Von Miller knows the importance of a dependable quarterback when it comes to the Denver Broncos’ success. The All-Pro linebacker played with Peyton Manning during the years when the Broncos were among the best teams in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl in 2015. He also knows that ever since Manning retired, the Broncos have struggled to find a consistent leader at the quarterback spot and haven’t returned to the playoffs since.
Teddy Bridgewater won the starting job during the preseason over disappointing incumbent Drew Lock and so far he has paid dividends. He threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener, a road win over the New York Giants. And now the Broncos have a solid chance to improve to 2-0 when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend.
The #Broncos definitely made the right decision to bench Drew Lock for Teddy.
Bridgewater is 25 of 32 passing for 226 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTspic.twitter.com/BupLaHRSwL
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 12, 2021
Miller also had a strong game last week, finishing the game with three tackles and two sacks as part of a stout defensive effort. Apparently, Miller was feeling inspired by the leadership that Bridgewater instilled in the team and he told him so on the sidelines as the game was winding down.
"I haven't felt that in a while – since 18 was here man."
Von Miller showed some love to Teddy Bridgewater on the sideline 🧡
(via broncos/TT) pic.twitter.com/PrVeLUm6YF
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 14, 2021
“I haven’t felt that in a while – since 18 was here man,” Miller told Bridgewater. “Keep with that s***. Those little pep talks go a long way, you what I’m saying? We need that s***. We haven’t had that in a minute.”
18 is of course a reference to the jersey that Peyton Manning wore.
Definitely an interesting statement from Von Miller about the post-Manning state of #Broncos QBs. Including Drew Lock, apparently. "I haven't felt that in a while…since 18 was here." pic.twitter.com/PfL3DVq52l
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 15, 2021
That’s a bold statement to make for Bridgewater and it carries a lot of weight coming from an elder statesman like Miller. Of course, unintentionally or not, it also says something about Drew Lock, who is hoping to win back the trust of his teammates and become a starter again down the road. If Bridgewater keeps this up, however, that doesn’t seem too likely.