PHOENIX — In whatever becomes of Von Miller's career as a Broncos linebacker, he always will be the first player selected in the NFL draft during John Elway's and John Fox's tenure.

Miller is coming off a season in which he finished with 18½ sacks, 28 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles. Fox said Tuesday at the league meetings he sees far more to come for Miller.

"It's not fair to say, but I'm just telling you, I know the sky is the limit," Fox said. "I think the reason he improved — physically, he's the same cat — (but) mentally, it's being able to key and diagnose things quicker."

Fox pointed to Miller's interception return for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in December as the kind of play Miller made this past season that he likely would not have made as a rookie.

"He had a pick-six this year. He would haven't done that (as a rookie)," Fox said. "Those types of things—understanding coverages, understanding how offenses try to exploit him — all the things he's experienced, all of the sudden that great athletic ability is used even more."

More on Welker. A day after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft went on the offensive about his team's negotiations with Wes Welker, the topic was the focus of plenty of conversation around the league meetings.


Welker's agent, Athletes First and specifically David Dunn, released a statement to that characterized the Patriots' offer to Welker as "take it or leave it."

Kraft said Monday the Patriots offered Welker a two-year deal worth "$10 million plus incentives." Welker signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Broncos that included a $4 million signing bonus.

Kraft also added: "We, in fact, offered him a better deal."

Asked about it Tuesday, including Kraft's assessment that the Broncos had essentially signed Welker to a one-year deal because of the $8 million salary-cap hit that comes in 2014, Elway said he had no comment, adding, "Nothing other than we're excited to have Wes."

Moving forward. The Broncos have a long list of players working back from offseason surgeries, including left tackle Ryan Clady (shoulder), guard Chris Kuper (ankle), tackle Orlando Franklin (toe) and running back Knowshon Moreno (knee).

Fox said all of the players working with the Broncos' medical staff are on schedule, but offered a caveat.

"It's like when you ask about how did the surgery go, you say it was a successful surgery," Fox said. "You never say, 'Really, we had a tough day today. We weren't very good. We blew it in the fourth quarter.' Much like rehab, it's 'Oh, we're on schedule, coach.' Kind of like our (practice) fields — we're on schedule there too."

The Broncos are reconstructing their two grass fields at their Dove Valley complex, adding a heating system under both to prevent them from freezing during the season's colder months.

Footnotes. The NFL's owners voted Tuesday to eliminate peel-back blocks below the knees and put more restrictions on defenses in rushing on field-goal attempts and extra points. Defenses no longer can have more than six players on either side of the center and can't have players push other players into the blockers to create a gap. ... The owners are expected to vote to eliminate the so-called "tuck" rule Wednesday, which would turn some controversial plays that had been called incomplete passes by quarterbacks, into fumbles. Jeff Legwold, The Denver Post