ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That's the approach that Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio is taking with All-Pro linebacker Von Miller in 2013, despite the loss of defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
"It really won't," Del Rio said when asked if Miller's role would change. "Von's role is such where he does a lot—and he'll continue to do a lot. That won't change because Elvis isn't here."
Last season, Miller was all over the place. He rushed from all over the field, dropped back in coverage and stepped up in run support.
Miller set a franchise record with 18.5 sacks and only missed one tackle all season, which came in Week 1. He also returned an interception for a touchdown and made 28 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in run support.
"On the field, there's no way you can replace what Elvis did for us production-wise," Miller
said. "But I feel like if we all take a percentage of what he did—if I step my game up five percent, Derek Wolfe steps his game up five percent—everybody just takes a little piece of what him leaving has taken from us, I feel like we can definitely get it done."
So despite the loss of his pass-rush counterpart in Dumervil, Del Rio will leave Miller in a similar role this season where he can wreak havoc on opposing offenses from all over the field.
"We'll work through that as we go put people in position to make plays and do what we can with the guys that we have," Del Rio said. "We'll determine roles as we go. We'll let competition kind of sort through that. He is a special player. We are going to continue to move him around and do different things with him and utilize his talents and make it difficult for people to know where he is going to be."
In 2012, Miller finished as the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year runner-up after becoming one of two players since at least 1994 with 15 sacks, 25 tackles for a loss and five forced fumbles in a single season.
So it makes sense that he agrees with Del Rio about keeping his role the same.
"I played on the left side, against right tackles, but for me, it really doesn't matter," Miller said. "I play on the left, I play on the right, I blitz in the middle. I think Coach Del Rio and his staff, they do a really good job of putting me in situations where I can help us win."