Von Miller

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Von Miller
refer to caption
Miller with the Denver Broncos in 2011
No. 58 – Denver Broncos
Position:Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1989-03-26) March 26, 1989 (age 29)
Dallas, Texas
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas)
College:Texas A&M
NFL Draft:2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:443
Sacks:98.0
Forced fumbles:25
Fumble recoveries:9
Interceptions:2
Defensive touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Vonnie B'Vsean Miller Jr.[1] (born March 26, 1989) is an American football outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). Miller played college football at Texas A&M, where he earned consensus All-American honors and was awarded the Butkus Award as the most outstanding college linebacker in the nation. He was drafted by the Broncos second overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Considered among the best defenders in the league, he is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, receiving first-team All-Pro honors as a rookie. At the conclusion of the 2015 NFL season, Miller was named Super Bowl MVP after the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Following his Super Bowl victory, he appeared on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars.

High school career[edit]

Miller attended DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Texas, where he played for the DeSoto Eagles high school football team and ran track. In his junior year, he recorded 37 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries. As a senior, he was named the District 8-5A Defensive MVP after making 76 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 6 sacks.[2] He played with future Aggie teammate Cyrus Gray.[3]

In track & field, Miller competed in events such as the 110m hurdles (PR of 14.38 s), triple jump (PR of 12.65 m), and javelin throw (PR of 37.24 m).[4]

Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Miller was listed as the No. 15 weakside defensive end in the nation in 2007.[5] He chose Texas A&M over offers from Florida, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

College career[edit]

Miller attended Texas A&M University, where he played for the Texas A&M Aggies football team from 2007 to 2010. As a freshman at defensive end in 2007, he was named Freshman All-Big 12 by The Sporting News after posting 22 tackles, including 10 solo stops. He recorded two sacks, four tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.[6] He played in a 4-2-5 defense. He weighed 220 pounds during his freshman year.

In Spring 2008, newly hired head coach Mike Sherman was discouraged by Miller's habits of skipping class and failing to produce during practice. Sherman decided to suspend Miller for that spring. Disappointed, Miller considered transferring, but upon his father's insistence, stayed. Miller then adopted a more serious attitude.[7]

As a sophomore in 2008, Miller played at weakside linebacker under Joe Kines's 4–3 defense. He saw action in all 12 games, making 44 tackles, including 25 solo stops, and leading the team with 3.5 sacks. He made 7.5 tackles for loss, forced two fumbles, and recovered two more. His role was more confined to pass coverage, as opposed to rushing the quarterback, thus he wasn't able to showcase his pass-rushing abilities. In the final seven Big 12 games, he compiled just eight tackles.[8][9]

As a junior in 2009, Miller adopted the role of the jack position, a defensive end/linebacker hybrid, which allowed him to utilize his pass rushing abilities. He enjoyed a breakout season for the Aggies, leading the nation in sacks with 17 and ranking fourth in the nation with 21 tackles for loss.[10] For his efforts, Von Miller was named first team All Big-12 at defensive end and was named a first-team All-American by Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.[11][12] He became the first Aggie to be named a first team All-American since Jason Webster in 1999.[13] Then-Aggies defensive coordinator Joe Kines compared Miller to the late Derrick Thomas.[14][15] Miller then studied and watched film of Thomas to familiarize himself with his game.

As a senior in 2010, Miller switched to playing as a 3–4 outside linebacker under Tim DeRuyter's defense. Early in the season, Miller suffered a high ankle sprain that held him back for the first six games.[10] He posted 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss.[16][17] Again he made first-team All-Big 12 honors[18] and won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.[19] He was also named a consensus first-team All-American.[20] He received first team All-American honors from Walter Camp, Scout.com, Pro Football Weekly,[21] ESPN.com[22] and the Associated Press.[23] Miller graduated with a degree in poultry science and raises chickens in his spare time.[24]

Colleigate statistics[edit]

Von Miller Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2007 Texas A&M Big 12 FR DL 9 10 12 22 4.0 2.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2008 Texas A&M Big 12 SO DL 12 25 19 44 7.5 3.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2009 Texas A&M Big 12 JR DL 13 31 16 47 21.5 17.0 0 0 0.0 0 5 0 0 0 4
2010 Texas A&M Big 12 SR LB 13 38 30 68 17.5 10.5 1 3 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career Texas A&M 47 104 77 181 50.5 33.0 1 3 3.0 0 5 0 0 0 7

