- Jon Schlosser All 22
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller did not hold back when asked about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He has nothing but respect for him.
“I mean, he’s the G.O.A.T.,” Miller said, per Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post. “I’m going against the G.O.A.T. There’s two types of emotions you can have going against the best. You can have the emotion of, ‘Oh, man. This guy is great. He’s going to do this. He’s going to do that.’ Then you go into the game expecting that. Or you can have the emotion of, ‘I’m going against the best. I’m going to go out there and play lights out so I can show everybody what we’re about, show everybody that we are great, too.’ That has been my mentality since 2011, when I came into the National Football League.”
Miller and company hit Brady nearly two dozen times in the AFC Championship Game in 2015, before moving on to the Super Bowl and beating the Carolina Panthers. They respected Brady, and they relished beating him and the Patriots simply because they were so good. They brought that same attitude to Cam Newton and the Panthers, who had the No. 1 offense in the NFL that year.
Never one to lack for confidence, Miller has actually been playing pretty solid football this year, even with the disastrous turn the Broncos’ season has taken as a team. They may be 3-5 and heavily predicted to lose to Brady on Sunday night, but Miller has 8 sacks, putting him seventh in the NFL. He’s only one sack away from the top five.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows that the issues in Denver don’t come from Miller. The respect here runs both ways.
“Miller can do it all,” Belichick said. “He can play the run. He’s a great edge-setter. He’s a great speed rusher with a good counter move. He’s seen double-teams and stuff like that and knows how to deal with them. He has a good inside spin and can get away from those types of techniques. He’s as good of a player as there is in the league.”