In Saturday’s vote for the Associated Press NFL MVP award, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning totaled 49 of 50 votes, with the lone remaining vote going to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Those who listen to SiriusXM NFL Radio on a regular basis could have quickly guessed who cast the one vote for Brady, as for the better part of December, host Jim Miller had said he was leaning in that direction.
It was, indeed, Miller’s vote that ultimately went to Brady.
I caught up with Miller on Sunday to ask him about picking Brady, and also about standing out as the lone voter not to select Manning.
What led to the decision to go with Brady?
Miller: I didn’t vote that way to disrespect Peyton Manning or anything he’s done, or anything he’s accomplished. In the end, he’s won his fifth NFL MVP. In my experiences, in over 17 years of playing the quarterback position, I just feel what Tom Brady did this year was pretty amazing. I thought he carried his team. The defense wasn’t up to snuff. They had offensive line issues as well. You have two rookie receivers. [Danny] Amendola was signed to be their big-time receiver and he ends up not really being a factor; it was [Julian] Edelman, who up to that point had been more of a reserve special-teamer. They had fumble issues at the running back position. So I thought for New England to be in the AFC Championship Game – they had no business being in it. But they were there because of the play of [No.] 12. I thought he carried that team. It’s no different in how I viewed Adrian Peterson a year ago and how he willed the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs with how he performed. Again, I have the highest respect for Peyton and I say it all the time on Sirius – he’s elevated the quarterback position like no other player. Gaudy numbers are great, and they are historical numbers [this year], which is why I voted him offensive player of the year. But I think Tom Brady and his play was truly spectacular this year.
When you cast your vote, you obviously don’t know that you’ll be the lone vote. What was your reaction when you found out that was the case?
Miller: It didn’t matter one bit to me. I’ve heard some people say ‘You’re trying to self-promote yourself.’ That’s not it at all. I voted my conscience. I voted what I believed. Not everybody is going to like it and I get it. I feel comfortable with how I voted and I would stick behind it any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.
QUICK-HIT THOUGHT: I first met Miller in 2004 when he was a backup for the Patriots, and from my experience interviewing him that year and since that time, the last thing he’d do is turn his vote into any type of “look-at-me” situation. Those who listen to him on Sirius also know he analyzes the game at the highest level.