View Full Version : Miller looks back on draft day

04-19-2006, 08:04 AM
Miller looks back at his draft day
Wednesday, April 19, 2006

By Teresa Varley

A year ago uncertainty surrounded Heath Miller as he waited for the NFL Draft.

He didn't know what team would select him. He didn't know what city he would be living and working in.

He didn't know where he would be drafted, would it be the 20th spot, sooner, later, would he even be taken in the first round.

"It was a lot of anticipation because you knew in a matter of weeks that you would be somewhere in the country, but you don't know where and with what team," said Miller. "There are a lot of unresolved circumstances leading up to the draft."

There was the potential that he would be taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Or possibility the Carolina Panthers would select him. The Chicago Bears were also a contender. He had visited all three of those teams, and they were all in the mix.

"I had no clue to be honest with you," said Miller as to whether or not he had an idea of where he would end up. "I tried to keep an open mind and tried not to get my heart set on one team to be picked by. I tried to just let things happen. You can't control it."

So Miller spent draft day surrounded by friends and family at a cookout. He wandered in and out of the house, watching coverage of the draft. But the day just seemed to drag for him.

"I didn't realize the first round took that long," said Miller. "It took all day to get to pick number 30."

But it was worth the wait. With the 30th overall selection, the Steelers selected the tight end from Virginia. He knew the team was interested, as he also made a pre-draft visit to Pittsburgh, but he couldn't have asked for a more perfect situation.

"It was a whole bunch of emotions going through you," said Miller of when he was selected. "It was a relief to know a whole bunch of your questions had been answered. It was also excitement to be picked by Pittsburgh. If you are going to have a chance to be in the NFL to play for an organization like this is a dream come true."

The dream was only getting started. Miller became a quick hit in Pittsburgh, starting 15 regular season games and the team's four post-season games. His 39 receptions, which were second on the team, were the most by a Steelers tight end since Eric Green caught 46 in 1994.

He had six touchdown receptions and earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his two-touchdown game against the Baltimore Ravens week eight of the season. He also was voted the recipient of the "Joe Greene Great Performance Award", for the team's rookie of the year.

And, as a rookie, he became a Super Bowl champion.

"I think I got pretty lucky with coming to this city and this team," said Miller. "I could have been drafted by 31 other teams that didn't win the Super Bowl. For me to come to an organization and win the Super Bowl in the first year is a bit of good fortune."

Miller is working out at the team's practice facility on a regular basis. And as he does, he sees potential draft picks coming and going, touring the facility and meeting with the coaches the way that he did a year ago.

"I definitely can relate," said Miller. "Just walking into the different teams and seeing the guys working out and knowing absolutely no one, but also knowing that they could be your teammates in a few weeks. It's an interesting feeling."

Miller hasn't had the chance to talk to any of the prospects, but he does offer some good advice to those who are draft eligible this year.

"I would just tell them to control what you can and don't worry about what you can't control," said Miller. "You are just wasting time worrying about things you can't control."

Miller shared some of those same thoughts this off-season when he spoke to the media as part of an NFL Scouting Combine Forum hosted by Reebok. The forum was designed to have two NFL rookies from the previous year give the media an idea of what the scouting combine is like.

"The combine is such a big deal nowadays," said Miller. "It's a huge job interview for guys trying to be in the NFL. You are going to be dissected and examined in every way possible."

With the draft just a week and a half away, will Miller be tuning in again this year?

"I think I will," said Miller. "It's exciting to be on this side of things. You get to see who your new teammates are going to be. I think it's going to be a whole lot more fun this year than last year."

04-19-2006, 10:23 AM
awesome article. him talking about seeing all the prospects come through and thinking about how that was him just a year ago made think about how I see high school seniors walking through campus with their parents...yep, that was me a year ago. pretty crazy.

I really hope Heath is at the Fan Blitz :hope:

04-19-2006, 10:33 AM
What a great year it was too.

04-19-2006, 10:43 AM
And thank god for a injury. Which enabled Heath to fall to us, as he was clearly more talented than a round one 30th selection. He brings us Eric Greens athletisism mixed with a Steeler blue collar work ethic. And he proved in the playoffs how important it is to have a TE of his caliber. This year Lendale White falls to us and has the same kind of impact! A man can dream can't he ? ?

04-19-2006, 02:52 PM
agreed i hope Lendale falls to 32, two years getting the best player at their positition who fell because of minor injuries.

that is right i'm calling Lendale White the best rb in the draft, I cant wait for Bush to get broken by a big dt.

04-19-2006, 03:56 PM
Heath was a GREAT pick-up last year! Hopefully our first-rounder this year will be just as good!

04-19-2006, 04:57 PM
Heath has a HUGE advantage over Eric Green in that he could probably actually run the whole length of the football field without falling over from exhaustion (If any of you fellow old timers remember that embarrassing as Hell moment against the Cardinals).

04-19-2006, 05:03 PM
Nice read. He can only get better also!

04-19-2006, 08:55 PM
He should easily become the best All-Time Steeler TE. He seems all business.