KLEE: Bye, bye Von? Get a grip, people

By: Paul Klee
September 12, 2013 Updated: September 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm
photo - Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) reacts in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) reacts in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) 

DENVER - Should Von be Gone?

Hopefully that's a joke.

If you think the Broncos will cut ties with the future of their franchise over a series of dumb decisions, there's a guy in the front office who would disagree.

It's not like Miller failed a sobriety test and plowed into a police car.

Right, Matt Russell?

Enough already. Enough from you, Vonnie Football.

And enough from you, drama queens.

The Broncos star linebacker drove on a suspended license. He was stopped, and his dad drove him home. He skipped a court date. He drove too fast in California, too careless in Colorado.

And those are only his legal problems.

But these are immature mistakes, not malicious acts. When it comes to defining a man's character, I tend to think there's a difference.

If there is nothing more damning in Miller's closet of skeletons, none of those incidents will stop the Broncos from retaining their All-Pro linebacker for years to come. Nor should they.

Miller doesn't need a one-way ticket out of town. He needs a bus ticket. Or a chauffeur.

"Obviously it's something that we're not happy about," Broncos coach John Fox said. "Everybody here has an individual responsibility not only to themselves but this organization, as well as to this football team. So obviously it's something we're not pleased about. I'll leave it at that."

Please read this before hitting send on that email: This is not meant to condone Miller's maturity issues. Von needs to grow up, and fast.

But let's get a grip on what he's done wrong.

On the grand spectrum of the NFL police blotter, driving too fast and skipping court dates are selfish child's play. That's just the truth.

If all the information is in front of us, right now I see only two reasons the Broncos might get cold feet when Miller's contract expires after next season:

Money and drugs.

If there's a next time Miller violates the NFL's drug policy, he could face a 16-game suspension. That could scare away the Broncos. That's the drugs part.

The Broncos also are trying to get back $1.25 million of Miller's signing bonus, according to a report from ESPN. Nothing says fed up like going for a man's wallet. That's the money part.

But Miller's list of legal problems? Correctable, all of them, if Von would man up and correct them.

Unless something more serious happens, the notion the Broncos should shop Miller is crazier than choosing Eli over Peyton in a fantasy football draft.

The information in front of us is evidence of remarkable irresponsibility, not signs that a 24-year-old has flown off the deep end.

Russell got his job back with the Broncos. He has friends in high places.

Miller will get his job back with the Broncos. He was drafted in a high place.

If Broncos Country insists on being mad at Von, here's a better reason: Miller is on track to blow an opportunity every Pop Warner superstar dreams about.

"Make the right decision. Always try to put yourself in the best situation that's going to help Von out," veteran linebacker Wesley Woodyard said of his message to Miller. "That's the only thing I can tell him."

In the days leading up to Manning Bowl III, it figures that one of the brothers would offer a super perspective. It happened when baby brother spoke about big brother's comeback from neck surgery.

"You just don't know when it might be taken away from you," Eli said. "You don't know when your career is going to end."

Miller can be every bit as dominant at linebacker as Peyton Manning is at quarterback. Don't believe me? John Elway reportedly once called Miller the most talented player he's ever seen.

If you think the Broncos are going to move a commodity like that because he can't find his way to the courthouse, you are living in LaLa Land.

Right next to Von, apparently.


Twitter: @Klee_Gazette

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