Von Miller’s six-game suspension ends, says ‘I feel like I have matured’

The top team in football adds one of the best defensive players in the league back to its lineup this week.

Welcome back, Von Miller.

The Denver Broncos' outside linebacker, one of the most disruptive players in the NFL, had his life disrupted this year. He was suspended six games for a violation of the NFL's drug policy and had a ton of bad publicity, from outstanding traffic tickets to a claim that he tried to cheat his drug test and that led to the suspension being extended from four games to six.

He is eligible to return to the Broncos on Monday, and right before the team has a big AFC showdown at Indianapolis on Sunday night. He sat down for an extended interview with the Denver Post, and among the interesting tidbits was Miller saying he has matured during the suspension.

"I feel like I have matured," Miller told the Post. "Some guys have a lifetime to mature. I think I have matured in the six weeks, eight weeks, 10-week span faster than most guys. ... Still, every single day is a challenge. It's not just the big things like traffic citations. It's waking up with the alarm clock. It's the constant grind with procrastination."

Miller danced around a question about the claim he tried to cheat the drug test ("I can't go back and defend something that was in the past," he said) and said he doesn't have a drug problem. He tested positive for marijuana in 2011 as a rookie, the Post said.

"I don't have a substance-abuse problem," he said. "I feel like I've definitely made some mistakes in the past. I can't shy away from that. But I'm working hard to fix it."

The Post said Miller looked to be in great shape, at 262 pounds (up 16 pounds since his rookie year two years ago). If anything, Miller will have fresh legs and will be excited to play again after watching for six weeks. He'll have a big impact on a team that started 6-0 without him.

Through the course of the Post interview, he also seemed to understand what the suspension did to his reputation.

"I apologize for all the troubles or pain I've given Broncos fans or anybody who is close to me," Miller told the Post. "Nobody feels worse about this than me. The good thing about it is I have an opportunity to fix all this stuff.

"To the kids and anybody who looks up to me, this could show them how you go from zero to 60 back down to zero."

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.