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Mason's Mailbag: Von Miller's play speaks loudest for individual accolades

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

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Mase, OK, so I see the "popular" media is voting for Mack as DPOY but I know he was absent for the first 4-6 games. On the other hand Von's been clutch 24/7. Can we please rally the Denver media and get them all to boast anything and everything he does so he can win DPOY?! It's the one thing he's missing (besides a BCS championship). Thanks, Von's #1 fan!**

-- John Jardine

First, you don't know how the media is voting yet. There are still four weeks left in the season. Mack has "buzz," but it doesn't always translate to votes -- especially if Miller continues to outpace Mack in sacks (Miller has 3.5 more sacks than Mack heading into Week 13). If Miller can build on that, it creates the sort of difference that is harder to ignore.

Further, it's the media's job to ask questions, report, analyze and offer opinion, not to "boast" Miller's accomplishments. Leave the pom-pom waving and chest-thumping to others for whom it is more appropriate. The local media, in my opinion, has done an excellent job describing the transcendent level of Miller's play, and it has prompted similar sentiments from teammates by asking players about Miller's exploits, especially this week.

Miller's play itself is the best marketing for him to receive the league's highest individual defensive honor. That's better than any words, any speeches, any AstroTurfed campaigns.

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Mase, what is going on at the TE position? Vernon Davis, who looked past his prime in our offense last year, has more receptions and yards than our 3 TE's combined. And he plays behind Jordan Reed (when healthy). Is it a scheme issue, personnel issue? What are your thoughts?**

-- Steve Wilson

Washington's tight ends are more involved as receiving targets than blockers and operate in space more often, so the use has something to do with it. As a midseason pickup, Davis had to learn a new scheme; that limited his effectiveness early after the Broncos traded for him. Then the dropped passes late in consecutive losses to the Raiders and Steelers set him back; even if you're an experienced player, you're not going to last long in a lineup if you have a couple of key drops with a limited amount of targets to begin with.

Each of the 2 games I have seen Paxton Lynch start, some of the problems he is having with his accuracy seems to be a footwork problem. I know that as a QB, having good footwork can be the difference between an average or elite QB. So my question is, is footwork something that comes from years of training or is it something you can fix throughout the year to consistently get the right motion in to make accurate throws.

-- Ethan Stanton

It's both -- it's something that can take years of training, but it can be fixed throughout the year. The key step is being able to take footwork from the relatively controlled environment of practice to unrestrained, full-speed, unpredictable game action. When that happens, that is the sign that a quarterback no longer has to give proper footwork conscious thought; it just happens and is a natural part of his play.

Yes. But that's a long way off considering that the Broncos must try to make the playoffs through a minefield of teams that are a combined 36-14.

Because San Diego had a higher waiver priority claim due to their worse record and was awarded him off waivers ahead of the Broncos.

Wikipedia is wrong. He hasn't been with the Broncos in any capacity since 2013, when he was a consultant working with young players, mainly on the practice squad.

Do you see the Broncos improving in the last four games and possibly through the playoffs? Or do we need to go get some talented offensive lineman in FA or the draft next year?

-- Stephen Timmins

It's not an either/or proposition. It can be both.

Do you see Elway dealing with the offensive line issues this upcoming offseason?

-- Gus Moody

Yes, and I think offensive line will be the top offseason priority on that side of the football.

Submit a question for the next Mailbag!

The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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