Von Miller remains positive during ACL recovery

Von Miller doesn’t want anyone to feel bad for him.

The Buffalo Bills star linebacker, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee on Dec. 6, is to stay positive although he missed the remainder of his first season with the organization after signing a six-year, $120 million contract in the offseason after winning Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams.

“Any time you have an injury or are trying to recover from an injury, your sanity is at 75%, if not more,” Miller says. “I’m in a great place mentally. I have a son — he is 16 months old — and I have another son who will arrive in February. The organization, the team I work for is damn good. I just choose to look at the bright things, the positive things in my life. I am so blessed. I have several hits on this thing. I’ve been here for six years, so I’m not depressed at all.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to go through rehab and show my teammates how doped I am, like I have this injury and how I can bounce back the way I do. Just another opportunity to prove to my guys that their opinion means the most to me.

Miller’s positive outlook has been as much a part of his focus and preparation as sacking opposing quarterbacks, which is what he’s damn good at; Miller’s 123.5 career sacks rank 19th all-time.

After a 2019 season that he said “didn’t feel like I lived up to my expectations,” the then-Denver Broncos linebacker and pass thrower began working with the famed psychologist in the sports and mental conditioning trainer Trevor Moawad, whose clients also included Russell Wilson, Jozy Altidore, Michael Johnson and Marcus Stroman.

Miller, who recorded his 100th career sack and was named to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl and eighth overall this season, had eight sacks after recording 14.5 the previous season. He would miss the entire 2020 campaign with an ankle injury.

“I started working with him and he definitely changed my perspective,” Miller said of Moawad, who died in September 2021 after a battle with cancer. “It just takes work. It requires constant work. Honestly, it’s also a choice. As humans, we have choices. I just choose to be happy. I choose to be positive. I choose to look at the positive outlook in my life.

“You can easily go the other way, but that won’t help anyone. I want to be the best person I can be for this team, for my teammates, for this organization, for my kids, for my family, and me really feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to help any of that. I choose to be positive. I choose to live in this perspective.

Not only will Miller, winner of the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 award, rehabilitate his knee in hopes of returning to the field for the start of the 2023 campaign, but he will spend his newly found free time observing Bills general manager Brandon Beane. .

Miller, 33, has previously voiced interest in becoming NFL general manager after his retirement, moving from the grill to the front office like former standouts John Elway (Broncos) and John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers).

“I know what great teams look like,” the two-time Super Bowl champion said. “I know what Super Bowl teams are made of, not just from a player perspective or a coach perspective, but what strength and conditioning coaches look like, what janitors look like, what cafeteria workers look like. I know what food looks like.

“I have known great teams and I have rubbed shoulders with great teams. Becoming a GM and being a front office executive gives me the opportunity to stay connected to the game that I love so much.

Name this triangle

Before making his debut for the Bills against the Rams on Sept. 8, Miller made headlines for his unique hairstyle.

Reminiscent of Ronaldo’s unique look during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Miller’s entire head was shaved except for a triangular patch on the back of his head.

The cut made its way through the media and social media and even prompted Doritos to take notice. The brand has partnered with Miller in a nationwide contest encouraging fans to show their courage and win prizes, including two tickets to Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

“At first I used to get teased for it, but now it’s cool,” Miller says. “I wasn’t bullied or anything like that, but people definitely teased me and made fun of me for having this triangle behind my head, not just the people I work with every days but also on social media and online I just kept my head down and lived my own truth I thought that was cool and I stayed cool with it and now Doritos and Frito-Lay think that’s cool too.

“Just live your life – if you think it’s cool, if you think it’s dope, do it. Everyone’s gonna slack off on different things, and it’s definitely different, but I choose to live from a positive perspective. It’s not at all easy but I choose to live from this perspective. I choose to be positive. I choose to be optimistic and boom, here we are.

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