Professional career[edit]

Miller was projected to be a second round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft had he passed on his senior season.[25] He entered the 2011 NFL Draft regarded as one of the best 3–4 outside linebackers available by NFL draft experts and scouts and was projected to be a top five draft pick.[26][27][28][29] At the 2011 Senior Bowl, Miller was the Defensive MVP.[30] Among linebackers at the 2011 NFL Combine, Miller ranked 2nd in the 40-yard dash, 3rd in the vertical jump, 1st in the broad jump, 3rd in the 20-yard shuttle, T-1st in the 3-cone drill, and 1st in the 60-yard shuttle. His 11.15-second 60-yard shuttle broke the combine linebacker record. At the Texas A&M Pro Day in March 2011, Miller ran a 4.49 40-yard dash.[31]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2 58 in
(1.90 m)
246 lb
(112 kg)
33 12 in
(0.85 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.53 s 1.62 s 2.64 s 4.06 s 6.70 s 37 in
(0.94 m)
10 ft 6 in
(3.20 m)
21 reps N/A
All values from NFL Combine[32][33]

In March 2011, Miller was selected to represent top flight rookies in the NFL Labor Union talks.[34] He was persuaded by former NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson to join the lawsuit.[7]

During the Texas A&M Pro Day, however, one scout compared him to Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, while Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer compared him to Cardinals linebacker Joey Porter.[35] NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock, who rated Miller as the second-best player in the draft, stated that Miller reminds him of a smaller version of DeMarcus Ware.[36] Miller's then-personal trainer, Dan Brandenburg, who also worked with first round picks Clay Matthews III and Sean Weatherspoon, stated Miller is the best athlete of all three.[7]

Denver Broncos[edit]

Miller in 2011
Miller signing autographs for U.S. troops at Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, in March 2013

Miller was drafted by the Denver Broncos second overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.[37] He was the highest selected linebacker since LaVar Arrington went No. 2 to the Washington Redskins in 2000. He also became the Aggies' highest draft pick since Quentin Coryatt, who was selected second overall in 1992.[38] The selection of Miller surprised certain experts. Denver was switching from a 3–4 defense to a 4–3, a defense which seemed counter-intuitive to Miller's strengths. Former Broncos quarterback John Elway, who is also the executive vice president of the franchise, said Miller is "a type of guy that comes around every 10 years".[39]

On July 28, 2011, Miller officially signed with the Denver Broncos. He wears No. 58 in honor of his favorite football player, the late former Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas.[40]

2011 season[edit]

On September 12, 2011, in his first career play from scrimmage, Miller forced a fumble against the Oakland Raiders.[41] On September 18, 2011, he had his first sack on Andy Dalton when the Broncos played the Cincinnati Bengals.[42]

Miller was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 11 performance against the New York Jets.[43] The Broncos made the playoffs and faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Round. In his playoff debut, Miller had three solo tackles and one quarterback hit in the 29–23 overtime victory.[44] In the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, he had two quarterback hits in the 45-10 loss.[45]

Miller was selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl[46] and was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.[47] Overall, in 907 snaps, he recorded 11.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits and 29 quarterback hurries.[48] He was fined three times during season.[49]

2012 season[edit]

Miller got off to a quick start in his second season, registering 10 sacks in nine games. In this period, he recorded 30 quarterback hurries, more than he had during his entire 2011 campaign. Thanks to this tremendous start, he was considered an MVP candidate. On November 16, he was fined $21,000 for a hit on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in Week 10.[50] He received his second career AFC Defensive Player of the Week honor after recording three sacks and two forced fumbles against the San Diego Chargers the following week.[51] For his efforts during the month of November, he was awarded AFC Defensive Player of the Month. On December 26, 2012, he was announced the starting Outside Linebacker in the AFC division for the 2013 Pro Bowl.[52] Miller finished the season third in sacks with eighteen and a half, breaking a Denver Broncos record of seventeen previously held by Elvis Dumervil. He also capped off the 2012 season finishing second in voting for Defensive Player of the Year and being named first-team All-Pro.[53] In the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Miller had nine total tackles and two quarterback hits in the 38–35 2OT loss to the Baltimore Ravens.[54]

In 2012, Miller teamed up with Ubisoft, makers of the video game The Hip Hop Dance Experience, to create his very own sack celebration dance called "The DeSoto Shuffle" that was inspired by the video game. Each time he performed the dance during a game, Ubisoft made a charitable donation to Von's Vision, a foundation devoted to providing eye care and glasses to underprivileged youth.[55]

Miller (third from right) was one of several NFL players who visited US Army soldiers in Afghanistan during the 2013 offseason.

