Broncos OLB Miller excelling in second year

Kevin Fishbain
November 15, 2012
Week 15 defensive rankings

Not that there was much reason for concern in Denver, but Broncos OLB Von Miller has avoided the dreaded “sophomore slump” and is putting up huge numbers in his second season.

His pass-rush prowess is better than we saw when Miller racked up 11½ sacks as a rookie, but the improvement, we’re told, has come in run defense. Miller, who leads Denver with 10 sacks and 21 tackles for loss, has been a star, and he showed that off against the only player picked ahead of him in April’s draft, Cam Newton, in Week 10, when Miller had four tackles behind the line.

Last season, Miller would defer some snaps on third down, and one daily team observer notes that his pass coverage could get better, but Miller is rarely leaving the field in 2012, often playing in more than 90 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

The Broncos moved to a 4-3 defense this year with new coordinator Jack Del Rio, but Miller told PFW in August after the first preseason game that he’s able to use the same "Sam" LB principles he used last season, only that the terminology is different. The aggressive defense has worked well, with the Broncos leading the league in sacks, thanks in big part to Miller. 

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