Former Broncos OLB Von Miller on becoming a new Ram: 'I went to sleep 4-4 and woke up 7-1'

Von Miller has landed in Los Angeles and he feels like he's in Tinseltown.

"I'm excited to be a part of this team," Miller said Wednesday afternoon upon his first Southern California news conference, via team transcript. "Coach [Sean] McVay, he's just so energetic and he's a great coach. It feels like a movie. It really does. It feels like a movie and I'm excited to be in it."

Miller is the latest star added to the Los Angeles Rams' ensemble cast that already includes the likes of defensive lineman Aaron Donald, quarterback Matthew Stafford, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

Prior to addressing reporters, Miller took in his first Rams practice, bringing further reality to a surreal span of days that for him began Monday when Denver Broncos general manager George Paton told him he was being traded.

It brought about an emotional departure from Denver and an aspirational arrival in Los Angeles.

"It's different. It feels like a movie. From coming into work on Monday and I was in a training room, and they said that George wanted to talk to me. I've been in league 11 years, so I already knew what this talk was going to be about," said Miller, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection with 110.5 career sacks. "Initially, it hurt. I've been saying it kind of felt like removing a splinter. At first it hurts, it hurts bad. I've been there for 11 years. I don't know anything else. I was a Denver Bronco. They told me that I was getting traded to the Rams. Hurts. Had all my goodbyes. Looking at my house, looking at all the memories that I had there throughout 11 years, it was tough. When I took off Tuesday morning, though, I had a nice view of the mountains and I told myself like, 'Hey, taking off a Denver Bronco. When I land, I'm a Los Angeles Ram.' I landed and the had camera crew out there, it was a warm welcome. Went to straight to get the physical. Came here to the facility, started meeting players and it starting to feel good. It's starting to feel real good. You look at all the talent that we have. I went to sleep 4-4 and woke up 7-1. In the back end of things, it's not really that bad. It's better for me. It's better for the organization. And you just got to let reality sink in that I get to play with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Floyd and Matthew Stafford and his solid offensive line. And they got a solid team. The Denver Broncos are still building. They're still a family and stuff, but this team was ready to win it right now, ready to win championships right now. And I'm excited to be a part of it."

Miller knows about winning, having been awarded Super Bowl 50 Most Valuable Player after leading the Broncos to a victory over the Carolina Panthers. Denver has not made it back to the postseason since that Super Bowl triumph, however, and has had just one winning season since then.

Thus, while Paton has stated the Broncos (4-4) are not rebuilding, conventional wisdom leans to a 32-year-old veteran such as Miller settling in better with a Rams team (7-1) that's currently going all in (regardless of whether the Rams' social media team knows how certain movies ended).

Having missed all of the 2020 campaign with an ankle injury, Miller has had his doubters as it pertains to him having lost a step. In Denver, he was very much the leading man on the defense or at least looked to be, whereas in L.A., he'll be able to support the all-star efforts of the aforementioned Donald, Floyd, Ramsey, etc.

"It's incredible. You hear stories of the 'Fearsome Foursome.' You hear stories in this legendary defense. We want to recreate that," said Miller, who now teams with Donald as a pairing that boasts 201 career sacks. "They've been playing great defense all year and I just want to add to it. I want to add some of the things that I do best. My leadership and my energy and my positive vibes. I just want to contribute to a winning team. It'll be fun."

Having finished last season as the No. 1 defense in the NFL, the Rams are just the No. 21 overall defense eight weeks into the 2021 season. It's a bit deceiving as the L.A. D is also the No. 10 scoring defense and second in sacks and fourth in red zone defense. Stats can be deceiving of course, as Miller went to sleep as part of a 4-4 team with the No. 6 overall defense and awoke as part of a 7-1 squad with the No. 21 defense.

Regardless of how it shows up statistically, Miller is confident he will bring an impactful presence.

"You watch film each and every week, you watch all the highlights in the sack reels, and you see [Donald] just going crazy," Miller said of his new teammate, the three-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. "These guys triple-team him. I've been getting triple-teamed for the last 10 years. That's six people right there. And we still got Leonard Floyd and all the other guys. So, it's going to be fun."

Miller was listed as a DNP on the team's Wednesday injury report and McVay said he didn't have enough information as of yet to predict as game status. Miller said he's having some "lingering" issues with his ankle, which he injured in Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns and kept him out of the Broncos' Week 8 win against Washington. However, he added he's confident if he can continue to take it day by day he'll be "good" for Sunday.

So, perhaps Miller will make his Rams debut on Sunday night at SoFi Stadium against the Titans. Or maybe it will have to wait a while longer. The anticipation is there now and will remain until the three-time All-Pro hits the field for the Rams.

Aspirations have been high for the Rams prior to the season even beginning. Now they're even higher. With the addition of Miller, you might even says they're mile high.

Perhaps that's a little corny. Hollywood endings can be like that sometimes, but all that matters in the end are the box office returns and those will be unveiled on Feb. 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium.

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