There isn't any love lost between fans of the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos – division rivalries and all – but for the guys actually playing in the games, mutual respect is more the name of the game.
And that mutual respect manifested itself in a big way Wednesday in comments made by both Derek Carr and Von Miller.
"Von, I say it every time, he's a walking Hall of Famer," said Carr during his weekly press conference. "I really hope that the fans in Denver, I really hope just NFL fans in general enjoy watching him play. We see guys now retire quick, like [Andrew] Luck. You see, forever I grew up watching Peyton Manning, and he doesn't play anymore. Those times fly by. I really hope everyone enjoys watching it because he's a walking Hall of Fame player. The guy has the franchise record in sacks. The guy continues to look like he gets faster every year. The guy literally takes the ball out of people's hands, me included. He does freaky stuff on the field and you have to respect it."
Carr and Miller have squared off regularly since 2014, and over the course of those games, each man has gotten the best of the other a time or two.
And now, with the Raiders boasting a new and improved offensive line, Miller sees good times ahead for No. 4.
"Like I said before, Derek Carr, he's a great quarterback when you can protect (him)," Miller explained. "He's super smart, he's going to find the open guy quick. It's not going to take him a little bit to get to that read, he's going to do that quick. He's going to put the offense in great positions to run the ball, pass the ball. He's the leader, he's a great quarterback over there. I think with the new offensive lineman, you know three years ago when they had all that success they had, they had huge offensive lineman. They were in these big packages and would run the ball or pass the ball out of there and just do damage and that's when Derek had one of his best years before he broke his leg late in the seasons. They probably would have went deeper in the playoffs if he wouldn't have broken his leg as well. He's a great quarterback, and if you put a great team around him, he's going to be great as well. That's exactly what the Raiders did, they have great players all around him."
As far as the Broncos defense is concerned, Carr doesn't have to just worry about Miller making life miserable for him, as Bradley Chubb now enters Year Two after a rookie season that saw him tally 12 sacks as a rookie.
"He's a power rush kind of guy," Carr said of Chubb. "He wants to get his hands on people and like I said they complement each other really well. It reminds me of when they had Von and DeMarcus [Ware], they complemented each other so well at their rush patterns and things like that. I see a lot of similarities there with these guys."
Most NFL games are decided in the trenches, and the battle between the Raiders offensive line and the Broncos defensive front will be one to watch throughout the Monday night affair.
And while things will likely get nasty from whistle to whistle, once the game ends, the mutual respect between Carr and Miller will remain.
Let's take a look at the Raiders' current 53-man roster heading into the regular season.