FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady clearly has great respect for Von Miller, who treated the New England Patriots quarterback like his own personal tackling dummy during last season’s AFC Championship Game.
During his Wednesday news conference, Brady compared the Denver Broncos linebacker to one of the greatest ever to play the game: Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor.
“I think he?s pretty great every single play, every game,” said Brady, whose team visits the Broncos on Sunday. “I think he?s actually gotten better in all phases of the game, not just as a rusher but dropping into coverage, covering guys, playing the run. He?s a phenomenal player.
“I never played against Lawrence Taylor, but I watched a lot of Lawrence Taylor and they?ve got the same number — or two digits from one another — but they look like they can go kill the quarterback, (and) he?s done a great job of that.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who coached Taylor when both were with the New York Giants in the 1980s and ’90s, offered a similarly glowing review of Miller.
“Everything,” Belichick said when asked what makes last year’s Super Bowl MVP so difficult to block. “He?s fast, explosive, he?s got good anticipation, he?s smart. He gets good reads, good anticipation on plays, but not just on the road or at home but on the road, too. Sometimes he can beat the count, get the jump there. …
“I don?t think there are any linemen in the league that are sitting there saying, ?Oh, good. We?ve got Von Miller this week. This will be a little breather this week.? I mean, nobody?s saying that. No matter how many times you play him, you?ve still got to deal with his speed, his quickness, his leverage, his counter-moves. … He?s a great rusher. It?s a challenge for whoever?s blocking him, and you don?t have all day.”
Miller racked up 2 1/2 sacks and four quarterback hits in the 2015 AFC title game, which the Broncos won 20-18 en route to a Super Bowl championship. He has 13 1/2 sacks through 13 games this season, tied with Atlanta’s Vic Beasley for the NFL lead.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images