SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Denver sack-leader Von Miller aims to land a one-two punch in the Super Bowl as the number two pick of the 2011 NFL Draft tries to disrupt Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, that draft’s number one overall choice.
“I think it’s super cool, super cool to be going against the number one pick in Super Bowl 50,” Miller told reporters about the showdown in Sunday’s NFL title game. “Definitely a unique experience and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Miller rose to the occasion in the AFC title game victory that put the Broncos into the Super Bowl, registering 2 1/2 sacks of New England quarterback Tom Brady and intercepting him in a 20-18 victory over the Patriots.
Denver general manager John Elway said it was fitting to see the two players facing off against each other in the biggest game of the season.
Elway described Panthers signal caller Newton, a national college champion at Auburn, and Miller, an outstanding pass rusher at Texas A&M, “as talented as anybody that I’ve seen coming out of the draft since I’ve been in this job.
“When you look at the top two guys five years later, it’s nice to see that they are battling each other for the world championship.”
It is the first time the top two selections of the same NFL draft have squared off in a Super Bowl.
“That will always mean something to me, that John Elway picked me as his first pick,” Miller said. “I thought at that time I could be number one, but (Carolina) didn’t see it that way. They took Cam Newton.”
Miller, who relies on speed and quickness, knows that just getting into the opposition backfield is not enough against the powerfully-built Newton.
“Cam is a great player. Super tough player to take down,” said Miller. “He controls their whole offense. As Cam goes, their offense goes.”
The NFL title match-up pits Carolina’s league-high scoring offense against Denver’s top-ranked defense, with both teams adept at creating game-changing turnovers.
“Turnovers are always key and I’m sure whoever wins the turnover battle on Sunday will win the game,” said Miller.
Miller might even compete with Newton, known for his elaborate celebrations, with his own dance moves.
“It’s Super Bowl 50. I’ve got some stuff,” said Miller, who often dances after his exploits. “If I get there, I’ve got some stuff.”
Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes