SAN FRANCISCO -- Super Bowl most valuable player Denver outside linebacker Von Miller acknowledged Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith during the MVP press conference on Monday.
Smith was formerly was Denver's linebackers coach. He just completed his first season as the Falcons defensive coordinator.
"I can remember the first coaches that believed in me; coach (John) Fox and coach (Richard) Smith," Miller said. "If it wasn’t for coach Smith and coach Fox – those guys are no longer with us – but if it wasn’t for those guys instilling what it means to play in the National Football League, I probably wouldn’t be here today."
Miller also praised Denver's defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
"For coach Phillips, we already had a talented team," Miller said. "It really wasn’t a magical call that coach Phillips could have called or a magical scheme. He just came in. He had a magical personality.
"You have a 68-year-old guy who is hip to everyday events and everyday dances and all that stuff. It’s truly an energy boost. We have guys, not only him, but you have coach (Fred) Pagac and all these guys who are just so in love with coaching. That definitely brings up the atmosphere."