This is the second of a multi-part series on Broncos star linebacker Von Miller; Part 1 originally appeared on January 5
If you ask why a player who’s only 6’2 and 210 lb could be playing in the middle/nose guard slot under Paul Brown, it had to do with three things. It was a long time ago, so size and heft weren’t quite the same factors they are now. Because of that, speed at the snap is the number one skill needed for a pass rusher. The sudden blast from a neutral start to full speed in a moment’s time - and it’s something that Von Miller has in spades, just as Bill Willis did under Paul Brown - is the single most important quality for that role. Miller had 7.5 of his sacks in 2.5 seconds or less - they’re starting to gauge ‘quick sacks’ by that measure, and while OL mistakes can play into it, the most important thing it gauges over a season is how fast the player can explode off the LOS. Miller nudges the land-speed record there. In a couple of seasons, he may be pushing to break it.
Leverage is second, another absolute key to the job as a pass rusher. Just ask Elvis Dumervil - or an offensive lineman. Actually, Zane Beadles already weighed in on this. He’s been on the receiving end of this one enough times:
In the simplest terms, the lower man wins. "If a player like Von is able to get down and he's flexible — and it's the same with Elvis — he gets underneath guys and is able to separate with his arms. That's difficult for an offensive lineman. You're not going to win many of those no matter the weight difference."
Okay, so John Elway didn't quite put it that way, but he said Timmy needs to get better at passing the football. How is that going to happen? John Elway needs to become mother#$@!ing Yoda, that's how:
KARINA SMIRNOFF OF ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ WANTS TIM TEBOW AS HER NEXT PARTNER
“All I want for my birthday is for Tim Tebow to dance on Dancing with the Stars,” she said Saturday, not long after Tebow and his Broncos team were ousted from the NFL playoffs by Tom Brady and his Patriots. “Tim is a very talented athlete, that was clear when we saw his performance this past season with Denver.”
I know the Broncos want Tebow to do less "stuff" in the offseason and concentrate on football, but bluntly, this chick gets me sprung. I think Tebow ought to consider it.
Tim could win this thing. He already knows how to John Fox Trot (Ba Dum Tsssh). Thank you, I'll be here all week.
Adam Schefter is reporting that Tim Tebow suffered the following injuries early in the third quarter of Saturday's loss at New England:
Tebow tore cartilage on his first rib where it attaches to his sternum, bruised his lung and had fluid buildup in the plural space of his chest
Three Four reactions:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Jason La Canfora's latest update, Mike McCoy and Miami interim coach Todd Bowles are the finalists for the Dolphins head job, although Adam Schefter is hearing that Packers OC Joe Phlbin will also get a second meeting (and interview with the Bucs too); Bengals DC Mike Zimmer had been in the mix earlier. Additionally, John Clayton says the Colts will look to hire an offensive-minded HC after firing Jim Caldwell yesterday, and he says McCoy could be a candidate for Indy. Of course, McCoy will also meet with new Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie today, as will Dennis Allen.
Now, the Broncos offense next season will probably be dissimilar to the one we saw this year with Tim Tebow; not only did opposing defenses appear to figure out the zone read, but the big hits on Tebow seemed to multiply with each passing week - and as Phil Simms pointed out, the defenses that saw Tebow a second time this season didn't have trouble containing him. As has been mentioned countless times, most notably by John Elway, Tebow is going to have to learn to win games from the pocket, and that is likely to be reflected in the offensive structure going forward. And as Ryan Wilson notes in his final Tracking Tebow column of the season,
If the organization is truly committed to him (and we're not convinced they are long term) then that means building the entire offense around one person, right down to a backup quarterback proficient at running Tebow's brand of option football.
If it seems extreme, think of it this way: what happens if Tebow goes down? Denver's offense suddenly reverts to its pre-Tebow playbook? And the remaining starters -- all of whom have spent months practicing the option offense, will suddenly be expected to run a conventional offense? In the middle of a game? That ain't happening.
Phil Simms: If New England plays the same defense and dares Joe Flacco to throw it outside…he’ll throw it outside…What do people want John Elway to say? “Tim Tebow’s gonna be our QB for the next five years no matter what”? I think that’s what the group on Tim Tebow’s side wants, and you just can’t do that…There’s still some unanswered questions…Kansas City the second time around held him to three; New England, second time around - you know, a defense none of us look upon as great - look what they did.
