Lights! Camera! Action! New Rams linebacker Von Miller ready to star for Rams



New Rams linebacker Von Miller fist-bumps with coach Sean McVay during practice. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The Rams built their team for a Hollywood blockbuster finish in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

And their newest star wasted no time getting into the spirit.

During his first availability with Los Angeles reporters Wednesday, eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller used the same phrase five different times to describe his landing with the star-studded Rams.

“Feels like a movie,” he said.

Miller, 32, was acquired Monday in a trade with the Denver Broncos. The Rams gave up second- and third-round draft picks for a player that has 110½ career sacks and was the most valuable player of Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season.

“Guys are very excited to be able to welcome Von with open arms,” coach Sean McVay said, “and we’re excited about it as well.”

Miller joins a 7-1 team that includes defensive stars Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Floyd, and an offense that features star quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“Adding him to a defense that’s already got a bunch of playmakers has the possibility of being something really special,” Stafford said.

Something, perhaps, cinematic.

Miller’s initial reaction to the trade was surrealist.

“I went to sleep 4-4,” he said, “and woke up 7-1.”

It included elements of a tear-jerker.

Von Miller got very emotional when he talked to reporters in Denver about leaving the Broncos. (Pat Graham / Associated Press)

“I cried a lot on Monday, but all the tears weren’t sad,” he said. “I had tears of joy too, coming here to play with Aaron Donald.”

The Rams already have a league-leading 25 sacks, so the addition of Miller has all the makings of a nonstop action film.

“You add me to that team, I feel like I can add and help out some of these guys for sure,” he said.

Miller, the second player selected in the 2011 NFL draft, said he believed he would retire as a Bronco, the only team he has known.

But the emotions of the trade began to dissipate during his flight to Los Angeles on Tuesday. As he took in a view of the Rocky Mountains, he told himself he was leaving Denver as a Bronco and landing as a Los Angeles Ram.

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Ramsey was the first Rams player to reach out to Miller, who compared his new-kid-at-school situation and Ramsey’s welcome to a school bus scene from the Academy Award-winning movie “Forrest Gump.”

Miller, who will wear No. 40, is nursing an ankle injury that sidelined him for the Broncos last game. He went through drills with a trainer, and McVay said his availability for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans would be determined as the week progresses.

Meanwhile, Miller is acclimating to new team colors — “I’ve been wearing blue and orange forever, he said — and a new situation.

“Everything just looks weird,” he said, ‘but it feels extremely right for me.”

Miller is apparently already steeped in Rams history. Playing alongside Donald, he said, evokes the Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line from the 1960s.

“You hear stories of the Fearsome Foursome,” Miller said. “You hear stories of this legendary defense. We want to recreate that.

“They’ve been playing great defense all year. I just want to add to it. I just want to add some of the things I do best — my leadership and energy and my positive vibes.”

The Rams are “ready to win championships right now,” Miller said.

Miller has experience with that. In 2015, he was part of a Broncos team that included quarterback Peyton Manning and cornerback Aqib Talib, among others. The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers to win Super Bowl 50.

The Rams compare favorably in ways to that team, he said. But that does not guarantee a Hollywood finish.

“You still got to go out there and win,” he said. “There’s been a lot of super teams built that were supposed to like do this and do that, and they didn’t quite meet the expectation.

“My whole goal here is just to contribute to this team and contribute to wins.”

Etc.

Stafford did not practice because of back stiffness but said he would play Sunday. Ramsey (rest), receiver Robert Woods (foot) and receiver Cooper Kupp (rest) also did not practice. Rookie lineman Bobby Brown III was absent for personal reasons, McVay said. … Stafford on the Rams’ decision to release receiver DeSean Jackson: “It’s disappointing that it didn’t work out. I’ve got a ton of respect for DeSean and how talented he is a player. Reached out to him afterwards and said it was fun being able to play with one of the all-time deep threats, and me being able to connect with him on a long one” against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (75 yards for a touchdown).

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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