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Old 12-03-2007, 09:04 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Miller draws praise from Big Ben, Arians

Steelers' Miller draws praise from Big Ben, Arians
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, December 3, 2007


Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said recently that Heath Miller is a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, meanwhile, stopped just short of saying Miller is the best tight end in the AFC given what he brings to the Steelers as a blocker as well as a pass receiver. Fan balloting for the Pro Bowl starts soon, and Miller probably won't get as many votes as more celebrated tight ends such as Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Tony Gonzalez. That doesn't mean he is any less deserving to go to the Pro Bowl, Arians said.
"In my mind he is the only true tight end out of (Gates, Winslow Jr. and Gonzalez)," Arian said. "Those other guys are glorified wide receivers."

Miller entered Sunday night's game with 33 receptions for 457 yards and six touchdowns. He is on pace to set career highs in all of those categories, although he'll never put up prolific numbers in the Steelers' offense. He had two catches on the Steelers' first scoring drive against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"The other guys are the hybrid-type guys with all of the numbers in the passing game," Arians said. "Heath is a pure tight end who blocks (at) the line of scrimmage, catches passes and does it all."

? A moment of silence was held for Sean Taylor prior to the game. Taylor was shot in his Miami home early last Monday by an intruder, and the Washington Redskins safety died the following day. The Steelers and Bengals also wore No. 21 patches to commemorate Taylor's uniform number.
? There was one surprise among those that didn't play Sunday night for the Steelers. Najeh Davenport, the team's third-down and short-yardage back, didn't play because of a foot injury. As expected, wide receiver Santonio Holmes (ankle), strong Troy Polamalu (knee) and left tackle Marvel Smith didn't suit up because of injuries.

? Also inactive for the Steelers were center Marvin Philip, center/guard Darnell Stapleton, outside linebacker Arnold Harrison and quarterback Brian St. Pierre.

? Bengals starting right tackle Willie Anderson (knee) didn't play. Cincinnati's other inactives were wide receiver Marcus Maxwell, cornerback David Jones, linebacker Jim Maxwell, center Dan Santucci, tight end Daniel Coats, defensive end Frostee Rucker and quarterback Jeff Rowe.

? A Steelers offense that had managed one touchdown in the previous two games didn't exactly get off to a fast start against the Bengals. The Steelers had just one first down in the first quarter, and Willie Parker had 4 yards on four carries.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Digits
143 - Consecutive games in which Hines Ward has caught at least one pass, a Steelers' record.

2 - Tight ends the Steelers used to start the game, one of which replaced the fullback.


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Coaching comparison (12th game)
Here's a look at how Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and his two predecessors, Bill Cowher (1992) and Chuck Noll (1969), fared in their first season:

MIKE TOMLIN (9-3)
Steelers 24, Bengals 10

BILL COWHER (9-3)
Steelers 21, Bengals 9

CHUCK NOLL (1-11)
Cowboys 10, Steelers 7
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Miller draws praise from Big Ben, Arians

Chuck Noll took over a bad team and built them into what they are today. He had it much harder starting out, and still finished with(arguably) the best team ever!
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Miller draws praise from Big Ben, Arians

Quote:
Originally Posted by geo123 View Post
Chuck Noll took over a bad team and built them into what they are today. He had it much harder starting out, and still finished with(arguably) the best team ever!
no doubt.. noll will always be #1.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Miller draws praise from Big Ben, Arians

Quote:
"In my mind he is the only true tight end out of (Gates, Winslow Jr. and Gonzalez)," Arian said. "Those other guys are glorified wide receivers."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is right on the money. Heath doesn't need all of the ritz and glitz of putting up huge numbers. He does what he is asked to do, in whatever capacity that might be, and he does it well.
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