DENVER - During Von Miller's six-week exile, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris talked with him every day. Harris knows all about the humiliation Miller endured after being suspended by the NFL.
But that's yesterday, and Harris wants to talk about the future. The Broncos are stampeding through their schedule with a 6-0 record, including five wins by 16 or more points.
Think about this:
The Broncos are unbeaten while playing without one of the most gifted defenders in franchise history. Miller walks beside such greats as Rich Jackson, Tom Jackson, Randy Gradishar and Champ Bailey. And he's not done. Miller may someday walk alone as the Broncos' best defender.
He will instantly solve the Broncos sluggish pass rush.
"Oh, man," Harris said, laughing in front of his locker. "He's the most talented rusher in the league. Easily. The things he can do, nobody else can do. He's a rare rusher."
While his teammates have endured the physical annihilation that is football, Miller has lifted weights and pondered how to salvage his reputation. He returns to practice Monday. Expect him to terrify Colts linemen and fans on his first play Sunday.
Harris doesn't expect Miller to return as dangerous as before.
"He's stronger," Harris said. "He's more mature. Ya'll are just going on what you saw last year from Von Miller. He's a lot better. And he wants to come out there and make everybody hush."
The Broncos have looked fallible in the past two weeks. Visions of a perfect regular season and a journey to the Super Bowl were clouded by the 48 points the Cowboys scored on Denver Oct. 6. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo resembled a combination of Johnny Unitas and John Elway as he relaxed in the pocket.
The relaxing now ends for opposing quarterbacks. Miller walks on the field each Sunday with a rare, superlative blend of talent.
"He is who he is," Broncos free safety Rahim Moore said. "God has blessed him with those talents and those talents haven't gone anywhere."
Miller returns with sprinter's speed and immense strength and superb technique. He also returns with a mindset that might be more important than all his physical gifts.
Count on this: Miller will be immensely hungry to bury talk of his botched drug test and turn all eyes to his performance on the field. Winning solves almost all problems when it comes to sports. If Miller leads the Broncos to the Super Bowl in February, virtually no one will talk about his troubles in August.
Miller certainly pondered this truth during his weeks of exile. He's young and a little immature, but he must know redemption is his for the taking on the football field.
Moore shook his head as he searched for words to describe how hungry Miller will be to chase down quarterback and engulf running backs.
"If you love football, if you are a superstar and you miss six games with no pay and this is what you love and this is what you've been doing your whole life, how hungry would you be?" Moore asked. "Him missing six games is like him going six days without eating."
Moore paused and looked around the peaceful, happy locker room.
"He's going to be special, trust me," he said.
I trust you, Rahim. Believe me, I trust you.