Von Miller on '11 top pick Cam: 'One of my favorite QBs'

It's been a short road to prosperity for Broncos linebacker Von Miller in the NFL.

Miller was drafted second overall in 2011 and immediately burst on the scene with 30 sacks in his first two seasons in Denver. He is regarded as one of the quickest and fiercest pass rushers in the league and is about to make his first appearance in the Super Bowl -- he was sidelined due to injury when the Broncos lost in 2013.

But on Super Bowl Sunday, he'll go head-to-head with the one player who has cast a 6-foot-5 shadow on his career: Cam Newton. Newton was selected first overall in 2011, and while the start to his career wasn't as ferocious, if things go according to plan in the coming weeks, he'll snag his first league MVP before Miller.

So is there a rivalry between these two freakish athletes: one leading the league's top defense, and the other the league's top offense?

"If I played quarterback, I could see it," Miller said, per the Denver Post. "But I like Cam Newton. That's one of my favorite quarterbacks. Peyton (Manning) is obviously my favorite quarterback, but other than that, it's Cam.

"I don't think there's another quarterback that's ever played the game the way he does, especially the way his personality is on the field. I'm just a big fan of everything that he has going for him. He's a huge role model. If he played defense, he probably would've gotten $220 million because he can probably rush the passer and drop back and do safety and all that stuff, too. I'm a big fan. It's not really the No. 1 vs. No. 2 that the media tries to play out to be."

Miller wasn't the only member of Denver's defense lauding the Panthers quarterback. His coordinator, Wade Phillips, had similar things to say about the dual-threat stud.

"They asked me if I had seen a quarterback like Cam Newton," Phillips told The Charlotte Observer. "There isn't one like him. I haven't seen one like him. None of us have. He's a tremendous talent. He's put it all together. I'm sure he's going to be MVP of the league this year. It's another big challenge for us.

Sure, the Broncos seem complimentary now, building up Newton and the rest, but the sack artist and brainchild behind Denver's demolition of Tom Brady last Sunday likely won't go into this contest fearing the most dangerous quarterback in the league. Cam should accept these compliments now; the Broncos won't be nearly as nice come next Sunday night.

Make sure to watch Super Bowl Opening Night live Monday on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET.

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