ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil are one of the most lethal pass-rushing duos in the NFL. In 2012, they have combined for 24 sacks, the second-most by any two teammates.
Nearing a matchup between Denver and Baltimore on Sunday, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh called the pair of rushers not only game-changers, but "game-wreckers." He said they have to be accounted for at all times.
Miller and Dumervil's production in 2012 has been off the charts, but the relationship between the two off the football field is particularly special.
"We're like brothers," Miller said. "I go over his house, call him whenever. He is always welcoming. He isn't like that with everybody, but he is like that with me and that's what makes it more special. We really, really have a friendship."
The relationship that the two have developed since Miller came to Denver in 2011 has been beneficial for all parties involved. As a rookie out of Texas A&M, Miller said his game used very little technique. His success to that point was more a product of ability and instincts. That's where the seventh-year pro, and 2012 team captain, has helped Miller most.
"With him, he breaks it down," Miller said. "(He'll say,) 'You have to use his technique. You have to do it this way. If you do it this way it'll work.' Watching him on film, that's what works. We're two totally different pass rushers. But I watch him get sacks and I feel like I can apply that to my game. He is really a technician."
Dumervil's experience exceeds Miller's, but that doesn't mean the arrival and emergence of the 23-year-old hasn't helped Dumervil become a better player.
"You got a young guy come in with a new fresh breath, it pushes you," Dumervil said. "You're a guy who does similar things. If I make a play, I'm sure he wants to make a play. It's an overall good competitive spirit."
The motivation factor works both ways. As a team captain, its Dumervil's priority to stay on top of teammates and make sure everybody is accountable. Miller said the way his pass-rushing counterpart carries that out is what makes him worthy of such a distinction.
"He is going to demand respect from everybody out there," Miller said. "I think that's what makes him such a great leader. He is going to demand respect and demand it's done right."