Von Miller

Von Miller: Raiders own NFL's best O-line, 'from tackle to tackle, they're great'

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AP

Von Miller: Raiders own NFL's best O-line, 'from tackle to tackle, they're great'

ALAMEDA – Von Miller had high praise for the Raiders offensive line. He called it the NFL’s finest front.

He stuck with it even after playing the Dallas Cowboys superb line this season, and having seen tape of the Raiders’ Sunday debacle at Washington, when the Raiders turned in their worst performance in some time.

“When we were getting ready for the Cowboys, everyone was saying that this is the best offensive line that we’re playing against,” Miller said Wednesday in a conference call. “I really felt like the Raiders, they really are put together to be the best offensive line. That’s just my opinion. Up in Dallas, they have a great, arguably the best offensive line, but my opinion, I’ve always thought that the Raiders had the best offensive line. From tackle to tackle, they’re great.”

They weren’t great, or even good, against Washington. The offensive line allowed four sacks against Washington, just the sixth time quarterback Derek Carr has been sacked at least that much. It hasn’t happened since the super line formed, one featuring Donald Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson from left tackle to right guard.

The line was rattled, along with the entire offense, against Washington.

“We did lay an egg on Sunday, and the only way to get the bad taste out of your mouth is to play somebody else,” Penn said. “It’s not like they’re going to roll over, especially in their house. I know they’re tough. I know their mentality.

“We’re ready to get to the next game, and it doesn’t matter who we play. We could be playing ‘The Replacements.’ We’re ready to get another game out there. We want to get going again, because we weren’t the Raiders on Sunday. We need to get back on point.”

Penn emphasized that the Raiders offensive line should look like it did the first two weeks, when Carr had time and running backs had space.

Their wasn’t much of either in Washington. Those things might be hard to come by in Denver, which features the NFL’s No. 4 defense and its best run D. Oh, and Von-freaking-Miller. And All-Pros in the secondary.

Miller is right. It’s the best line around, with the talent and pride required to rebound well.

“I just encourage them and tell, ‘You do what you’ve been doing,’ because I know they’re just going to work their tail off,” Carr said. “I know that they’re going to come in angry today just like they always do. They’re going to come in and fight at practice, just like they always do. If they find any little thing in their game that they didn’t like last week, they’re going to come and try to correct it this week. I don’t ever have to say anything to them. I have a really good offensive line. I don’t have to worry about them.”

The Broncos will, even with supreme talent on the defensive side. Respect has been paid, even as one team’s strength locks horns with another.

“They play with an attitude,” Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said. “They’re trying to hurt people, which you love about your offensive line. In pass protection, they’re really good at that also. They’re so long and so big. With [Donald] Penn, he’s got great feet as a left tackle. It’s a formidable group.”

Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’

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AP

Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’

Von Miller has 73.5 sacks to his name over six seasons in the NFL. He's a five-time Prow Bowl linebacker, three-time All-Pro, Super Bowl champion, and Super Bowl MVP. 

Trent Brown has played 21 games in two NFL seasons for the 49ers, 18 of them as starts. Despite his little time in the NFL and lack of honors, the Broncos' defensive star sees San Francisco's young offensive lineman as the best in the game at his position.

“He’s the best right tackle in the National Football League,” Miller said to the San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday after the first of two joint practices with the 49ers. “And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move he way he moves.”

Brown, at 24 years old and standing 6-foot-8 while weighing 355 pounds, was the only offensive lineman invited to Miller's "Pass Rush Summit" at Stanford in June. Miller says he invited Brown so he could gain more knowledge, but also added, "from my point of view, we could get it (more knowledge) from a premier-offensive-tackle point of view.”

The two went up against each other in the trenches Wednesday in Santa Clara. After Brown held his own, Miller poured on the praise, but he made it clear how the young offensive lineman's future is all up to himself. Brown holds the keys to his potential. 

"He’ll be as good as he wants to be," Miller said. "When he’s on, there’s not another tackle in the National Football League that’s as good as him."

Miller also made a bold prediction. "He’s going to have one of the biggest (contracts) for an offensive lineman."

Brown's rookie deal ends after the 2018 season. 

Raiders have utmost respect for Von Miller, Broncos pass rush

Raiders have utmost respect for Von Miller, Broncos pass rush

ALAMEDA – The Denver Broncos have the NFL’s best pass defense. Their secondary is awesome, featuring Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby and Chris Harris Jr. at cornerback.

Those guys cover exceptionally well, but often not for long. Why? Von Miller’s most always on the case. The Denver pass rush is tied for the league lead with 28 sacks. Miller has that sum’s lion’s share.

Miller has 8.5 sacks and a forced fumble through eight games, easily heading toward double-digit sacks in five of his first six seasons. He had five sacks in 2009 when he only played nine games.

Bottom line: Miller is a game wrecker, and could be major a factor in Sunday night’s clash between the Raiders and Broncos. He certainly was in Super Bowl 50, when he earned MVP honors in a Broncos victory.

“Von Miller, I have the utmost respect for, obviously,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “…He’s one of the best players that we’ve ever seen in this league, especially as a pass rusher. … It doesn’t matter what you try to do, eventually he’s going to make a play. It’s fun to watch him play. It’s fun to compete against him because he’s one of the best. I love that. He’s just a special talent, he really is.”

As the opposition often does against Khalil Mack, teams scheme against the top pass rusher. That’s certainly the case with Miller, though Denver has a diverse pass rush. A total of five players have at least two sacks this season, including edge rushers DeMarcus Ware and Shane Ray and end Derek Wolfe.

“A lot of different players are capable,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “DeMarcus Ware is one of the more decorated pass rushers of the last 10 years or so. They have a bunch of guys that can get there. They have good cover people. Rush and coverage make up good pass defense.”

Many have compared Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack and Miller, though they’re different players in style and function.

“There isn’t really a comparison,” Mack said. “We’re two different players in two different schemes. We’re trying to do the most to put our teams in position to win. That’s what you see.”

What many see is that Miller’s a game changer as much by threat as action. In addition to 8.5 sacks, he has four quarterback hits and 31 other pressures. He’s excellent forcing errant throws for an opportunistic secondary. Football people say rush and coverage work together, and Miller’s the catalyst of Denver operating at a staggering defensive clip with opportunities for big turnovers.

Carr is fully aware of the challenge ahead.

“You definitely want to make sure your feet lead you to completions,” Carr said. “You try and train in the offseason to where you’re on a clock all the time, so not just when you need it or things like that. That’s why you train your feet to make sure you’re on time to your throws and things like that then you don’t even have to worry about it.”