Broncos’ Von Miller says there’s no rift with coach Vic Fangio

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In a 1-4 start, in a new defense, with just two sacks in those five games, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller said the notion he and first-year coach Vic Fangio are not on the same page at work each day is “crazy.”

It has become a regular topic in the Rocky Mountain region because Fangio, even as he’s said how much he likes Miller as a player, has repeatedly said he believes that Miller can “do better.” Those answers have evolved, as the Broncos opened 0-4, into a rather tidy rumor mill about the supposed discord between the two.

Fangio said Miller has reacted well to the coach’s assessments of his play thus far.

“I wouldn’t view them as challenges, calling out,” Fangio said Wednesday. “We just talk all the time. I think he’s doing a lot of things well for us, and some things that are better than maybe he’s done in the past. Now, obviously, his sack numbers aren’t what he would like and everybody would like, but he made a very nice play the other day on the third-and-3 where they tried to run it up in there for the first down. He was the main focal point for us winning that down and that was good.”

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Miller, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time first-team All Pro, was far more expansive about his relationship with his coach on Thursday.

“That is crazy. Who came up with that?” Miller said when asked about the narrative that he and Fangio don’t get along. “I would like to think me and Coach Fangio get along great. I feel like the type of energy that he sends toward me is different than everybody else. … We have just that connection. We’re teammates at the end of the day.

“I don’t [think] it’s a decision where we go out and drink beers and have movie night. We don’t do that. When it comes to ball and me being a better football player and him seeing the best out of me, I know that’s a fact [that] he wants to see me be great. He’s going to push me in a direction. He’s going to do everything necessary to make sure I’m a better player and I can appreciate that. Whether that comes off as mean, or like whatever that is, I’m not really worried about that. I’m worried about being the best football player I can possibly be, and I know his mindset is there.”

Miller said Fangio’s comments are “all out of love,” when the coach says the linebacker can play better.

“He wants to see me do the best,” Miller said. “It might come off [to] the media a little bit different than what it is, but I know … there’s not another coach I’d rather have right now pushing me to be the best I can possibly be. He’s going to keep it all the way 100. As a player you can appreciate that. … If I’m not doing well, I want him to tell me. If I can work on something, I want him to tell me about that.

“Coach Fangio might tell everybody about it,” Miller said laughing, “but he’s going to keep it 100 with me and I can appreciate that.”

Miller has repeatedly pointed out Fangio’s long history of success as a defensive coordinator in the NFL as well as his past work with Hall of Famers like Rickey Jackson, Kevin Greene and Ray Lewis. Fangio, while with the Chicago Bears, worked with Khalil Mack, who is a friend of Miller’s and has always endorsed Fangio’s work to Miller.

Miller has two sacks this season — both against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With outside linebacker Bradley Chubb out for the remainder of the season after an ACL tear, Miller can expect a full assortment of blockers in front of him in the weeks ahead.

Fangio has said “he’s just going to have to trudge through that.”

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