Ahead of the Monday Night season opener in Denver, Broncos edge rusher Von Miller and head coach Vance Joseph discussed their thoughts on facing the Los Angeles Chargers.
For Miller, he believes this Chargers team is stacked and that the Broncos defense is, "going to have our hands full". He cited the return of Keenan Allen, a healthy Melvin Gordon, the duo of Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry and an offensive line he calls the "best" Chargers line he's played against yet. Still, it all starts with number 17.
Miller called Philip Rivers one of his favorite quarterbacks to go against, and ranked him as a top three QB this season.
"Philip Rivers is a Hall of Fame quarterback," Miller matter-of-factly stated. "I feel like he's done an incredible job with the type of players that he's had over the years. He has a very talented team this year. I feel like this Chargers team is probably the most talented Chargers team that I've played against in my time in the league."
Joseph agrees with the five-time Pro Bowler's sentiments as well. He additionally addressed how Rivers presents a challenge that will force Denver to stay on their toes.
"It all runs through Philip," Joseph said. "When you're facing Philip Rivers, a guy with so much experience with great arm talent, it's always an issue because schematically, you have to be on point. If you're not, he will expose you. You can't give Philip the same looks over and over again because, again, he will expose you. So, the challenge is, to give Philip different looks to keep him guessing so he won't cut us up."
A common thread between the two teams is Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. After spending four seasons as the Chargers head coach, McCoy returned to Denver this offseason as the leader of the offense. Much like how Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn surrounded himself with veteran coaching talent, Joseph saw the same as a benefit in McCoy.
"Hiring Mike McCoy was a two-fold decision. Obviously, I wanted the best OC and Mike was that guy. But also, Mike being a previous head coach, that's just being selfish on my part with Mike being my sounding board with certain decisions I made. Having experience and having a guy who was a head coach in the league for the last four years was important for me."
Monday will also be a historical day for Joseph and Lynn as the two become the first pair of black coaches to make their regular season head coaching debuts during the same game. But while they have been friends for a while, Joseph knows it's all going to be about business on the field come Monday. He expects a "tough and smart" football team from Lynn.
"It's going to be a fun night to face a guy who you've been friends with for a long time. But, it's about the football teams. It's about the Broncos and the Chargers. It won't be about the Chargers on game night. I'm focused on our football team and so is he (for his)."