2013 season[edit]

Prior to the 2013 season, NFL Network listed Miller as the 9th-ranked player in its NFL: The Top 100 Players of 2013 program, which is voted on by players in the NFL.[56]

In July 2013, ESPN reported that Miller had been suspended four games for violating league policy, pending appeal. He tweeted that he did "nothing wrong". In August 2013, he lost the appeal and was suspended for six games. The six-game suspension arose after the NFL learned that he attempted to cheat a drug test. He became eligible to play on October 20, 2013, when the Broncos played the Indianapolis Colts.[57][58] On November 24, in a loss to the New England Patriots, he recovered a Stevan Ridley fumble and took it 60 yards for a touchdown.[59] It was the second touchdown of his career. He did fairly well upon his return, but his season was ended prematurely when he tore his ACL on December 22, 2013 during a win on the road at the Houston Texans. Without him, the Broncos reached Super Bowl XLVIII, but lost 43–8 to the Seattle Seahawks.[60]

2014 season[edit]

After recovering from his ACL injury, Miller looked to improve his play in his fourth season with the Broncos.[61] He did so with 14 sacks, 59 tackles, and a forced fumble.[62] In the Divisional Round of the playoffs against the dianapolis Colts, he had six total tackles and one quarterback hit in the 24–13 loss.[63]

2015 season[edit]

Miller in Super Bowl 50

On September 17, 2015, Miller became the third-fastest player in NFL history to reach 50 sacks career (58 games). The only ones to get there faster than him were Reggie White (40 games) and Derrick Thomas (54).[64] Overall, in the 2015 season, Miller finished with 11 sacks, 35 total tackles, 32 quarterback hits, one pass defensed, and four forced fumbles.[65]

In the Divisional Round against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he had two total tackles in the 23–16 victory.[66] During the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots, Miller sacked Tom Brady 2.5 times, breaking a Broncos single-game playoff record and also had an interception in the second quarter of the game.[67]

In Super Bowl 50, facing the heavily favored Carolina Panthers who held the top-ranked offense, the Broncos won 24–10. In the first quarter, on a 3rd-and-10 from the 15-yard line, Miller knocked the ball out of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's hands while sacking him, and defensive end Malik Jackson recovered it in the end zone for a Broncos touchdown, giving the team a 10–0 lead. This was the first fumble return touchdown in a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXVIII.[68] With 4:51 left in regulation and the Broncos leading 16–10, Miller forced a second fumble from Newton to end the Panthers' potential game-winning drive, and the Broncos offense afterwards scored a touchdown to seal the victory. Miller recorded six tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two quarterback hurries, and was named Super Bowl MVP for his performance.[69]

Miller was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, earned his second First-team All-Pro, and was ranked 15th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[70]

2016 season[edit]

On March 1, 2016, the Broncos placed the exclusive franchise tag on Miller.[71] On July 15, Miller signed a 6-year deal worth $114.5 million featuring $70 million guaranteed with the Broncos. He became the highest paid defensive player in NFL history, with the highest amount of guaranteed salary.[72][73]

Miller finished the 2016 regular season with 13.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits.[74] In the last four games of the season, Miller did not record a sack, which was the longest such stretch in his career.[75] He was named to his fifth career and third consecutive Pro Bowl, and his third First-team All-Pro,[76] and was ranked second by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017 as the highest ranked defensive player.[77]

2017 season[edit]

Miller against the Redskins in 2017

On December 19, 2017, Miller was named to his sixth Pro Bowl.[78] Miller was named the 2018 Pro Bowl defensive MVP.[79] In the 2017 season, he recorded his fourth consecutive season with at least ten sacks.[80]

2018 season[edit]

In the Broncos' 2018 season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, Miller recorded three sacks and seven total tackles in the 27–24 victory.[81] In Week 11, Miller intercepted Philip Rivers and returned it 42 yards to set up a touchdown, which helped ignite a 23-22 comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers, earning him AFC Defensive Player of the Week.[82]

During the 2018 season, Miller recorded his 100th career sack (including postseason sacks), becoming the 5th-fastest player in NFL history to do so.[83][84] He was also selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl as a starting outside linebacker, which was his seventh career and fifth consecutive Pro Bowl.[85]

Franchise records[edit]

As of 2018's NFL Week 15, Miller held at least five Denver Broncos franchise records for sacks, including:

  • Career (98.0)
  • Single season (18.5 in 2012)
  • Playoff career (6.5)
  • Single playoff season (5 in 2015)
  • Single playoff game (2.5 on both 2016-01-24 NWE and 2016-02-07 N-CAR)

Career statistics[edit]

NFL statistics[edit]

Legend
Career high

Regular season[edit]

NFL career statistics
Denver Broncos
Season Tackling Fumbles Interceptions
Year GP GS Comb Solo Asst Sack FF FR Yds TD Int Yds TD PD
2011 15 15 64 50 14 11.5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
2012 16 16 68 55 13 18.5 6 0 0 0 1 26 1 2
2013 9 9 34 27 7 5.0 3 1 60 1 0 0 0 1
2014 16 16 59 42 17 14.0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 2
2015 16 16 35 30 5 11.0 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 1
2016 16 16 78 62 16 13.5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2017 16 16 57 51 6 10.0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
2018 16 16 48 29 19 14.5 4 2 0 0 1 42 0 3
Career 120 120 443 346 97 98.0 25 8 62 1 2 68 1 19

[86]

Postseason[edit]

NFL career statistics
Denver Broncos
Season Tackling Fumbles Interceptions
Year GP GS Comb Solo Asst Sack FF FR Yds TD Int Yds TD PD
2011 2 2 3 3 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 1 1 9 7 2 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014 1 1 6 5 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 3 3 13 11 2 5.0 2 0 0 0 1 4 0 2
Career 7 7 31 26 5 6.5 2 0 0 0 1 4 0 2

Personal life and other ventures[edit]

Miller was born in Dallas, Texas, to parents Von and Gloria Miller. His parents, who were both athletes in high school and college, own a power supply business.[7] He has a younger brother Vinsynzie "Vins".[87]

Having majored in poultry science at Texas A&M, Miller operates his own farm, raising chickens.[88]

In August 2013, Miller was arrested on a failure to appear warrant for driving-related charges in October 2012.[89]

In September 2013, Miller was cited for speeding and driving with a suspended license in Arapahoe County, Colorado.[90]

In April 2018, while on a guided fishing tour off the coast of Florida, Miller is alleged to have illegally landed a hammerhead shark. He is currently under investigation.[91]

Von's Vision[edit]

In 2012, Miller created Von's Vision to provide Denver-area youth with eye examinations and eyewear.[92] Von's Vision hosts Von's Vision Days throughout the year to provide children with free eye exams and glasses.[93]

Von Miller's organization hosts two events for Denver-area children: Von's Vision Day and Von Miller's Back to School Vision Day. Von's Vision Day is a two-day program. The foundation partners with national and regional eyewear retailers to provide a citywide vision day for low-income Denver children. On the first day of the program, children receive free screenings, and if needed, free eye exams and an invitation to pick up their corrective eyewear at a later date. After the prescription glasses have been cut, Von hosts a Reveal Party where children are fitted for their glasses.[94] Children have the opportunity to interact with Von Miller and feel comfortable in their new glasses.[95]

Started in 2015, Von Miller hosts an annual vision day to serve children before they head back to school called Von Miller's Back to School Vision Day.[96] Every year 5,000 low-income 1st grade students enter the Denver Public School System without ever seeing an eye doctor. More than 1,900 of them need glasses.[97] The program is designed to screen a child and, if needed, provide them with eyewear in a matter of minutes. Von Miller's Back to School Vision Day is designed to screen, write prescriptions, cut lenses and fit the glasses in under an hour.[98]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

On March 8, 2016, Miller was announced as one of the celebrities who will compete on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with professional dancer Witney Carson.[99] On May 2, 2016, during a double elimination, Miller and Carson were eliminated and finished the competition in 8th place.

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