Broncos Von Miller enters season expecting career performance

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The NBA once boasted Kobe vs. LeBron. Sunday at Broncos Stadium features Russell vs. Von. The winner of that matchup likely will determine game's victor. 

Can Von Miller make Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's life miserable with pressure? Will Wilson remain more elusive than a puma, darting and diving, leaving perplexed looks and missed tackles in his wake?

"Nobody likes playing against Russell, especially if you are a sack guy," Miller said. "He's great. Nobody likes facing him. But if it's what I need to do, I can do it."

Wilson is prepared for close encounters with Miller. He recognizes that Miller's 83.5 sacks since 2011 are the most in the NFL. 

"He is going to make plays. It doesn't matter what you do to game plan for him," Wilson said.

Miller admits he enters every game focused on dominating his opponent. For that to happen Sunday, he needs help from his teammates. I talked exclusively with outside linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Shane Ray on Thursday about creating fair matchups for Miller. They believe they are better prepared this season to assist Von, who needs 15 sacks to eclipse Simon Fletcher as the all-time franchise leader. 

"This year we have made it way harder to do that. Now if you do slide protection to Von, we have great matchups on the other side as well," Ray said. "Whether that's moving me to the middle or Bradley Chubb there, we have found a way to not only get Von more opportunities but to free up other guys as well."

The Broncos will lean on creativity. They key is forcing fair matchups. Von vs. one or two guys tilts in his favor. Denver will employ the NASCAR package -- three outside linebackers -- on occasion to create problems.

"If you put Von in a one-on-one, that's showing a lot of faith in your tackle," Barrett said. "Not even the best can block him all the time."


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Want Broncos news? Denver7 Broncos insider Troy E. Renck is your source. He talks to the players, covers the games and reports scoops on Denver7 and the Denver7 app. He is a CU grad who has covered pro sports in Colorado since 1996, including 14 years at The Denver Post. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and TheDenverChannel.com’s Broncos page. Troy welcomes most of your emails at Troy.Renck@kmgh.com.

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