Broncos added a player who General Manager George Paton said can elevate the rest of the roster.
"When you watch him on tape, the game is really easy for him," Paton said in late April. "He moves the team. He plays in rhythm. He makes the players around him better. We like the way he plays. He throws on time and the offense is in rhythm. That's what we liked when we watched the tape."
After seeing Bridgewater on the field Monday, Head Coach Vic Fangio said the team's new quarterback "had a good first day" and should be able to take advantage from his time working with Pat Shurmur in Minnesota.
"It's helped a lot," Bridgewater said of returning to the scheme. "There is some carryover from my days in Minnesota, but at the same time, a lot has changed. I've been in a couple of different systems. I see players that I'm familiar with and it's been a smooth transition with the install. We have great teachers in the room with [Quarterbacks] Coach [Mike] Shula, Coach Shurmur and [Offensive Quality Control Coach] Justin [Rascati]. Those guys do a great job of simplifying everything and allowing us to comprehend and apply it on the field without even thinking."
In Minnesota, where Bridgewater was selected in the first round in 2014, the Louisville product led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and earned a Pro Bowl nod in his second season as a starter. A preseason knee injury ended his 2016 season before it began, and he appeared in just 15 games over the next four years before starting 15 games last year for Carolina.
In Denver, Bridgewater will have the chance to prove himself again.
"Every day I wake up, I consider myself competing for my job," Bridgewater said. "I think that's the mindset of everyone who plays this game. Whether I was penciled in as being the starter or if I had to compete, my mindset is this is a competition. … In this league, so much happens. You said there's been ten quarterbacks here [since Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning]. Whenever you get into a situation, you always want to be the guy who can be there for a while.
"Of course, that's my mindset, but at the same time, I have to take it one day at a time and continue to be the best teammate I can be today and let tomorrow take care of itself."