On set in Los Angeles during July’s adicolorTV photoshoot, no one was having a better time than Von Miller. Denver’s 250-pound linebacker was deadpan delivering his lines, making them even more comedic than originally intended, while also unleashing some trademark dances. His “Bucking Bronco” shuffle was the highlight, the one where he shakes his hips and throws his arms around like a windmill.
It was a far cry from the last time we’d seen him, when his knee gave out against Houston in Week 15, tearing his ACL and ending his 2013 season. The Broncos went on to the Super Bowl; Miller went on to rehab. He promises he’s working back to top form for the start of the 2014 season, and that includes more than just rushing the passer…
Miller’s style has always been unique. From his broad-rimmed glasses to his celebration dances to the wild adidas sneakers he sports on his Instagram, the NFL isn’t the NFL unless the 25-year-old is out there chasing down quarterbacks and dominating social media.
During some down time on the set, I caught up with the two-time Pro Bowler to talk about the adicolorTV campaign and why it fits Miller’s signature style so perfectly.
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What has it been like shooting for the adicolorTV campaign?
Von Miller: We’ve been shooting these webisodes with adidas and Lil Jon and RGIII and DeMarco Murray. It’s been cool.
What does it mean to be original?
VM: Original is just you being yourself, being unique, one of one. You stray away from the crowd, be original and be you to the fullest.
What else have you been getting into this summer?
VM: Ah man, I’ve just been rehabbing. Rehabbing my knee, trying to get back right and working out.
Have you had any major injuries like this before?
VM: No, this is my first one. Hopefully it’s my last one. I’m just grinding. I feel good about the whole process.
How has your training changed because of it? What type of rehab have you been doing?
VM: I’ve just been working on my knee, trying to strengthen it up. I do the regular workouts too after I do the physical therapy so it’s like two workouts.
With the season around the corner, and Denver looking to get back to the Super Bowl, are you going to set specific goals for yourself? Do you usually do that?
VM: No, I just try to go out there and play to the best of my ability. If I can do that, that’s more than enough. That’ll get the job done. I’ll feel good going home at night.
What else will you be doing before camp starts in a couple of weeks?
VM: Just grinding, man, just grinding and trying to get my knee right and trying to be back in time for camp. Be better than I was before, that’s what my whole focus is on, being better. Try to be the best Von that I can be.
During the summer, what do you like to do away from football?
VM: I just like to travel and see the world. We don’t get a lot of time off so when I do that time off I like to travel and see the world.
Where are some cool places you’ve been?
VM: I like Miami. I’ve been to Afghanistan. I’ve been to the Dominican Republic. I just like to travel and see some new stuff.
What was it like to go to Afghanistan?
VM: It was cool. I went on a USO Tour. I’ve always been proud to be an American, always been patriotic, but you just get a whole new understanding on what those guys do for us over there. I feel blessed to have guys like that going to fight for us every day. I met some real life superheroes, not like Batman or Superman. Real life superheroes.
I went over there last April. I went over there for nine days.
What’s a place you want to go to that you haven’t been able to go to yet?
VM: I want to go to Paris. I want to go to France, Portugal. I’m going to get it in next offseason. I wanted to go this offseason but I didn’t have time with rehabbing.
Any hobbies you like doing in the summer that you don’t get a chance to do during the season?
VM: I started tattooing. I got a lot of tattoos, but I just started tattooing [myself]. I’m trying to perfect my game. It takes years and years and years but I got a lot of time to practice. I’ve been doing that. I’ve been trying to get into Sonic glasses and creating my own frames.
Have you been at least drawing for a while?
VM: Yeah, well drawing a tattoo is totally different. You have to have artistic ability, but tattooing is totally different. When you’re drawing, your canvas is not moving. You can erase and you can do a lot more. You have a lot more freedom. But with tattooing, you have to get it right the first time. It’s totally different, but you gotta be able to draw.
On your Instagram feed, you’re always rocking some crazy adidas sneakers. How many pairs you got?
VM: Man, I got everything worth having. I’m a sneakerhead. I try to stay on top of that. The Jeremy Scotts, I gotta have all of the Jeremy Scotts. They are fresh.
I can’t wait to see what Kanye does. I’m going to grab all of those, too. Yeah man, sneakers, I’ve been doing that since I could… since I could afford to.
You have a favorite pair?
VM: I like my Jeremy Scotts with the cheetah tail in the back. You can wear those with anything. They are unique and nobody else has them.
A lot of the stuff you wear is pretty stylish and unique. Is there anything you wouldn’t wear?
VM: I think there’s a time and a place for everything. You can let your style show. There’s a time and a place for you to be you all the time.
Do you have a favorite childhood sneaker memory?
VM: Nah, my moms always got us sneakers. I remember at the beginning of the school year when you could go and pick any sneaker that you wanted. That was great. We used to love that, to be able to go get a couple pair of any shoes that I wanted.
When you’re getting ready to go out, do you pick the sneaker first or the outfit?
VM: I just put something on. Sometimes I don’t even iron my clothes. I just grab it, just me being me. I wear clothes. I don’t let the clothes wear me.
Who do you think is the biggest sneakerhead on Denver?
VM: There are a couple. Our locker room is colorful. We got a lot of bright personalities in our locker room. There’s a lot of interesting guys on our team, and a lot of guys got a lot of shoes.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney