Miller was picked No. 2 overall from Texas A&M by the Broncos in the 2011 draft. In the first two seasons of Miller's Denver existence, he had 132 combined tackles. eight forced fumbles and one interception. In 2012 he recorded 18.5 sacks, and proved to be a menace to quarterbacks, in what the Broncos hoped would be for life.
Last season began with Miller being suspended the first six games for violating the NFL drug policy. In week 16 in a game versus the Texans, he went down with a nasty ACL tear, which placed him on the injured reserve list ending his season and counting him out for the Broncos playoff run and their eventual Super Bowl game in February.
|Jeffery Beall via Wikimedia Commons|
The Broncos have had an older generation of linebackers the last two seasons, they were a combined 73 years old: Keith Brooking was 37 in 2012, and Paris Lenon was 36 last season. Miller, at 24 years of age, needs to return with maturity, leadership, and "that guy" that he always has said he wanted to be. He has continually spoke of wanting to be “a guy his teammates can rely on, a guy people can look to, to do the right thing."
Head coach John Fox hopes his words ring true for 2014.
“Your hope is there is a maturation, an improvement,’’ Fox said this past week. “That’s what you hope with any player year to year. We have a lot of resources, a lot of people working very hard, whether it’s medically, spiritually, whatever, in that building … You’re looking for growth, that’s what you do. You find the best human talent and motivate them to get better. That’s really what we do."Fox also adds, “He’s a good kid, but sometimes, at least in the past, some things have popped up … I’m not going to sit here and guarantee anything."
All in all, The Broncos want Miller to be that guy, need Miller to be that guy. But the Broncos also need Miller to want to be that guy. Eight months ago Miller was viewed as a potential foundation player, the first guy selected in the Elway regime.
For the Broncos and Miller to once again become successful, there are a few things that must be instilled in his level of play. To be mature. To settle down, and be a professional. To utilize his given talent. And, yes, perhaps most importantly, show humility.
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