ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Von Miller isn’t going to lobby for holding calls or disparage Oakland’s punter for imitating his sack dances.
And he sure won’t take coaches for granted after he organized the Denver Broncos’ mannequin challenge it proved so, well, challenging.
The Super Bowl MVP is second in the league with 9½ sacks despite getting held on what seems like every snap, but hardly ever seeing the flags fly.
Unlike fellow superstars Cam Newton and Richard Sherman , Miller isn’t about to complain to — or about — the officials.
“I really just don’t worry about all that stuff,” Miller said. “I just play.”
Miller knows he’s a handful for tackles and tight ends and that’s why they usually grab a handful of his jersey, if not put him in a virtual headlock. He just goes back to the line of scrimmage, lines up and takes another shot at getting to the quarterback.
No whistle. No flag. No matter.
“I’m not going to be the one lobbying for them anyway,” Miller said. “I’m always on (to) the next play, I feel like if I get my rush the way I’m supposed to, if I rush how I’m supposed to rush, if they hold me, I’m still going to be able to get there.”
If Miller won’t lobby for calls on plays he’s getting held, he’s sure not going to say flags should have been thrown on Raiders punter Marquette King, who did an imitation of Miller’s sack dances after dropping a punt inside the Denver 3 in Oakland’s 30-20 win over the Broncos last weekend.
“Punters dancing, they always say this is the ‘No Fun League’ or whatever it is, but you have punters out here dancing, that’s dope to me,” Miller said. “If the score was a little bit different, it would be even doper.”
Miller has gone without at least a shared sack in just one game this year, on Oct. 24 against former teammate Brock Osweiler. Osweiler got the ball out quickly and hardly took any shots downfield in a 27-9 loss at Denver.
On Sunday, he’ll face Drew Brees, among the toughest QBs to sack in the NFL, when the Broncos (6-3) visit the Saints (4-4).
Brees, sacked only a dozen times on 347 drop-backs, called Miller “probably the best pass rusher in the league.” They’ve faced each other once, a 34-14 Broncos win in 2012, when Miller didn’t sack Brees.
Getting pressure on him this weekend will help a depleted defense that’s missing star cornerback Aqib Talib (back) and run-stuffer Derek Wolfe (elbow).
The Broncos own the league’s 29th-ranked run defense and their offense leads the league in three-and-outs by a wide margin. But they’re confident they can capitalize on their bye next week to rest and recalibrate for the stretch run.
An indication of that pluck came this week when they joined the mannequin challenge craze. Miller videotaped his teammates and other team personnel in a variety of still poses in the locker room.
DeMarcus Ware said it took five takes.
“One time Shane (Ray) moved. One time the equipment guy came through. One time a guy came in and was like, ‘What are you guys doing?'” Ware recounted.
It sure wasn’t easy to get everyone to sit still.
“There’s no way that you can organize 53 guys,” said Miller, who now has even more respect for the challenges coaches face in trying to do that very thing.
“They asked me, ‘Von, do you every see yourself coaching?'” Miller said. “And I’m like, you know what, I have a newfound appreciation for all of our coaches because it’s hard to get 27-year-olds and 25-year-olds to listen right now. Listen to what we’re talking about. This is important. … Some guys, it’s just hard.”
NOTES: Coach Gary Kubiak said he hopes to have Talib and Wolfe back after the bye for the Nov. 27 game against the Chiefs. … CB Kayvon Webster (hamstring) will return to action this weekend after missing last week’s game. … The Broncos practiced indoors Friday for the second time this week to prepare for the Superdome. QB Trevor Siemian says he’s never played a football game indoors. “Really?” Kubiak said, scrunching his face. “That’ll make me sleep better tonight.”
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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