Von Miller makes no bones about it — the late Derrick Thomas was his “favorite football athlete of all time.”
And it all started with an interview.
“He said that he looked at playing defensive end as being like a running back, and the offensive linemen were trying to block him from getting to the quarterback,” Miller recalled. “That’s how I look at it. I always thought I was an offensive guy at heart, and I look at it like the offense is trying to stop me from getting to the quarterback. That interview was really what made me fall in love with Derrick Thomas the football player.”
Now Miller wears No. 58, just like the former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker.
He tries to mirror Thomas’ “fanatical effort and relentless pursuit to the ball,” which has already helped him tie for the most sacks among NFL rookies this season with 6.5.
On Sunday, he doesn’t expect any less hostile a reaction from the Arrowhead Stadium crowd just because his idol played for the Chiefs.
“No, I’ll probably get a little bit more (boos),” he smiled. “He’s a hero up there. They retired his number and everything. If I was a Chiefs fan, I’d give the other No. 58 a couple of boos. But it’s all good.”
‘THE SAME OLD ME’
On Oakland’s first offensive play of Sunday’s game, Rahim Moore raced to intercept a Carson Palmer pass intended for Denarius Moore, but he ran into Andre’ Goodman and ended up lying on the field with a concussion.
“He threw the ball and I was going over there to pick the ball off,” Moore said Wednesday. “I kind of had a little bit of it in my hands and I hit my own teammate’s shoulder. That’s just how it is.”
After the he headed back to the locker room, Moore said he felt “fine.”
“I really felt I could’ve came back in, but I didn’t want to take the risk, because I said, ‘It’s not the last time I’ll be able to suit up,’” Moore said. “I’m just glad we got the win. That was a good way for us to come out strong.”
While he was in the locker room, Moore said he was like a fan, “screaming and going crazy,” rooting his team on to victory.
The rookie safety was back on the practice field Monday with limited participation, and he said he “felt like the same old me.”
“He’ll kind of go through our medical people and find out exactly how much more he can go throughout the week, but he has been cleared,” Head Coach John Fox said. “He went through all the concussion stuff, and he looked fine out there today.”
“It was all good, just glad to be out there,” said Moore, who also checked in with a new blog post this afternoon.
WILD AFC WEST
At 3-5, the Broncos are one game back from a three-way tie for first in the AFC West.
Over the next three games, the team will take on two division rivals, starting this Sunday with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“This is our first time with Kansas City, but with the Raiders first game and San Diego’s first game, they were both hard-fought games,” Fox said. “We ended up being on the shorter end of the stick the first time around, but we fared much better the second time around with Oakland. We haven’t seen Kansas City personally but obviously on tape. They have a good running attack. They’re well coached. Defensively they run a 3-4, which is a little bit unusual as what we’ve seen as of late. It will be a good test.”
Tim Tebow said the Broncos will have the important task of starting fast, especially in a hostile environment.
“You know they will be very focused and very motivated, so we will have to go in and try to execute early,” Tebow said. “I want to try to take the crowd out of it and also get that momentum going early for us because any team playing at home, if they have the momentum going with the fans behind them, you can really get things going. We will have to execute early.”
For the Broncos, only Wesley Woodyard (knee) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. Brian Dawkins (thigh), Virgil Green (neck), Spencer Larsen (shoulder), Rahim Moore (concussion) and Cassius Vaughn (hamstring) were limited in practice, and Willis McGahee (hand) had full participation.
For the Chiefs, LB Demorrio Williams (groin) did not participate. S Jon McGraw (shoulder) was limited and CB Javier Arenas (ankle) had full participation.
Below are photos from Wednesday’s practice: