ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Take a trip to Von Miller’s world.
When you’re in Miller’s world — call it Planet 58? — it’s not difficult to find a way to stop the Broncos’ losing streak.
In Miller’s eyes, he’s been the problem over the last three weeks.
And he’s also the way to fix it.
“I just got to run over my guy,” Miller said. “I just got to run straight through him, put him on his back and just get a sack. It’s not like I’m a receiver. It’s not like I’ve got to break at this route and catch the ball. I’ve just got to get there. I’ve just got to get there. It’s something that I haven’t been doing well over the last couple of weeks. I haven’t been playing the run well, I haven’t been rushing the passer well over the last couple of weeks. I can fix that. I like living in a world where it’s me and the problem is me, because the quickest way to fix it is me. That’s the type of world that I live in, and that’s [how] I’m going into the game. I’m going into the game trying to fix those issues.”
If Miller succeeds, the results should come. The Broncos have played well when he takes down the quarterback — so Miller said he must do that more often. When Miller recorded four sacks over Weeks 1 and 2, the Broncos grabbed a 2-0 record. During the last three weeks, Miller hasn’t tallied any sacks, and Denver hasn’t added to its win total.
Correlation may not exactly equal causation, but Miller’s not concerned about that. He’s more focused on taking down Jared Goff — and every quarterback that follows.
“I’ve got to get sacks,” Miller said. “That’s what I do. I’ve got to get sacks. I’ve got 87.5 of them. I’ve played in games where I’ve gotten a lot of sacks and I’ve played in games where I haven’t got any sacks. I’m going to have a little bit of both going forward. It’s just a phase that I’m in right now, and I’ve been here before and I’ve gotten out of it before. You get right back in it, and you’ve got to get right back out of it.”
No matter how much Miller wishes there was a secret to have success sacking quarterbacks, there’s not. And he’s felt the struggle over the last few weeks.
“It’s not like there’s a cheat code where you go out there and have success,” Miller said. “It’s not like you come and have a great practice, you go to sleep at 10 o’clock, you wake up at 8 and you eat well — and if you do all these things well, you get a sack. That’s not how it works.”
Miller, though, doesn’t seem to buy the argument that he could be pressing too much or may be trying to do too much.
At outside linebacker, Miller said, that’s really not possible.
“Let’s think about that,” Miller said. “As a corner, if you think about doing too much, I can see that. You’re playing this route when really you should be over here and you’re guessing. For me, what is doing too much? Running over the guy and putting him on his back and making a sack? What is doing too much? I just have to do more. There’s really not a cap.
“I’ve got a unique position. I can’t really reach and do too much. I play the run and rush the passer. I’ve just got to do it better. Like I said before, over the last three weeks, I haven’t been able to do that.”
Miller said Thursday the Broncos’ defense is built upon the pass rush. When the unit isn’t blowing past offensive tackles and putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, it’s not effective.
But that’s how Miller likes it.
He wants the pressure to be on him. He wants to have an overwhelming impact on the game.
And when he doesn’t deliver, he’s willing to point the blame at himself — just as he did Thursday.
“The defense is set up for pass rush,” Miller said. “I know a lot has been said about the calls and this and that. The defense is set up for pass rush. Why is the defense set up for pass rush? Because we’ve got four great pass rushers. If our defense is not successful, then it’s the guys that’s not making it happen. It’s set up for us. That’s how I want it. I want it to be set up for me. I want to be in a defense where it’s all about getting sacks and getting pressure. That’s how I want it to be.
“I don’t want it to be a defense where we’re playing zone all day and it’s about the corners. I want the defense to be about us, and it is. I just haven’t been doing my job the way I’m supposed to do it, and I’m on it. I’m going to get it fixed.”
Miller acknowledged part of fixing the Broncos’ pass-rush problem relies on him taking advantage of opportunities, no matter how few he receives.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s one rep to get there or two reps,” Miller said. “That could be two sack forced fumbles that I’m not taking advantage of.
“That’s just the world that I live in.”