Pass rusher Von Miller‘s first game as a member of the Bills will take him back to the place where he won a Super Bowl as a member of the Rams. In advance of the official launch of his tenure with a third NFL team, Miller spoke at length to Katherine Fitzgerald of the Buffalo News regarding his approach to playing defense.
He does so with an offensive mindset.
“I honestly feel like I’m on offense,” Miller told Fitzgerald. “I feel like I’m on offense whenever I’m rushing, and the offensive lineman is on defense. He’s trying to stop me from getting to the quarterback. The quarterback is my touchdown.”
To make that happen, Miller uses a wide variety of pathways and approaches.
“There’s all different ways that I can get there,” Miller said. “And he’s trying to stop me. I’m not trying to stop him, even though I’m on defense. And I’m just trying to do whatever it takes — spin, dip, rip, bullrush, shock and shed, power — whatever it takes to get there. . . . I’m attacking every single play. Even though I’m on defense, I’m not in a defensive mindset or a defensive position. I’m not sitting back waiting and reacting to them. They’re sitting back waiting and reacting to me.”
Miller knows that, eventually, he’ll get what he’s after.
“They can stop me — out of 60 plays, they can stop me 55 times,” Miller said, “And those five [other] plays, I could get sacks on all five of those plays, and it could be one of my best games. . . . I got all game to get to the quarterback. And they got all game to stop me. And if I get there, I win.”
The problem is that Miller may not be getting 60 plays in every game. Peter King explained in his Football Morning in America column that included a visit to the Bills that coach Sean McDermott may be inclined to rest Miller in certain games, with the goal of keeping him fresh as deep into the season as possible. Miller surely won’t be thrilled if he’s not on the field if/when the Bills build a healthy lead and the opponent starts throwing the ball more often.
After all, that’s the best time for every defense to pin their proverbial ears back and fully go on the attack.