If Bradley Chubb is able to play through an ankle injury, reuniting with Von Miller could make for a special season for the Broncos’ front-seven
The Denver Broncos boast one of the NFL’s premier pass-rush duos, that somehow is flying under the radar entering the 2021 season.
Von Miller returns from an ankle injury that ended his 2020 campaign last September, before it had the chance to begin, and the future Hall of Famer now lines up opposite one of the burgeoning stars at the position.
For the first time in two seasons, Miller will be reunited — possibly as early as Sunday’s opener against the NY Giants — with Bradley Chubb, who seven-time All-Pro former edge rusher Demarcus Ware believes is already one of the league’s best.
“I think he can be great,” Ware said, during a recent appearance on FanSided’s The Matt Lombardo Show podcast, while promoting his partnership with Crown Royal. “I got to mentor him for a year, when I was in Denver. Just to see the presence that he brings to the game on the right side, to supplement Von Miller, more of a power-guy. When you have a power-guy with speed, and he adds a little finesse in there, that’s when you start to see that complete player, which is what he is. I think his ceiling is through the roof.”
The last time Chubb and Miller were both on the field together, and fully healthy for a full season, the Broncos’ duo produced 26.5 sacks during Chubb’s rookie campaign.
Even without the benefit of Miller on the other side, Chubb still produced eight sacks, 57 total pressures, and a 79.1 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus, last season.
Chubb’s 2021 debut could be delayed due to an ankle injury that has limited the 25-year-old during practice this week. But, when he gets on the field, Ware has high expectations for the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“For him, it’s all about staying healthy,” Ware said. “He’s dealing with an ankle injury now, but I don’t think that’s going to hold him back. The sky will be the limit for him.”
Why big season for Bradley Chubb could have huge ramifications for Denver Broncos’ star
If Chubb is able to recapture the magic of his rookie campaign, he’ll likely cash in as one of the highest-paid pass-rushers in the history of the game, after T.J. Watt agreed to a four-year extension worth $112 million with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.
For Ware, who finished his career with 138.8 sacks, finishing as the league’s sack leader twice, teams finally valuing edge rushers similarly to quarterbacks is a welcomed sight.
“I’m so glad to see outside linebackers and pass-rushers make the money like quarterbacks,” Ware says. “Because, they can wreak havoc. When they’re really good and they get a sack here, a sack there, disrupt a play here or there, that’s almost as good as a turnover.
“When you have a guy that can create two or three turnover type plays a game, that catapults you to almost a 75-percent chance to win the game, just off one person. Just like, if you have a great quarterback and he scores three touchdowns in a game and can be consistent like that. You’re going to win a lot of games, if you have a good defense. It goes hand-in-hand. Seeing guys make that kind of money at the position makes me want to put the cleats back on and get back out there.”
To kick off the start of the NFL regular season, Crown Royal hosted a special Industry Night of Service for Hospitality and stadium workers at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium. Special guests included Demarcus Ware and country music star Riley Green also attended to help announce the brand’s $50,000 donation to longtime Crown Royal partner The Southern Smoke Foundation, an organization that financially supports individuals in the food and beverage industry in need.
Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday. Email Matt: [email protected]