Jim Rome: The second thing I hear from Tebow fans is, “If the team would just turn him loose, he’d be fine.”
Phil Simms: Well, you know…they turned him loose - I don’t know what else they want the Broncos to do…what’s gonna have to change is the execution - the passing game. The option game that everybody talks about, from start to finish, let’s be honest: IT DID NOT WORK. What worked, is they just lined it up and they could run over you. That worked. Yeah, he had some runs, and he had some scrambles. But the option game overall…it was negative yards.
I come out of the games, the Tim Tebow haters say to me, “You’re too easy on him.” But then the Tim Tebow people go, “You’re way too hard on him,” and I go, “Oh my gosh, all of you. Please. Shut up.” I am definitely not biased about it. He is a terrific kid - it is true. His work habits are, even by NFL standards, especially at quarterback - they are tremendous. I give him all that. I can’t wait to see him next year. I want to see a different thrower next year than the guy I saw this year.
Well, now. I've been hitting Simms pretty hard here of late for likening Tim Tebow to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but I have to give him credit. When he's not calling games and presumably worrying about Nielson ratings, he doesn't pull punches. But at the same time, shouldn't we be insulted? Does CBS not think we want honest commentary during games like Simms provided to Jim Rome here? Guess not...
What we know--Broncos nickel back Chris Harris made Pro Football Weekly's All-Rookie Team, along with fellow Bronco, Von Miller.
What we don't know--how 32 teams passed Harris over for seven rounds in the draft last year.
Perhaps it's due to the fact that Harris is five feet, nine inches tall. Perhaps it's because he didn't play in the SEC. Perhaps it's because this guy had him as the 48th best cornerback coming out. Whatever the reason, it just goes to prove that nobody knows anything when it comes to the NFL draft, a league where 1st-round picks bust with regularity and undrafted free agents are named Defensive Player of the Year.
The Drive hour 2 1/17/12
Darren McKee: “You think Eddie Royal is dissatisfied and will go somewhere else?”
Alfred Williams: “I don’t think Eddie is dissatisfied. I know Eddie is dissatisfied.”
Darren McKee: “You talked to Eddie about it?”
Alfred Williams: “I did not.”
Darren McKee: “Okay, well, how do you know he’s dissatisfied.”
Alfred Williams: “Let’s just say, I know.”
I thought this exchange between Williams and McKee this afternoon on The Drive was interesting because, in theory, it provides some insight into Eddie Royal. When pressed, Big Al said that he had visited Rod Smith just today and Smith told him that it would have been hard to play receiver with Tim Tebow because of the inconsistency, and that staying disciplined in routes would be hard because one would rarely be rewarded with the ball. Williams then went on to relate this story back to Eddie being frustrated.
We'd had reports during the Brandon Lloyd trade speculation that Royal wanted out of Denver as well. Now that he's a free agent--if we believe Big Al and Rod Smith--Royal has likely played his last game in a Broncos uniform.
On a side note, I'd been wondering all year what Rod Smith thought of Tebow as a quarterback, because in my world, Rod Smith is both God and the orignal hardest working guy in football.
If you want to hear the exchange, forward to 28:25 of Hour 2. By the way, Big Al thinks the Broncos are going with QB Nick Foles from Arizona as their first-round draft pick. Big Al accurately predicted the Broncos would draft Von Miller last year months before anyone else.
Per Adam Schefter, the Miami Dolphins plan to interview Mike McCoy a second time. The interview will take place on Thursday in New York. This time, Miami owner Stephen Ross will be sitting in. Why so serious, Miami?
the guy I used to shove into a locker John Clayton, this means McCoy has a great chance of landing the job.
Plus, the Broncos have promoted Matt Russell from director of college scouting to director of player personnel, and they hired former Yale OC/QB coach Brian Stark as their West Coast scout.
According to Jason La Canfora, Oakland has scheduled an interview with Denver OC Mike McCoy for their head coaching vacancy tomorrow. McCoy already met with the Dolphins yesterday regarding their HC opening, and the Bucs are also rumored to have interest in McCoy.
Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie will be in Denver tomorrow to speak with both McCoy and Dennis Allen.
Meanwhile, longtime Denver strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten has been told he will not be back for the 2012 season. Tuten had been the Broncos strength coach since Mike Shanahan's first year as head coach, 1995.