“The Drive” co-host Alfred “Big Al” Williams said Thursday that though he might have thick skin as a talk show host when he was a player he had “thin skin.”
So, it’s no wonder that it rubbed Williams the wrong way when for the second time in less than two weeks Von Miller, whom he called a “once-in-a-lifetime kind of player,” has been called upon to play better.
“As a player, after you hear that long enough, you start to say, listen, man, what are you doing? We need to talk,” Williams said. “You need to keep my name out of your mouth or get me out of here.”
The latest comes from newly hired Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who said Miller “can be of the rare players in this league” but that the team would try to take him to “bigger and better levels.”
“I think Von Miller can play even better than he’s played in his career,” Fangio said.
The other came last week from general manager John Elway, who said during the Broncos season-ending press conference, “One of the solutions is that we’re going to need our core guys to play better. Von, he had a good year this year. Can Von play better? Yeah, I think Von can play better.”
The comments weren’t necessarily digs at Miller’s play, which included 14.5 sacks and a Pro Bowl nod in 2018, Williams said, but instead more resemble motivation. But Williams said the remarks could have been phrased better.
“I’m under the impression that the right thing that everybody should have said at the end of the year is that we have some talented players led by Von Miller,” Williams said. “And even though he had a great year this year, what I’d like to see him do is go even one more level because I believe that he has that kind of talent.
“But it was never explained like that.”
To his credit, Miller seemingly took Fangio’s remarks as that, motivation, and not as a criticism of his production.
“He’s a great coach, and I’m looking forward to getting great coaching,” Miller told Broncos TV on Thursday. “Coach me, coach. Coach me.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.