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'I'mma kill him': Broncos' Von Miller vows to wreak havoc Thursday against Browns' tackles

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BEREA, Ohio — Broncos edge rusher Von Miller made a guarantee that almost sounded like a threat for Thursday night’s nationally televised game against the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“I will play well in this game. … I’m going to have a great game. … I don’t know who the tackle I’m going against is, but I’mma kill him. I’mma kill him. And the other guy, too, on the other side,” Miller said Tuesday, per tweets from Broncos team reporter Aric DiLalla.

An eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, Miller is tied for 13th in the league in sacks with 4.5 for the Broncos (3-3) and has added 17 tackles (nine solos).

Miller lines up on both sides, but his comment that he doesn’t know who he’s going against wasn’t out of line. Browns left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. has missed the past two games with an ankle injury suffered in the opener at Kansas City, while right tackle Jack Conklin was inactive for Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a knee injury.

Neither Conklin nor Wills practiced Tuesday.

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) celebrates a defensive stop against the New York Jets during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) celebrates a defensive stop against the New York Jets during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Blake Hance, who has two career starts, has filled in for Wills, while rookie James Hudson III, a fourth-round pick from the University of Cincinnati, stepped in for Conklin against the Cardinals.

Denver-area reporters asked Miller if he embraced the pressure of playing in a prime-time game.

“It’s on me,” he said, per DiLalla. “I’ve played in all types of games. I’ve performed well in all types of games and I’ve got to play well in this game. I will play well in this game. I’m going to go off. It’s going to be a good game for me.

“I don’t want to guarantee a win for my teammates, but I guarantee I’ll have ... I don’t want to put the pressure on those guys this time. I’ll put the pressure on me. I’m going to have a great game … I’m going to play well and get a couple of sacks. And if I can do that, then we will win.”

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) and linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) during the second half at TIAA Bank Field on September 19, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) and linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) during the second half at TIAA Bank Field on September 19, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Miller pointed out that he recorded four sacks in the Broncos’ three-game winning streak to open the season as they defeated the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets. Miller has only a half sack in the Broncos’ current three-game losing streak against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders.

“These last three games, I didn’t do as much,” Miller said, according to DiLalla’s Twitter. “If I can play well and I can get sacks and I can find a way to disrupt the game, we’ll win. … I’m going to set us up to win this game for sure.”

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said a lot goes into planning for Miller, and he spoke before Miller’s comments surfaced.

“He is a special, special player,” Stefanski said. “Extremely disruptive. He gets a lot of attention from opposing offenses. Incredible bend. Just the physical skill set and traits, I do not see any difference from five, six or seven years ago with him. It is really, really impressive.”

Browns defensive tackle Malik Jackson was a fifth-round pick of the Broncos in 2012 and played four seasons with Miller, the second overall pick in 2011. In Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers after the 2015 season, Miller strip-sacked quarterback Cam Newton and Jackson recovered for his first career touchdown as the Broncos claimed a 24-10 victory.

Asked what stands out about Miller, Jackson said, “Just the things he does. Just being him. I think it is a simple answer. Just turning that edge and really just communicating and letting me know when I was with him what he wanted to do and I let him know what I wanted to do.

“Just communication and him being exactly who he thinks he is as far as being hard-nosed, pass-rushing, run-stopping. He is exactly who he thinks he is.”

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Denver Broncos' Von Miller says he will 'kill' Browns tackles Thursday