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Sean McVay: I was very surprised Von Miller was available

Chris Simms and Ahmed Fareed examine what Von Miller can contribute to the Rams defense after the Broncos unexpectedly traded the veteran LB away.

Rams coach Sean McVay said last month he did not anticipate “any big splash moves, like maybe you’ve seen from us in the past.” He did add that he “would never say never.”

Acquiring pass rusher Von Miller qualifies as a “big, splash move” considering he is an eight-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl MVP. Miller’s 110.5 career sacks are the most among active players.

So McVay was asked his initial reaction when informed Miller might be available in a trade.

“‘You’ve got to be shitting me!’ That’s what I said. I’m like, ‘No way,’” McVay said. “I was very surprised that this was a possibility, and I was glad we were able to get it done.”

Miller will help the Rams, who rank only 21st in total defense after ranking first last season, and Aaron Donald will help free up Miller. Miller has 4.5 sacks and nine quarterback hits in seven games but has gone sackless in the last three games he played before missing Sunday’s game with a left ankle injury.

“He brings an element,” McVay said. “Obviously an incredibly unique football player that not only is a great pass-rusher, but he’s a complete football player that can really affect and influence an offense in a negative way on all three downs. You can utilize him in a variety of different ways.”

Miller will undergo a physical Tuesday when the Rams will have a better idea if Miller is healthy enough to play Sunday against the Titans.

“If this thing continues to progress the way that we expect, there is the hope and the expectation that he plays against the Titans,” McVay said. “We were aware of those things, and it was something that we felt comfortable making the trade, even though you are aware of that ankle injury.”