After taking the league by storm early in his rookie season, Broncos OLB Von Miller's production fell off down the stretch. He totaled just one sack in the team's final five games — which included Denver's two postseason battles. That came after he had 11½ sacks in his first 12 games of the year, when he was using his speed and strength to overwhelm opposing blockers.
Part of the reason that Miller fell off was because of a thumb injury that required surgery in November. Though he had to miss only one game because of the injury, the injured ligament made it difficult for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft to dominate as he had earlier in the year.
Miller, who is now training at Athletes First in Irvine, Calif., before Broncos OTAs start in April, told PFW his thumb is most of the way healed and that he believes he can improve, heading into his second season in the league.
"My offseason is going great; my thumb is about 90 percent healed," Miller said. "I'm getting a lot of therapy on my hand and working on my upper-body strength."
Although he'll only be in his second year in the NFL, Miller may be asked to take on more of a leadership role in 2012. He is expected to be the Broncos' defensive star for a long time, and that starts with working with his teammates.
"I talk to all of my teammates all the time," Miller said. "I'm ready to get the next season going."
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