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The "tailor-made" player that has Broncos coaches gushing

Zac Stevens Avatar
June 6, 2019

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Von Miller’s always been the Batman in the Broncos Batman and Robin pass rush.

Despite being a rookie in 2011, Miller had two more sacks than Elvis Dumervil. The following year, Von exploded for his career-high 18.5 sacks, leaving his mentor in the dust at 11.

Even when Denver signed the first-ballot Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware, Von was still the superhero with his sidekick, leading his mentor, albeit a different one this time around, in sacks all three years the former Cowboy was in town.

In fact, rightfully so, Von has led the Broncos in sacks and has garnered the majority of the opposing offense’s attention since he was the No. 2 overall pick, outside of 2013 when he was suspended and injured.

But, for the first time, that could change in 2019 thanks to fellow top-five pick, Bradley Chubb.

“He’s tailor-made for us,” Vic Fangio stated as fact, talking about the 6-foot-4, 269-pound pass rusher. “I think he’ll take the next step. Just because he’s a pro, much like Phillip [Lindsay] already. And he’s a very smart football player. Very coachable. Very intense. I see nothing but bright days ahead.”

Wow.

Don’t forget, this is the same Vic Fangio that hasn’t been afraid to call it as it is and challenge players, most notably No. 58 himself. The same Vic Fangio who has made headlines for his lack of compliments.

But for the second-year player, it’s nothing but praise from the man of few emotions.

Vic’s appreciation for Chubb isn’t new, either. Last year, as the defensive coordinator in Chicago, Chubb was “high” on his wish list in the draft. Unfortunately for Fangio then, and fortunately for him this year and moving forward, the Broncos picked three spots ahead of the Bears.

Chubb has another potential advantage on his side: The year-two boost.

It’s widely believed around the league that players take their biggest leap of improvement from year one to year two, much like Von did going from 11 sacks his rookie season to 18.5 during his sophomore campaign.

After 12 sacks his rookie season, if Chubb were to take a similar jump as Miller did his second year, the No. 5 overall pick would be flirting with a 20 sack season.

“I know that guys like him—of his character, his work ethic—they usually spike in year two,” defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said on Wednesday. “He’s just a heck of a talent and works hard every day. You should see really good play from him.”

Donatell and Fangio aren’t alone in their high aspirations for Chubb, either.

According to a BSN Denver source, there is belief inside the Broncos’ building that Chubb could become a household name this season.

The incredibly high expectations aren’t just based off Chubb’s ever apparent talent. Fangio’s defense, although the same scheme as has been in Denver for the past few years, will be built for Chubb and Miller more than ever.

“The edge players are very important to this 3-4 defense that Vic and I have been running for the last eight years,” Donatell said. “You need guys that can compress the edge. And you need people that can rush the passer. He can do both of those. He’s very forceful in doing that. We’re happy to have him, and we think he can be very productive in that role.”

Success won’t be measured by if Chubb has more sacks than Von. But it’s clear the organization wouldn’t put any limits on the second-year player dethroning Von for the first time in his career.

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