When Dion Dawkins looks across the line at Von Miller, he can’t help but think of one of the NBA’s greatest players.
Dawkins, the veteran Buffalo Bills tackle, has matched up with Miller quite a bit through the first four days of the team’s training camp at St. John Fisher University. He shared some big praise for the All-Pro linebacker, saying Miller reminds him of Michael Jordan in his later years in the NBA.
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Dawkins Amazed at Miller
Though Dawkins has faced some great pass rushers before, he said that Miller is on an entirely different level — and going against him is a special kind of frustrating.
“Von is just one of those guys that just shuts down your natural abilities,” Dawkins said after the team’s July 27 practice, via NewYorkUpstate.com. “And he’s the one with the natural abilities. So playing against Von every play, every rep – it’s a hate, love thing. Because I’m like, dang. You know what I’m saying? That’s $120 million right here, you know?”
Dawkins compared Miller to his former Bills teammate Jerry Hughes, who had 53 sacks through his nine seasons in Buffalo, and said Miller is still levels above.
“If I can block Von I can block anybody. He’s really that good,” he said. “I’ve never played anybody like that. I thought Jerry (Hughes) was damn, like Jerry’s like grown, and old and still good. But Von is like Jerry times four, and Jerry is already great. Like how many levels of it is it, but he’s somewhere way up there.”
Dawkins even had to reach into another sport to find an apt comparison for Miller.
“That is amazing that he can be at that level in year 12, that’s different stuff,” he said. “That’s like Michael Jordan stuff. Like you’re just a different type of person and Von is truly that.”
Miller Helping Teammates
Though the Bills practiced without pads for the first four days of training camp, the team is being extra cautious with Miller. The 33-year-old got a day off on Tuesday and the NFL Network’s Mike Giardi noted that the team will be trying to manage his snaps throughout the season.
“They have a great sports science team in Buffalo and perhaps they can show Miller why it makes sense,” Giardi wrote. “I’ll tell you this, he doesn’t move like he’s 33 years old & Miller has also made an impact on the young edge guys.”
Insiders believe Miller will be a great fit for the Bills defense, with one long-time personnel man telling Heavy.com’s Matt Lombardo that he is “exactly the kind of crafty veteran that defense needed.”
Even on the sidelines, Miller has been already helping with his younger teammates. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia noted that he’s been a “sounding board” for the team’s defensive ends, and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds said that Miller has been sharing his wisdom with him as well.
“When you get an extra set of eyes on the sidelines, particularly for the young guys, it means a lot,” Edmunds said after practice on July 26. “Just him sitting back and the young guys coming up asking him questions, asking him what did he see. It’s just like another coach on the sidelines that you can probably relate to more because he’s actually in that position playing with you.”