“I got a great coach here, one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my life…He’s coached a lot of great ones. I wanna be his greatest product yet.”
– Miller on New Broncos Head Coach Fangio
“They’re probably the single worst bet to win the Super Bowl right now.” — Jeopardy! Record-Setter & Sports Gambler James Holzhauer on the Cleveland Browns
FMIA Also Features A Look at The Raiders’ New Las Vegas Stadium and A Profile of San Francisco DE Solomon Thomas
STAMFORD, Conn. – July 22, 2019 – Broncos All-Pro linebacker Von Miller and first-year head coach Vic Fangio speak with Peter King about the upcoming season as King kicks off his training camp tour in Denver for Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com.
The column also features a discussion with James Holzhauer, the all-time winningest Jeopardy! contestant and a professional sports gambler, about his betting insights for the NFL season.
FMIA includes a site visit to the new Raiders stadium in Las Vegas, which is set to open in 2020, and a profile of 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas, who has become a leading advocate for suicide prevention.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
TRAINING CAMP IN DENVER
Peter King: “The new coaching staff, led by pass-rush maestro Vic Fangio, has set out to make a very good player great at all things. Last year, Von Miller was not…Miller was not a complete player last year… They know he can rush the passer, and know he can be better even at that. But they know he has to be better at the other aspects of the game, because he’s the defensive leader of the team, and other players follow him.”
Von Miller on Vic Fangio: “I got a great coach here, one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my life. We have great leadership here but he’s an outside linebacker guy. He’s coached a lot of great ones. I wanna be his greatest product yet. It’s the little things, like coach Fangio says. When you really focus on the little things it turns into a change of game.”
Vic Fangio on his coaching philosophies: “There’s team organization, team morale, maintaining the structure of a team where the individual is promoted so much. I like watching all games. Seeing the other games just solidifies to me that fundamentals is what wins.”
Fangio: “I think the other thing, and this has really been the case with Von, is players want the truth. (Chicago Cubs manager) Joe Maddon told me: ‘If I tell the truth to a player and he doesn’t like it, he’s gonna be mad for a couple days. If I lie to the player and he figures that out, he’s going to be mad at me forever.’”
JAMES HOLZHAUER AND SPORTS BETTING
King: “Holzhauer had his magical two-month run on ‘Jeopardy,’ when he won $2.46 million in 33 episodes…He’s a big football bettor, and he’s so good at it that he’s got limits of how much he can put down on his bets at most Vegas sports books.”
James Holzhauer: “If I had to pick a team or two to make it to the Super Bowl, win the Super Bowl, the boring answer is the Patriots and the Rams. Everyone knows these guys are the best teams out there.”
Holzhauer: “I would say that the big thing to avoid is look away from the teams that have all the hype surrounding them. I can’t believe we live in a world where the Cleveland Browns are the most hyped team in the preseason. But I would say they’re probably the single worst bet to win the Super Bowl right now.”
Holzhauer: “Bet on Sunday nights for the week ahead. If they put the odds up for next week’s football games on a Sunday night, there’s not a lot of thought that goes into that. But you give people a week to bet on this, the odds are going to be a lot more efficient.”
RAIDERS STADIUM IN LAS VEGAS
King: “I toured the Raiders’ new stadium site Sunday morning and learned much about the difficulties of building a stadium in the heatbox of southern Nevada… It seems amazing that there will be football in this place in 13 months, but I was assured the stadium would be done in time for the 2020 season.”
King: “The stadium will be domed by a semi-translucent roof and the playing surface will be natural grass…Raiders owner Mark Davis wanted natural light to flow through the covering of the stadium, both for more outdoors-looking visuals and because he insisted on real grass.”
King: “UNLV will play its football games here too, as will the Las Vegas Bowl, and the city will push for a Super Bowl in the next round of bidding for the game.”
King: “Thomas’ older sister Ella killed herself on Jan. 18, 2018 in Texas, and he has since become a leading advocate for suicide prevention.”
Solomon Thomas: “If I can keep my sister alive through this work, that’s my goal. My main motivation in talking about this is to change the culture, especially for men, in mental health…I want to tell people it’s okay to be emotional, it’s okay to be sad. Be who you are.”
Thomas: “For a long time last season, I was in a dark place. (49ers general manager) John Lynch approached me during the season and asked if I needed help, and I did. So often I felt like I was helpless, like I was running in sand. So I started seeing a therapist. I still see her. She’s taught me how to be a better version of myself, so to speak.”
Thomas: “My teammates have told me they’ve been seeing a different side of me now. Now I feel more comfortable showing exactly who I am every day, no matter how I feel. Ella had such a passion for living, for giving. I think she would be proud of me.”
Read the rest of the column here.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.
—FOOTBALL MORNING IN AMERICA—