CULVER CITY, Calif. -- After a rookie year that featured a lockout, a surprise playoff run and an endless supply of Tim Tebow coverage, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller expected a relatively quiet offseason.
The offense's sea change caught Miller off guard.
"It was pretty crazy because I felt like we already had our quarterback with Tim," Miller said in a sitdown interview with NFL.com. "It was surreal. We went from having our quarterback to not having our quarterback to having our quarterback. I'm happy that we got Peyton but unhappy that we got rid of Tim. Whenever you get a chance to get a guy like Peyton Manning, you have to take advantage of it."
Miller said he wanted Tebow to have the chance to become a "more typical quarterback" under Manning, noting that "if you give Tebow the arm of Peyton Manning, that's probably the best quarterback that's ever played the game." But Miller, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, conceded that Manning could lead the Broncos in ways that Tebow could not.
"You know, having Peyton Manning, you know he's going to be a coach on and off the field. You know he's going to be able to tell us stuff that we just couldn't do ... point blank last year," Miller said on NFL.com's Cover Two Podcast with Steve Wyche and Jason Smith. "Tim just couldn't tell us that stuff last year."
Miller's communication with Manning so far has been limited to text messages, but he said he isn't worried about the quarterback's health status after he missed all of last season because of neck surgeries.
"I don't think the health stuff is a big issue," Miller said. "He's been cleared by his doctors. I'm sure (Broncos executive vice president of football operations John) Elway and the rest of the front office definitely did their homework on his health situation. ... We don't need him to be better than the Peyton Manning he was before. We just need him to be somewhat the same."
Equipped with his first full offseason as an NFL player, Miller has spent his time working out and unwinding from a hectic rookie season in which he posted 11.5 sacks.
Soon, he'll be back to chasing quarterbacks instead of talking about them.
"I think the defense just has to gel more," Miller said. "I need to cut down on the mental errors. I want to be the linebacker they drafted me to be. I don't want to take five or six years to do that. I want to be that linebacker right now."