Broncos' Miller staring at lost opportunity

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- As Von Miller approached the 2011 NFL draft, fresh off a 17-sack season as a senior at Texas A&M and a freakishly epic workout at the league's scouting combine, the only criticism several long-time scouts had was maturity.

And in a vocation where fame, fortune and even the ability to participate in the vocation itself, can be fleeting, Miller's maturity is still in question both inside and outside of the Broncos' complex these days.

Miller has already been suspended four games to open to the regular-season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He has repeatedly expressed confidence he will win his appeal, which will be heard by league officials Thursday.

Still, despite Miller's public proclamation that he'd "done nothing wrong'' for the test that led to the suspension, he has already tested positive enough times to advance to the suspension phase in the first place. Early on in training camp Miller explained that with; “the guy I was yesterday is not the guy I am today. That guy I was two, three, four years ago is not the guy I am.''

But then came Sunday, an off day for Broncos players, when Miller was arrested at a gun club that sits just outside the industrial park in south suburban Denver where the Broncos' practice facility. He had failed to appear in court for three traffic violations.

Last October, Miller had been cited for careless driving, driving without a license and for not having proof of insurance. His original court date was scheduled for Dec. 31.

Miller did not appear and an arrest warrant was issued shortly after the missed court date. Sunday night Miller was released on a $1,000 bond.

The traffic violations, in and of themselves, are careless, absent minded and irresponsible. But folks from all walks of life get pulled over whether or not they've ever sacked Tom Brady.

But a court date is an adult item, a circled date on a calendar, a reminder spoken into an iPhone. Grown-up stuff.

A court date is a get-there, make-it-happen date. To miss one means Miller is likely not telling those around him, be it his family or his representatives, what's going on in his life and he's also not taking care of things on his own.

Put Sunday's arrest with this summer's revelation of multiple failed drug tests and the Von Miller of June, a Pro Bowl player, talking about raising chickens with a smile plenty of endorsers would love, is now the Von Miller of August.

And the Von Miller of August looks like a guy, to many both inside and outside of the Broncos organization, who needs to get control of his professional life before so much potential slips away.