Buffalo, NY. (WGR 550) - I don’t think there’s any question that Von Miller has wanted to be a member of the Buffalo Bills for a long time.
I remember him saying that he thought for sure the Bills were going to take him with the third overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but the Denver Broncos stepped up at No. 2 and grabbed him after the Carolina Panthers took Cam Newton No. 1 overall.
That left bust Marcell Dareus at No. 3 for the Bills.
Miller says he had even gotten some Bills "swag" before the draft since he was so sure he’d be coming here. It took a while, but he finally is here after signing a free agent contract.
The 33-year-old pass rusher was here this offseason for OTAs and minicamp.
“It’s been pretty cool. Especially here at the facility getting to know my teammates, trying to earn their respect, earn their trust, getting to know the coaches, getting to know all the people that make this organization go like the people that work in the cafeteria, the media relations team, the janitors, the people that work in the front office. It’s just been introducing myself to everybody,” said Miller following Tuesday's session at minicamp.
Miller has many reasons that made him want to be a member of the Bills, but he said there was one thing that really stuck out to him.
“Honestly, my very first conversation with coach [Sean] McDermott, it was one that made me come here," Miller said. "I was a believer in coach McDermott, like, right when I flew here. I was still on the fence about coming to Buffalo, but when I talked to coach McDermott, I just felt his authenticity. I felt that he was genuine, I felt that he was real, and I felt like that was a coach that I want to play for.”
When Miller was asked what team he liked the best, he, of course, had a great, neutral answer.
“It’s like having a third kid, you love them all the same," he said. "Of course you love your first kid, it’s your first born. You’ve got another kid that you’ve won a Super Bowl with, so you love him too. Then you’re here and you’ve got a new kid that’s as talented as any other kid that I have. You love them the same.”
A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham all attended Miller’s Pass Rushing Summit in Las Vegas this offseason. Miller says it’s not just him teaching, it’s everybody.
“A.J., Boogie and Greg all went, and I call it a summit and not a clinic because it’s not a place where I go and have everybody listen to Von. It’s a summit of all the great players in the league, and it’s a space that I created that we all make go," he said. "I’ve always been a fan of just being around great players, being around great talent. I feel that success leaves clues, and each and every year I try to learn something.”
Now that they’re ramping up into football season, Miller has a routine that he must follow.
“I do everything that you can possibly do to keep your body fresh," Miller said. "Whenever I leave the facility, the rest of my day is getting ready for the next day. Whether that’s massages, nutrition, acupuncture, cold tub, [cryotherapy], it’s 2022 and we’ve got so many things that can help us recover. I’m doing them all, trying to get an edge.”
Miller knows what it’s like to be around great quarterbacks. He played with Peyton Manning, and now he’s with Josh Allen in Buffalo.
“They just have this aura about them that they’re able to lead, and Josh is one of those guys," Miller said. "He does it in his own way, and he’s a great quarterback. The sky’s the limit for him. He’s a reason I came here. I’m a huge believer in Josh Allen, and I wanted to be a part of it.
“Being here close up with Josh, everything that you see on TV and everything that you’ve heard about is real.”
Miller says wanting a Super Bowl is more than just the team.
“It starts with the fans," he said. "We’ve got some of the best fans in the league. We’ve got Super Bowl fans, and we want to go out there and play the best that we possibly can to make 'Bills Mafia' proud.
“We’ve got all these AFC Championship banners around here, but not one Super Bowl. It’s an expectation from this franchise’s fan base, and that’s why I came here. I could’ve just stayed in [Los Angeles] and just rode off into the sunset and just rushed with Aaron Donald and pile up sacks. But I wasn’t content. I still wanted more, and to come here selfishly and be the only guy to ever to win three Super Bowls with three different teams, that’s what I want. I just want to be part of something special.”
Miller ended his press conference with a message for Bills fans:
“'Bills Mafia' has been waiting for it. All of Buffalo has been waiting for it. It would be crazy if we could go out there and get it done.”
The Bills open training camp at St. John Fisher College on July 24.