ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Over the last decade, Von Miller got to the quarterback quite often.
On 112.5 occasions, Miller dragged a quarterback down for a sack.
The number is nearly unmatched.
Since sacks became an official stat in 1982, only four men have recorded more sacks (including postseason) in a decade than Miller's total.
It shouldn't be a surprise that Bruce Smith, the NFL's all-time sack leader, leads the list with 124.5 sacks in the 1990s.
Smith, who has worked with Miller at his annual Pass Rush Summit and the 2020 Pro Bowl, offered his congratulations to the eight-time Pro Bowler and unanimous 2010s All-Decade Team member.
"Obviously it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone," Smith told DenverBroncos.com. "It's a well-deserved honor. This is the body of work that he has dedicated himself to putting out on a level of consistency. This isn't about having a great year here and an average year there. This is about dominance over the period of a decade. This is a well-deserved honor. Obviously he's still a very young player, so he has a lot more potential upside. I am very excited for him and very happy for him. What a great guy to receive such an honor."
Smith, who made a pair of all-decade teams during his 19-year career, admires several aspects of the Super Bowl 50 MVP's game.
"Von is able to not allow that offensive lineman to dictate to him how he is going to block him," Smith said. "Von dictates to the offensive lineman in terms of getting them off balance, making them take a false step, making them get their legs crossed up so they have no power at that point in time. Those are some of the things that I admire. Obviously, the tangibles that we see on a constant [basis are] his explosiveness, his speed, his leverage. All of those things come into play, and to be quite honest with you, I think there's still just a slightly missing element … of honing in on actually becoming that ultimate student. I still don't think he's there yet. … The game has slowed down for him because he's so fast anyway. Let's just keep it real there. But once you get that level of knowledge on how to break down that offensive lineman and offensive schemes and the feel for the game, that's when [you take another step].
"… John Elway and I had a conversation about that when I was out there a year or two ago. We both agreed that this young man is a special player and I think he still has a tremendous amount of upside."
If Miller can take that next step, he should have the chance to appear on the 2020s All-Decade Team. Should he match Smith's 19-year career, he would play through the 2029 season. And with 106 regular-season sacks already to his name, he would have the opportunity to near Smith's 200 career sacks.
"The fact that he has made his first All-Decade Team, that puts him in a very small class," Smith said. "Now, he has to strive to maintain that level of play and that level of consistency that will give him and his team the best chance of winning and potentially have him repeat this award and this honor again."