ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --What Von Miller eats at mealtime is at least as important to his offseason work as what he does in the weight room.
Junk food, hamburgers and pork are gone. Leaner meats -- including chicken, appropriate for the aspiring poultry-farm magnate -- are his companions.
"Sometimes you've just got to step away from the burgers and stuff, and you've got to know that it might not be hurting you, but it's definitely not helping you," he said.
With ample motivation, Miller had no difficulty excising burgers and ice cream from his diet.
"It's just that every time I eat, I think about what this is going to be doing for me -- whether it's broccoli or green beans. Every time I eat it, I can just eat it straight-up, raw, it doesn't even matter to me," he said. "I know what it will do for my body and how it helps me. It's not even about taste; I know how it's going to make me feel.
"When the fourth quarter rolls around, I don't want to be thinking about the ice cream that I had the night before," he added later. "I want to be thinking that I'm primed and in the best situation I can possibly be in."
He washes down his meals with juices and a gallon of water a day -- "not even Gatorade," he said. Within two weeks of changing his diet, Miller noticed a difference.
"My body [composition] coming in with (strength coach) Luke (Richesson) is the best that it's been," Miller said. "So I've been doing something right, and I just want to stay on top of it, and hopefully I can carry it over to the season."
He quickly amended himself.
"I don't want to say, 'hopefully.' I know I'm going to carry it over to the season. I'm going to be a whole lot better with nutrition and conditioning than I was last year," Miller said. "I was in a great place last year, and hopefully I'm going to be in a whole lot better place this year."
Miller said he currently weighs 242 pounds, 10 pounds below his high weight last year. He wants to settle somewhere between the two figures.
But to get his body in the right shape, Miller knew that the Broncos' April 13 start date for team-organized workouts wouldn't be enough. He began his new workout and diet regimen in February, taking advantage of the full offseason that he did not have a year ago, when he spent eight months recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"I really didn't just take days off. Right after the Super Bowl, I started working out," Miller said. "I wanted to make a point of that with myself, that I wanted to step it up with nutrition and just working out every day."
Now that he's back at Dove Valley, he can focus on a new scheme and new defensive coaching staff. Miller worked with new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips at the 2012 Pro Bowl, where the Houston Texans' coaching staff guided the AFC team.
"Everything that we're doing here, it fits right in to what I do best: rushing the passer, Cover-3, Cover-4, the same stuff," Miller said. "There's not too many ways that you can run a Cover-3 or a Cover-4. We did some of that stuff last year. I blitzed a little bit last year, and I'm going to do some of the same stuff this year."
The common theme of Miller's work is that he leaves no stone unturned. In a contract year for himself and a crucial season or the team at large, he wants to know that he did everything within his power to ensure success for both.
"I want to put myself in the situation that I'm doing the most for myself that I can possibly do," Miller said.