Von Miller swears missing the Denver Broncos‘ offseason program last year didn’t adversely affect his play, the Associated Press reports. Still, after coming up short in his bid to win Defensive Player of the Year and defend his Super Bowl title, he’s thrilled to be working out with his teammates this spring.
Miller called these initial workouts under new coach Vance Joseph “extremely important” in his quest to lead the Broncos back to the playoffs and fulfill his pledge to have his best season in 2017.
“Last year, I was like, ‘Man, you don’t really need OTAs. You can train on your own.’ But you really need these,” Miller said Tuesday. “The National Football League is so competitive, so the more time that you can get to perfect your craft with your teammates” the better.
Miller’s 2016 offseason was a whirlwind of global flights and TV appearances including “Dancing with the Stars.”
Miller signed a seven-year, $114.5 million contract at the deadline last summer after skipping the Broncos’ entire offseason program. Then, he collected 13 1-2 sacks and a career-best 78 tackles in 2016. But he went without a sack over the final month of the season as the Broncos missed the playoffs by one game and Oakland defensive end Khalil Mack edged him by a single vote for Defensive Player of the Year.
“I pretty much didn’t have an offseason last year with so much stuff (going on),” Miller said. “And I wasn’t going to use that as an excuse. I lost by one vote. … I got close this year. If we were able to make the playoffs or I was able to make a few more plays, who knows where we would have been?”
Miller said he’s moved past the disappointment.
“I’m not going to stay stuck in the past. I’m moving forward,” Miller said. “This Von coming up is going to be the best Von that I put forward. It’s going to be my best year. That’s what I’m going for. I have a full offseason, full OTAs, I’m going to be here training every single day. It’s not all that noise on the outside from the contract and this and that and doing all this stuff. Not that that was a big deal for me, but now it’s just all football. I’m here, I’m settled in and it’s time to go play.”
Asked if he felt better physically than he did a year ago, Miller said: “I was on Dancing with the Stars at this time. I was probably 230 pounds. You know, I’m definitely feeling a whole lot better, getting rest and being able to sleep.”
Miller got his vacations out of the way after the season ended, taking in Drake concerts in Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam.