While the Broncos head to Buffalo, they’ll also be taking on Denver legend, Von Miller, who recently talked about what it’s going to be like facing off against his former team.
“It’ll be fun. It’s not like a revenge game or anything like that for me. I left on good terms. We won a Super Bowl. I had a great relationship with everybody in that facility. I didn’t have any bad blood with anybody in there,” Miller told the Buffalo media on November 9.
“For me, I didn’t want to leave. I cried real tears when I left. To see them again and see that organization winning and starting to do better is a treat for me. It would never be the other way around for me. 11, 10 and a half years there, I’ve had so many different players come through there I’ve had special relationships with. Went to two Super Bowls there. Got to play with Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey, DeMarcus Ware, Tim Tebow, to the young leaders there now, Justin Simmons, Patrick Surtain ll, Garett Bolles.
So far, this season Miller has failed to record a sack in the five games that he has appeared in with the Bills after recovering from a torn ACL.
Von Miller’s Legacy With the Broncos
In 2011, Miller was drafted second-overall by Denver after the Carolina Panthers selected quarterback Cam Newton with the top pick.
Sacking the quarterback 11.5 times as a rookie, Miller added 18.5 sacks the following season adding is name to first-team All-Pro.
In 2013, Denver would put together the greatest offense in NFL history with Peyton Manning leading the way, but Miller was suspended six games for violating league policy. Appearing in only nine games and totaling just five sacks, Miller suffered a torn ACL in Week 15 against the Houston Texans.
The following season, the Broncos signed Miller’s idol growing up in DeMarcus Ware.
The signing of Ware helped Miller turn his career around by becoming a better leader and player overall.
In 2015, the Broncos put together one of the best defenses in NFL history with Miller and Ware rushing the quarterback off the edge. Adding 11 more sacks to his resume, Miller was leading the Broncos past Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC Championship game with 2.5 sacks and an interception.
In Super Bowl 50, Miller wanted revenge on the Panthers for not selecting him first-overall and revenge is what he got.
Sacking Newtown 2.5 times, hitting him three times, and forcing two fumbles with one resulting in a defensive touchdown, Miller was named MVP and helped bring a third Lombardi Trophy back to the Mile High City.
Over the next four seasons with the Broncos missing the playoffs, Miller added 50.5 more sacks to his name and became the team’s all-time sack leader by passing Simon Fletcher.
Miller posted 110.5 sacks in a Broncos uniform.
Should the Broncos Have Traded Von Miller?
While the Broncos struggled to make the playoffs after their Super Bowl victory in 2016, they knew they had to improve quickly and that meant trading their most valuable piece for draft picks.
In 2021, the Broncos found a trade partner with the eventual Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams that would send Miller to the Rams in exchange for a second and third-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
According to former Broncos linebacker Todd Davis, he doesn’t think Miller should’ve been traded at all.
“I think that was maybe besides offensive line, was the number one error we (Broncos) were lacking in for the last two years was pass rush. We didn’t have guys that could really put it together even though Baron Browning was coming on, he was young and hadn’t put it together yet.”
Davis continued on the DNVR Broncos podcast, “We didn’t have a dominant pass rusher or a rush to be feared, so I think that they did make the wrong mistake in trading Von away because we missed his presence for a good amount of time.”
In 2021, the Broncos had 20 sacks before Miller was traded on November 1. During the final nine games of the season, Denver added 16 more sacks to their season total.
In Denver’s defense, they understood that they needed to rebuild and adding draft picks was the start. With Miller being their most valuable player, the Broncos trade Miller the Los Angeles Rams for a second and third-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
Last season, the Broncos finished with just 36 sacks once again and they have just 17 through eight games of the 2023 season.