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Von Miller: If Bradley Chubb continues to play at same level, 'Defensive Rookie of the Year is in the bag for him'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —With the way Bradley Chubb has played over the two months of the season, it's easy to forget he's only played eight games.

He may have won the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month award, but he's still a young player.

In Von Miller's eyes, he's really, really young.

"Honestly, you know how you see one of these toddlers and they're maybe like 3 years old, but they act like grown men," Miller said Thursday. "They talk like grown men and they have these extreme personalities and they're leaders — even at 3 years old.

"That's the same thing with Bradley Chubb."

Hold on. Quick sidebar.

Who, exactly, is Von Miller following on Instagram?

"You've never seen one of those toddlers?" Miller said, laughing. "You've got to get on Instagram. They've got all types of stuff on there."

Back to Chubb, who has had a more impressive start to the season than any of those toddlers.

(We think.)

"He's a kid and he's a baby and whatever you want to call him," Miller said, "but the guy was a leader, the guy was a captain at NC State and he's definitely brought the same leadership qualities here to the Broncos."

Miller said Chubb isn't yet able to "speak to you in the same [football] language," but he's been able to comprehend it all.

"He's definitely a quick learner, fast learner, mature beyond his age," Miller said. "I just think back to the Von I was in 2011. I was totally different than what Bradley Chubb is for us today. I'm extremely excited about where he's at with his career and the hot start that he's had in his career."

For a giant toddler, Chubb is holding his own during his first season in the NFL. He tallied 5.5 sacks in the month of October, which was second only to veterans Aaron Donald and Dee Ford.

And he expects to be even better.

"I'm nowhere near where I want to be," Chubb said. "I'm happy for the achievement, but right now, I just have to keep working and keep getting back to work and get a win."

It's not difficult to find motivation. On nearly every passing down, Chubb feels the internal race to the quarterback between him and his teammate.

"I feel like [on] every pass play, we have an internal race to the quarterback," Chubb said. "We might not say it out loud, but we want to get there first. When you have two guys, four guys doing that at one time, it's special."

Last month, Chubb had the upper hand by a half sack. Miller nearly equaled Chubb's total with five sacks of his own, but the fifth-overall pick of 2018 edged out the second-overall pick from 2011.

Through eight games, Chubb has gotten to the quarterback before Miller — or at the same time — enough to tally 7.0 sacks. If he keeps playing at that pace over the second half of the season, he could join Miller and LB Mike Croel as the only Broncos rookies to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Miller certainly thinks that honor could be headed Chubb's way.

"Not too many rookies out there are playing like him," Miller said "He's got two more months and [then] Defensive Rookie of the Year is in the bag for him."

Could Chubb also be headed for the single-season rookie sack record?

Miller said they've talked about it.

Before the season began, he sat down with Chubb to talk about the rookie's goals — and that's when Chubb first impressed his veteran teammate.

"I told him to write his goals out," Miller said. "Write [them] every day in the top right-hand corner and it was definitely one of the goals he had on there — [the] sack record [and to] win Defensive Rookie of the Year.

"He even had goals [for] five years down the road. A guy with that type of mentality and that work ethic, he'll definitely get all of the goals that he wrote on his paper."

With 7.0 through eight games, he's a strong second half of the season away from challenging Jevon Kearse's record of 14.5 sacks.

But Chubb wouldn't entertain that thought on Wednesday, saying he didn't have a specific number of sacks in mind when he entered the season. All he wanted to do, was to get the first one out of the way. He did that relatively early, as tallied his first full one in Week 3 against Baltimore.

He found his stride beginning in Week 6, and now, Chubb doesn't want to waste any more opportunities.

One Defensive Rookie of the Month award may have been a good start, but Chubb's got bigger goals now.

"I want to be 8-0 right now with multiple Rookie of the Months," Chubb said. "This is my first one, so I'm still hungry to get more and for this team to get more wins."

Don't they just grow up so fast?

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