ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Von Miller is so good, sometimes it’s bad.
The three-time First-Team All-Pro is often so dominant on the field, he destroys any chance for an offense to be productive.
On Sundays, against an opponent, that’s a welcome sight for Head Coach Vance Joseph and the rest of his staff.
In training camp, though, that’s not always the case. As Joseph explained Saturday, Miller can be too talented for the team’s own good.
“Von’s a special player,” Joseph said. “Von is Von. He can totally wreck practice. So I get it with Von. Von goes hard, but he understands if he goes really, really hard, he can wreck practice.”
A few media members chuckled after Joseph said that Saturday, but the second-year head coach made it clear he wasn’t joking. The offense, after all, can’t get better if Miller is consistently in Case Keenum’s face a second before any other defender in the league would get there.
“... I’m just being honest,” Joseph said. “He had a couple plays today where he got upset and it looked like game day. We know what Von can do. I’m not worried about Von. Von’s in great shape. Von loves to play. He’s right where he has to be for the season.”
Miller’s teammates see the same thing: a nearly unmatched player who can change the outcome of a game in an instant.
“I’m not going to say he’s unblockable, but he’s damn near unblockable,” linebacker Brandon Marshall said. “Of course. We did all these passing drills, these throwing drills, even in the run game, Von’s a monster. So sometimes they take him out. He’s not always in. He can definitely wreck a practice.”
When prompted with his coach’s comments, Miller thanked Joseph for the glowing review, but he attributed much of his success to the length of his career.
As an eighth-year player, Miller said he has participated in enough training camps to stay a step ahead.
“I’m grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve gotten,” Miller said. “I’m grateful for this eighth year in the league and I’m just trying to keep pushing. I just try to keep it going.”
Unfortunately for Miller, it may be a few more weeks before he gets to go “really, really hard.”
Last season, Miller didn’t play in the Broncos’ first two preseason games and only recorded 11 snaps in the Broncos’ dress rehearsal against the Packers.
His first snaps against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are still 36 days away — and that’s OK with Miller, even if it’s just practice.
“This is fun,” Miller said. “I get to come out here and rub shoulders with these yahoos in the locker room. [We] get to tell jokes and do pranks and go to film and really get to go out here and practice the craft. I do this better than anything else [I do] in the world. So I love doing it.
“I don’t really get bored with this. Maybe if it was something I didn’t do so well, I probably would get bored with it. But this is my job. This is my passion. So I don’t really get bored with it.”
And faced with the challenge of stopping even a toned-down version of Miller, it’s safe to say the offense won’t get bored either.