Von Miller, T.J. Ward, Shiloh Keo Fined $23,152 Each: Latest Comments, Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2016

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24:  Von Miller #58 and T.J. Ward #43 of the Denver Broncos run off the field and celebrate after the New England Patriots turned the ball over on downs  in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Three Denver Broncos defenders, Von Miller, T.J. Ward and Shiloh Keo, were each fined more than $23,000 Saturday for various violations during the team's AFC Championship Game victory over the New England Patriots two weeks ago.

Quang M. Lam of NFL.com reported the league levied $23,152 fines to Miller for unsportsmanlike conduct, Ward for spearing and Keo for a hit on a defenseless player ahead of the team's clash with the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.  

The Broncos finished their 20-18 victory over the Patriots with a manageable seven penalties for 51 yards. But their on-field actions still caught the eye of the league office.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today noted Miller's fine is in relation to a crotch-grabbing dance he did after sacking New England quarterback Tom Brady. He was previously fined $11,567 for a similar offense after a sack of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 3.

Ward and Keo were punished for their hits on Brandon Bolden and Julian Edelman, respectively, according to the USA Today report.

It's unlikely the fines will change the Broncos' approach on defense heading into the Super Bowl, though. They have prided themselves on setting the physical tone en route to leading the league in yards allowed during the regular season.

And, with Peyton Manning no longer leading an explosive aerial attack as he did in years past, the onus has fallen on the defense to lead the way during the postseason. It's worked twice, and Denver will hope the same formula leads to the Lombardi Trophy.

As for Miller's sack celebration, if he manages to take down Cam Newton on Sunday, a new move could be in store. The Panthers' quarterback has received no shortage of backlash for his own celebrations throughout the season.

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk passed along comments from Miller about his thoughts on the celebration discussion ahead of his meeting with Newton:

What is my take on celebrations? I love it. I love it. Whoever is dancing the most is probably going to win the game Sunday. I like to dance. I like to show emotion and celebrate with my teammates. Cam is the same way. I love it. I think it is great for the game. You have a younger generation that pays close attention to that and that is what they follow. That is the future of the sport. I think it is great. Whoever is dancing the most will likely win the game on Sunday.

Of course, a Super Bowl victory would make any fines and potential criticism a little bit easier to take.