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Fully healthy, Chris Harris and Von Miller are pivotal to Broncos' offseason

Ian St. Clair Avatar
March 19, 2015

Some people tend to focus on the negative.

The problem is that blinds them from what is positive. From all the good they refuse to see or accept.

One could look at any facet of life to see this, but it’s truer than ever in sports – especially the NFL. Fans and media get so caught up in a narrative they refuse to see anything else.

That’s the case with the Denver Broncos, perhaps more than any team in the league. When executive vice president/general manager John Elway won free agency the last three years, that meant he will attack each offseason the same.

The common question among both groups of people was, “Who will Elway target this year? What big name guy will the Broncos lock up?” Even I’m guilty of that.

Then Elway’s plan of attack became clear – it’s about winning when it matters most. In doing so, he deserves more credit than he’s received. Instead of ridicule over who Elway didn’t sign, let the rest of the offseason play out. Give his scheme a chance before rushing to judgement.

The most overlooked aspect of the Broncos’ offseason plays into all of this. Two players will have the benefit of training the entire offseason completely healthy. That’s a fact both could not say at this time a year ago, and has a huge affect on them and the team.

Chris Harris Jr. is the best cornerback in the NFL.

After the 2014 season he had, this isn’t even a debate.

Von Miller is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He has the chance to be the best in the league.

Both had the seasons they did on the heels of ACL tears. Both were limited in what they could do to prepare for the season. Harris and Miller had to tread with caution as to not re-injure or worsen their injuries. That’s not in the nature of either player.

That’s not the case now. Both are free to attack this offseason how they need and want to.

“The offseason’s going great,” Harris told the Broncos’ website. “I’m feeling in good shape, I’m feeling — as far as my knee — fully healed and I’m just down here in Dallas. I train down here every year, so I’m sticking with my family and try to come back even better.”

That’s a scary proposition for the rest of the NFL. Two of the best players, if not the best, at their respective positions can get even better? There’s no reason to think otherwise given what both went through last year and how they still performed.

“I’ve been working extremely hard this offseason,” Miller told the Broncos’ website. “Last year, I couldn’t really do as much with the ACL surgery. But now I’m 100 percent and I’m doing all I can every single day. I’m looking forward to my teammates and all the guys leaning on me to make some plays.”

The other tool in this is the new coaching staff, led by new Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. For Harris, the days of playing off the receivers 45 yards are over. For Miller, Phillips and his coaching staff will allow him to do what he does best: rush the quarterback. Miller will still have to drop into coverage from time to time, but not on the goal line and not to cover the best tight end in football.

“I think we’ll be a little more aggressive,” Miller said in a mild understatement. “I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be pretty exciting.”

Added Harris: “I’m excited. I know having more heat on the quarterback means there’s going to be more balls in the air, which are chances to get picks, so I’m definitely excited about that.”

The last few days have been spent trying to calm the massive overreactions from the fans and the media when it comes to Denver’s offseason.

Take a deep breath and stop focusing on the negatives. Stop griping about who was lost and wasn’t brought in. Give it some time and let this plan of attack play out.

In the mean time, take a few moments to see all the good.

It’s not as bad you might think.

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