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Mile High Morning: Von Miller turns memories into inspiration as 2020 season approaches

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The Lead

Von Miller isn't dwelling on what might drag him down.

When Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe found new homes in free agency, Miller lost two teammates who had been on the Broncos with him over the past nine and eight seasons, respectively. But the Super Bowl 50 MVP said Monday that he takes solace in knowing that they understood the bond they shared and the joy he had in being their teammate.

"What gives me peace with losing those guys is there wasn't one moment that went by that I didn't let those guys know that I loved them and that I enjoyed being on the same football team as them," Miller said. "Every year was special. … I really haven't unpacked it."

The moves leave Miller as the last defensive starter from Super Bowl 50 on the team — something that doesn't make him feel sad so much as it makes him feel old.

"When I look at it and see that I'm the last one here I just look at it like, 'Man, I'm old as hell. That was in 2016,'" Miller said with a laugh.

As is Miller's nature, though, what keeps him moving forward is thinking about the future. He doesn't get stuck thinking about his friends who moved on because he's thinking about the new friends he'll make. He doesn't get overly sentimental about Super Bowl 50 because his exuberant spirit keeps him excited for, hopefully, Super Bowls to come.

"As soon as I start feeling sad about it, I look forward to the team that we have right now," Miller said. "I look forward to the new relationships that I'm able to build on. I'm excited about the new teammates I have. I have a lot of great players around me. I'm excited to learn from those guys and get better around those guys."

Perhaps no offseason addition will make as big an impact on Miller as Jurrell Casey, the Broncos' trade acquisition from the Titans.

"It'll be incredible," Miller said. "I'm looking forward to it. He's a great player, five-time Pro Bowler. … I'm just super excited to have a guy like that on my team where I can rush with him. We can do all sorts of things together. He can rush with me, rush with [OLB Bradley] Chubb."

As a new season refreshes all hopes and possibilities, Miller is ready for what the 2020 season could bring.

"I'm pretty excited about my new teammates and spending time with those guys," Miller said. "Everybody knows that I'm a locker room guy. I'm a team guy. I've got new teammates. 

"I'm happy."

Below the Fold

Pro Football Focus made a strong a case for Miller's status as the greatest pass-rusher of the 2010s in the unveiling of their all-decade team, where they wrote, "For the entire decade, he averaged 72 total pressures over a season, which is more than Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa or Calais Campbell managed in 2019." Miller was a unanimous selection to the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2010s All-Decade Team, which was announced Monday morning.

Speaking of that, be sure to check out our content to celebrate Miller's selection:

Miller was joined on the team by former teammate Chris Harris Jr., but should there have been more Broncos selected? What about Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware and Peyton Manning? Our own Phil Milani and Aric DiLalla broke down their cases to be considered snubs.

Returning to the 2020 Broncos, The Athletic's Nicki Jhabvala found that Graham Glasgow's connection to Vic Fangio and Mike Munchak runs deeper than expected, dating all the way back to the 1970s; Glasgow's father and uncle played high school football against Fangio and Munchak in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Unclassifieds

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