PFF's Ben Stockwell writes in great depth today about Von Miller's remarkable pass rush skills. From his piece:
What Miller achieved this year was simply astonishing — to be that prolific, show such improvement in one facet of his skills as a pass rusher, and be so close to perfectly balanced as a pass rusher. Miller got pressure inside of opposing pass protectors as often as anyone, and got pressure outside of pass protectors as often as anyone. Combine that with an ability to just drive straight through a pass rusher on a bullrush (1 Sk, 1 Ht, 6 Hu) when needed, and the energy and awareness to clean up plays when the pocket breaks (12 pressures including four sacks in clean up and pursuit) and you have nothing short of the ideal pass rusher. I’m not sure how you improve on what Miller did this season, and his biggest challenge is doing it with even more expected from him, and without Elvis Dumervil on the other side. The fascinating battle will be whether his opponents can focus one (or two) men in on him, or whether the role in which the Broncos deploy him will allow him to continue to cause mayhem against a plethora of blockers.
It's one of the best pieces I've read in awhile--anywhere. The only thing it doesn't do is tell you how Miller does what he does. Let's review, shall we?
Miller possesses the deadliest speed rush in the league--even with this hand in the dirt. Often he doesn't even need to rip with his inside hand on his third step (like, say, Elvis Dumervil) because he's already got that much separation. At that point, he bends down and around the tackle to create an open lane to the quarterback - see 2:03 and 2:35 of this video:
The speed rush sets up his inside move, in which he plants and fakes the outside, leaving the tackle off balance. Sometimes the fake is so good, the tackle loses his engagement completely; other times, Miller uses the tackle's own momentum to simply toss him aside. See this video:
...and this one:
Miller will occasionally step inside with his outside leg, allowing him to spin off the tackle back to the outside. The tackle's momentum again carries him away from his engagement. Then, just to torture his opponent, he spins in the opposite direction and attacks to the inside; here's a demonstration against the Falcons:
This is by far the most hilarious, because the tackle isn't expecting Miller to simply come straight at him, get under his pads, and walk him back into the quarterback; see the 0:20 mark of this video:
What stops Miller from being the greatest linebacker in Broncos history, a Hall of Famer, and finally, the baddest dude of his generation?
Only injury, or Miller himself.