After serving his six-game suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy, Von Miller will rejoin the Broncos this weekend against Indianapolis. So it probably feels like it went by really fast. Just don’t tell Miller that. The linebacker, speaking with the Denver Post, said the suspension crawled by.
“It hasn’t gone by fast, though,” Miller said. “A lot of people have said it went by fast. It hasn’t. It wasn’t easy. And I don’t want to get away from that. I want to stay with that focus that it’s not easy.”
I don’t have a substance-abuse problem,” Miller said. “I feel like I’ve definitely made some mistakes in the past. I can’t shy away from that. But I’m working hard to fix it. I’m working hard to gain everybody’s trust back. All I can ask is people judge me from my actions going forward. I’m working hard to gain trust back. I’m very confident I’ll be able to do that.”
Miller says that he has a prescription to Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which he’s had since his freshman year in college at Texas A&M. That’s why his suspension wasn’t for substance abuse (though he did test positive for marijuana in 2011 as a rookie).
As much as the Broncos have been rolling offensively this year, they will certainly welcome Miller back to a defense that has been exposed by even some of the worst defenses in the league, including Jacksonville last weekend. And although the Broncos may welcome him back defensively, Miller knows that it will take a lot to regain the trust of his teammates and fans in Denver.
Miller had 18.5 sacks last year, before failing a drug test this offseason. Shortly after the failed test, it was announced that he was again in trouble with the law for a reported DUI offense. For such a talented young star, who the Broncos selected third overall in the NFL Draft two seasons ago, some began drawing comparisons to Ricky Williams, the outstanding running back who decided to walk away from the game for a few years to, well, venture into experimental medicine. Miller will remain in Stage 3 of the NFL’s substance program, meaning he can be tested up to 10 times a month for the remainder of his career. Any more mix-ups and Miller could be looking at a suspension of a minimum of one year.
Do we expect Miller to mess up again? We aren’t really sure. After all, if there is anyone in the NFL that should be ecstatic about the potential of their career, it is Miller. When he was drafted, it was to lead the defense when Tim Tebow’s offense wasn’t on the field. So you can imagine the elation that went through Miller’s mind when Peyton Manning came to town. Now, considering Miller is a stud as it is, he has Manning and a solid offense that is a perennial contender. If Miller can find a way to be that leader on defense, the Broncos could be a legitimate dynasty in the making.
Miller claims to have learned a lot with his recent legal troubles. He’ll have to really prove it when he hits the field the rest of this season. The Broncos have the worst pass defense in the league, giving up multiple 300-yard games and even a 500-yard game. Once the Broncos get Miller and Champ Bailey back, they could have just as many weapons on defense as they do with Peyton on offense. But with uncertainty of how many years Manning has left, you can bet that Millers teammates and adoring fans will all be hoping that he will stick to his word and concentrate on his career.