Posted October 04, 2011

John Fox is right about Von Miller

Denver Broncos

Broncos linebacker Von Miller hasn't received the same amount of attention as other players this season. (Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE)

Here’s what John Fox had to say this week about rookie linebacker Von Miller: ” I think he’s the brightest spot in the whole National Football League. But nobody talks about that.”

And you know what? Fox has a point.

Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft, has had a terrific first four weeks, recording four sacks, 16 tackles, two forced fumbles and two pass break-ups. He’s been such a terror rushing the QB that the Packers paid extra attention to him in Week 4, often using a running back to help block the Broncos linebacker.

Right now, it would be hard to pick anyone else for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan might have a case, with 2.5 sacks and an interception for a touchdown.

So, what’s behind Miller’s lack of attention?

Some of it comes naturally with being on the defensive side of the ball — rookies like Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, A.J. Green and so on are much more visible during games. Denver’s not exactly an NFL powerhouse right now, either, meaning less exposure for the Broncos.

But neither of those things excuse ignoring Miller. After all, we’re talking about a potential Pro Bowl player enjoying a great rookie season.

The challenge before Miller, both for the rest of this season and beyond, is maintaining his on-field presence as he feels the glare of the spotlight more. He still picked up a pair of sacks against Green Bay, in spite of the Packers’ efforts to slow him down.

Miller’s been one of the few bright spots, though, on a Denver defense that’s fourth-worst in the NFL in points allowed at 27.8 per game. Very few other Broncos are making an impact defensively, which both adds extra pressure on Miller and gives offenses more reason to game plan for him.

How he responds to all of that will determine how long his run of relative anonymity lasts.

No matter the team, the market or the situation, a defensive player that consistently shows himself to be one of the best at his position will open some eyes eventually. It’s taken longer than it should have for everyone to notice what Miller’s doing in Denver, but if he keeps it up, he’ll start feeling a little more of the love.

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