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Von Miller, channeling his inner Bill Belichick, highlights the key to the Broncos' turnaround

Zac Stevens Avatar
November 26, 2018

DENVER — Coming off a 41-14 shellacking at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs four years ago, Bill Belichick delivered the infamous press conference heard round the world.

“We’re on to Cincinnati,” the New England Patriots coach said stone-faced over and over again, not wanting to focus on anything other than his team’s upcoming opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals.

On Sunday evening, Von Miller channeled his inner Belichick.

“On to Cincinnati,” Miller said in every single answer to his postgame press conference.

There was a major difference between Von and Bill’s press conferences, however.

In 2014, when Belichick made such a simple line so famous, he was deferring questions about his then-struggling 2-2 football team.

Belichick was attempting to use the line to refocus his team and turn the ship around.

On a small scale, the scenario couldn’t be more different in Denver.

Although Von didn’t hint it one bit in his answers or demeanor on Sunday night, the Broncos pulled off a season-changing victory, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-17 in front of a sellout crowd in Mile High.

For the first time since Week 2, Denver put together a win streak and kept the playoffs within a one-game reach.

Instead of trying to get the team back on track — as Bill had four years ago — Von was exemplifying what got the Broncos back on track.

“Small focus,” Vance Joseph stated after the monumental win on Sunday, reiterating his message to the team. “Our deal has been 1-0 every day. That’s every meeting, every lifting session, and every practice. Win every play. We won’t change that. It’s obviously a big opponent next Sunday — AFC North opponent in Cincinnati. Again it’s a game that we have to go play well to win.”

Entering the bye week, the Broncos were struggling, to say the least, as they had dropped six of their last seven games and sat just as close to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft as they did to the final AFC wild-card spot.

Coming out of the bye week, Joseph implemented his “small focus, big-picture awareness” mindset.

Since, the Broncos have flipped the season on its head, going 2-0 against the Los Angles Chargers — who were, at the time, the second-best team in the AFC — and the Pittsburgh Steelers — who, again, were, at the time, the second-best team in the AFC.

Now, thanks in part to Joseph’s new small-focus message, the Broncos sit one game under .500, one game out of the playoffs and believe they can make a playoff run.

Typically, Von’s masterful with the media, eclipsing 10-minute press conferences, rattling off jokes and making it into the headlines.

On Sunday, he was again masterful. This time, however, he used his platform to show the impact of the team’s new and improved mindset.

“We played great defense. We played great offense. Great team win,” Miller said in his two-minute post-game presser. “On to Cincinnati.”

Asked if he was channeling his inner Belichick, Von didn’t waiver.

“We had a great win today,” he said never breaking character. “Great team win. Shelby [Harris] had an incredible day, but it’s on to Cincinnati.”

Much like Bill interrupted reports before their questions were finished, Von didn’t let a reporter finish his question before dialing up the infamous line.

“It’s on to Cincinnati, though.”

In 2014, after Belichick’s press conference on Oct. 1, the Patriots went on a 13-2 run, including winning the Super Bowl.

The Broncos are hoping Joseph’s message that began two weeks ago carries similar results.

Oh, by the way, the Patriots ended up beating Cincinnati 43-17 the following week.

Denver’s got the struggling Cincinnati Bengals in one week.


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