The season of giving is a few months away, but Denver Broncos superstar Von Miller couldn’t resist gifting his head coach, Vic Fangio, an extremely appropriate present on Fangio’s 61st birthday.
On Thursday, Miller surprised the rookie head man during a team meeting with a cake and a brand-spankin’-new grey sweatshirt, a notable staple of Fangio’s daily wardrobe — weather be damned.
The moment was recorded for posterity and uploaded to Twitter by the Broncos’ official account:
Addressing reporters after Thursday’s practice, Miller said the gift was a team-wide gesture but that he, personally, wanted to extend his gratitude.
“It was his birthday today. We just wanted to celebrate it,” he said. “I’m appreciative of Coach Fangio. He’s only been here for six, seven months, and I’m super appreciative to have him here and to have him in my life and to have him coaching me. The other guys feel the same way, so it was only fitting.”
Miller added that he received the sweatshirt for free (because, duh). And he didn’t relay to Fangio that it was free (because, duh).
“No, it’s a gift,” he said. “With Coach Fangio the type of guy he is, it’s the thought that counts for him. I don’t think it matters how much it costs. Free is probably better for Coach Fangio. He likes it that way.”
Miller Done for the Preseason
In more pressing matters, Fangio announced he will not play his starters during Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams, owing his decision to the team’s increased exhibition load. “It’s our fourth game, not our third,” he said. “I just feel like that it’s the best thing to do for our team right now.”
Miller ends his very limited summer with one tackle. Fortunately, he escaped unscathed and is locked-and-loaded for his ninth professional season, which may be his best if Fangio, who’s continually (and publicly) challenged Miller this offseason, gets his way.
“I love it,” Miller said. “Just think what we’d be talking about if Coach Fangio came and he didn’t say anything to me. He didn’t have any tips to offer me. I’d be feeling weird around here. The very first thing that he said was, man we can get Von better. When you’ve got a coach that’s saying they can get you better, he’s got techniques for you, he’s got a way for you to get better you have to get excited about that. Coach me, coach, coach me. Whatever you’ve got for me I’m open ears. I’m going to apply whatever techniques you’ve got for me on the football field and try to elevate my game. If I can elevate my game, I can elevate our defense’s game. If our defense can play better that’s going to lead to wins. Wins, we all know how that feels around here. Whatever I can do to contribute to that I’m all for it.”
Miller Coins Epic Nickname
Undrafted rookie edge rusher Malik Reed has been among the standout performers of training camp, and the Nevada product carried over his momentum into the preseason, where he’s collected a pair of sacks. Reed, seemingly assured a spot on the 53-man regular season roster, parlayed his sudden success into a devastatingly cool alias.
“We call him the dream killer. He’s killing quarterback’s dream every single day,” Miller said. “He’s a great guy. He’s humble. He just wants to play football. He just wants to go out there and make plays. I’m a fan. I’m a fan of Malik. I want to see him do great.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL