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polamalufan43
04-13-2007, 06:53 AM
http://news.steelers.com/article/75202/

It might only be spring, but the release of the NFL schedule quickly puts football season in focus for Steelers fans. They aren't alone. It does the same for the players who are currently taking part in voluntary workouts.



"It kind of gets you excited," said tight end Heath Miller. "It's a long time until the season starts. This gives you a light at the end of the tunnel, something that you are working toward and know that you are preparing for."



Fellow linebacker Jerame Tuman said the players have known for a while who the team would be playing, but seeing the schedule gives a different perspective.



"It gives you a focus, gives you something to look forward to knowing when you are going to play a team, what time of year and where it is being played," said Tuman. "It starts to narrow down the focus."



And focus is one thing that will be on the black and gold next season, with five prime time games. It's something most players love, playing on prime time in front of all of their friends, family and their peers.



"It's fun to play when you know everyone is watching," said Tuman. "Growing up those were always the big prime time games, the night games. That is always exciting.



"Also it means there is a draw out there when you have that many night games; that many on national television. That means there is a request out there that people want to see you. Obviously the Steelers are a popular team and it's exciting to know that everyone wants to watch us."



The Steelers will play three prime time games at Heinz Field, with Monday Night match-ups against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 5 and the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 26. They will also host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 8:15 on NBC.



On the road they have a Sunday Night game against the Denver Broncos on Oct. 21 and a Thursday Night game on Dec. 20 against the St. Louis Rams.



"It's always fun to see we have nationally televised games," said Miller. "It gets you excited. You grew up as a kid watching Monday Night Football and to see it on your schedule is always great and it's a game you look forward to."



Some of the players were surprised when they saw the schedule and learned how many prime time games they would have after missing the playoffs last year. But they understand why they are featured on in those slots.



"It's a tribute to the Steelers," said Tuman. "They know we are going to come out and be ready to go. If we do have a down year, usually the next year we bounce back and we are right back in it. That's probably it.



"Plus a lot of the games are big match-up games and no matter what the records are with some of these teams it's always a good game. It will be interesting."


~Polamalufan43:tt02:

GBMelBlount
04-13-2007, 08:36 PM
Good post. I wonder how much it would change the dynamics of the offense if we could use Heath Miller, a first round pick, more as a tight end & less as a blocker.

The Duke
04-13-2007, 10:21 PM
Pass more to Miller, I'm sure he can do both blocking and receiving.

Livinginthe past
04-14-2007, 08:07 AM
Good post. I wonder how much it would change the dynamics of the offense if we could use Heath Miller, a first round pick, more as a tight end & less as a blocker.

It all comes down to the performance of the O-line doesn't it?

If they show themselves to be capable of repelling a decent pass rush, then im sure Miller will be freed up into a pass receiving slot - it seems like he has the tangibles to get that done.

The point about him being a 1st round pick is a good one though, he should be more than just an able blocker with that sort of value.

polamalufan43
04-14-2007, 11:55 AM
I honestly think we can use Miller in more ways than we have. I'lll agree to do this, we need our O-line to step it up.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

DACEB
04-14-2007, 01:31 PM
It all comes down to the performance of the O-line doesn't it?

If they show themselves to be capable of repelling a decent pass rush, then im sure Miller will be freed up into a pass receiving slot - it seems like he has the tangibles to get that done.

The point about him being a 1st round pick is a good one though, he should be more than just an able blocker with that sort of value.

He is absolutely more than just a blocker. He has all the skills of a top TE. He's shown himself to be a very able blocker, and that is a plus because he is an EXCELLENT receiver. Miller has all the tools, size, strength, good speed and great hands. He just needs the opportunity to showcase those skills, throw him the ball!!

He was a great value at the #32 pick. Remember he fell to us because of a sports hernia that scouts were afraid of. I wouldn't trade him for any TE in the league.

tony hipchest
04-14-2007, 02:04 PM
good article. heres my simplistic view on miller.

coming out of college the only question on him (other than his injuries) was how he would adapt to the steelers blocking schemes. he perfomed flawlessly. while i havent seen every game he has played in i can only remember about 2 sacks that were his fault and about 2 catchable balls dropped.

whiz and mularkey were blocking te's and te coaches so its natural they would use the te as an extra lineman.

arians is a former qb and wr coach so i say its natrual he will be more inclined to use miller as a receiving te.

through the 1st half of millers rookie year, he was on pace to break a. gates te td record for a single season. food for thought.

fansince'76
04-14-2007, 02:16 PM
In my humble opinion, the only thing wrong with Miller thus far is his gross underutilization as a receiver, which certainly isn't his fault. Hopefully this situation will change with the new regime, because it seems like every time this kid gets the ball in his hands, something good happens for us.