His statistics practically speak for themselves. In his two seasons in the league, Miller has 132 tackles, 38 sacks and eight forced fumbles. Miller earned the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2011 and came in second in 2012's NFL Defense Player of the Year voting.
When he joined the Broncos, the team was ranked dead last in total defense the season before. Under Miller, the team improved to the 20th-ranked defense in yards allowed in his rookie season. The next year, Miller anchored a crew that jumped all the way to second in yards allowed.
For how great he may be on Sundays, Miller's six-game suspension, which was made official Tuesday, for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy is a lack of maturity that will cost him and his team.
It's time for Von Miller to grow up.
"I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself," Miller said in a statement. "I am especially sorry for the effect of my bad decisions on others. I will not make the same mistakes about adhering to the policy in the future."
Details are scarce at this point, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Miller's urine samples were spilled and then diluted. Initial reports said that Miller failed a drug test during his rookie year and then violated the policy -- which could involve missing a test, refusing to test, tampering with tests or giving a diluted sample -- to earn himself a suspension.
If Miller fails for a third time, he could see himself banned from the league.
At 24 years old, Miller should know better. It's understandable that he would be tempted with partying in the offseason, but Miller should have never been in a situation where he would fail a drug test in the first place. To his credit, Miller didn't actually fail a drug test this time around. That being said, it doesn't change that his actions were reckless.
Miller had maintained his innocence for weeks while the process leading up to his suspension played out. Just a day before accepting his punishment, Miller told reporters that he was confident that he did nothing wrong. His provided statement after his suspension proved to be a complete 180.
It was this sort of action that makes Miller's suspension even more disappointing. Instead of accepting responsibility or simply saying he wasn't going to comment until the process played out, Miller displayed his immaturity by irrationally rushing to Twitter. If Miller couldn't back up his innocence, why did he make the claims in the first place?
Athletes too many times profess their innocence to fans only for them to look foolish in the aftermath. Miller's suspension is no exception.
In hindsight, it was also immature for Miller to make a Super Bowl guarantee this offseason. Miller wanted to promise his ailing cousin that the Broncos would win the Super Bowl, although his actions mean less when he put himself in a position where he could hurt the Broncos in the long run. The distraction this story brings could end up being more costly than the six games. His intent to his cousin may have been noble, but it's the unintended consequences that are the problem.
After former Broncos pass rusher Elvis Dumervil departed for the Baltimore Ravens in March, Miller's role as Robin to Dumervil's Batman was no more. It was assumed that Miller would take the responsibility by being the team's Dark Knight. He was the face of the defense going forward, and honestly still is.
As a leader, however, Miller still has a lot of room to improve.
Matthew Paras is a Journalism Major at DePaul University. He writes for multiple outlets, including Maxboxing.com, Operationsports.com, and DePaul's student newspaper, The DePaulia. He can be reached by email at Mparas1432@gmail.com or on twitter @Matthew_Paras. He currently resides in Chicago, but lived in Littleton, Colo. for seven years.
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