ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller said a similar version of the same message over and over, which is no surprise. He still has an appeal pending on a four-game suspension for reportedly violating the NFL's drug policy, so there's not much he could say.
Out of respect for the confidentiality of the process, I can't get into further detail about the situation. That was the message and he stuck to it.
He broke character just once, when asked specifically if marijuana was a part of his life. Reports have said he previously tested positive for marijuana.
"Absolutely not," Miller said emphatically.
The rest of his time with the few dozen media assembled, he mostly said he couldn't talk about it – without ever saying what "it" was. That's about the only thing he could do in this awkward situation.
And that's how the Broncos, favorites in the AFC, will deal with this distraction. With the appeal pending, they have an excuse to not talk about it at all. Broncos coach John Fox said Miller will take his normal first-team reps during camp, which starts tomorrow.
"We're aware of the reports, and due to confidentiality we can't report," Fox said. "I can tell you that when we start camp, every one of our players is eligible, there's no suspensions, and that's the way we'll start the season."
That doesn't mean Miller's possible suspension isn't looming over the Broncos. Everyone is well aware what losing one of the two or three best defensive players in football for a month would mean.
"I don't think I let my teammates down," Miller said in one of his rare moments of candor. "Everybody has tough moments in their lives. I have great teammates, teammates have been great for me. But out of respect for ..."
You know the rest.
One of his other interesting responses from Miller during his predictable seven-minute media session came when he asked about the negative attention his possible suspension has gotten.
"The guy who I was yesterday is not the guy I am today; the guy who I was two or three or four years ago is not who I am today," Miller said. "I've done a lot of great stuff in the community, and my teammates done a lot of great stuff in the community. I think we will continue to do the same stuff."
He promised to sit down and be more candid about everything once the appeal is finished. For now, the Broncos, Miller and everyone else will wait and see what happens. This will hang over their heads until the final ruling is handed down, and if he does miss four games it would be a major blow to a defense that relied on its pass rush so heavily last year.
Until something is decided, not much more will be said about it.
"I'm here now," Miller said. "It's business as usual."
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