INDIANAPOLIS — It's rare to have what seems like the entire NFL descend upon the same place at the same time knowing the craziness of the league's calendar year, but that's the case with the NFL Combine. All 32 teams, including coaching and scouting departments come to Indy to see who might be the future of their team.
It's even more rare to see current NFL players, who are usually out enjoying their offseason, walking the same halls as NFL scouts and general managers. But, Bills linebacker Von Miller stopped by for a few days because he wanted to experience the week from the lens of an NFL front office.
Miller, who attended the NFL Scouting Combine as a prospect in 2011, is interested in working in the front office after his playing days are over.
"My dreams and my aspirations are to be in the front office, be a scout, be a GM, but I don't have any direction on how to get done," Miller said fresh off a workout. "Fortunately for me, Brandon Beane is such a great human being, and he's taking time out of his life to help me with mine."
Miller's goal this week was to soak up everything he could from the hundreds of scouts in Indianapolis.
"I'm just here shadowing our guys, we've got a great scouting department," Miller said. "We got up and coming GMs and up and coming scouts, the Buffalo Bills do a really good job of scouting and managing."
The desire to be a GM one day began during his days as a Denver Bronco. That desire grew when he got to Buffalo.
"Whenever I saw John Elway, John Lynch, Les Snead and Brandon Beane, I just started to think I want to be a GM one day, and then it falls on the right ear with Brandon Beane," Miller said. "He calls me up to his office and we start talking about it, and he was actually the one that watered my plant, and that's where the dream came from. You sit down and you see things and you come up with this want and desire to do it. I know it's an extremely hard job, it's an extremely competitive market as well.
"This is something I want to do, it's a passion that I have. It's a way for me to stay attached to the league beyond my playing career. I love this place, I don't want to be out of the NFL ever, so this is a way for me to stay attached."
So, if the 13-year NFL veteran put on his GM hat, what does he think is most important part of the process?
"I think core players, that third middle linebacker or that fourth corner, those are the guys that are really gonna make you a good team," Miller shared. "And we've done a great job here with the Buffalo Bills with Dane Jackson and Damar Hamlin, these guys are late round picks, but they play like first round, second round picks. So, you have to hit with those guys to have success. Everybody knows about the best guys in the draft, but it takes talent, it takes an eye to really find those guys that are going to create the foundation on your team."
Free agency is less than two weeks away and the Bills will soon be signing players who will hopefully help take the team to the next level. The two-time Super Bowl champion is all about adding pieces who can help them win.
His pitch to those who are searching for a new home — look no further than Buffalo's wildly talented QB.
"We've got Josh Allen," Miller said with a big smile and laugh. "We've got a great coaching staff. I think more importantly, we've got a great culture, which Josh is a huge part of that. Couple plays away from a win and a few more games, and we only lost four games the whole season.
"We're right on the brink. I think some of the knocks that we have is the weather and this and that, but I'm here to tell you once you get here and once you experience it, I think Coach Levy said it the best, a lot of people don't want to come to Buffalo but once you get here you don't want to leave. We have a great home field advantage. Our offense puts up points…we're just missing a few more players and that can be any position, and then we'll be playing in Super Bowl 58."
Miller was placed on injured reserve and missed the final six games, including playoffs, of the 2022 season due to a knee injury. The pass rusher had an update on his rehab for us after he spent more than an hour in the gym working out.
"Rehab's great," Miller said. "All I can do is really control my mindset. My body's gonna do what it's going to do. I really don't have no complaints."