Phil Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major tournament last weekend and Broncos head coach Vic Fangio took note of Mickelson’s efforts in the PGA Championship.
On Monday, Fangio cited Mickelson’s success at 50 while discussing the return to action of a member of the Broncos Defense. Von Miller is considerably younger than Mickelson at 32, but football isn’t golf and the pass rusher is coming off an ankle injury that kept him from playing at all in 2020.
Fangio noted Mickelson’s comments about the extra work he had to do in order to remain strong at this point in his career and said there was a lesson for Miller’s return to the field in 2021. It is one Fangio believes Miller will learn.
“It’s going to be up to him to put in the time and effort in the next few months to get his body right,” Fangio said. “As we saw yesterday in golf, Mickelson proved you can play great, but the one thing he did mention was he’s had to work harder and be more committed to his game to achieve that. I think that applies to football players, too — even somebody as talented as Von. You need to do more to maintain that level of play once you start getting into your 30s like he is and playing the position he is. There’s no doubt in mind that he can do it. He’s just got to do it himself.”
For his part, Miller said he’s “still running around here beating everybody’s ass” and feels he has “to prove something” every time he gets on the field. That fits with the kind of effort Fangio believes is essential to the formula for a successful return.