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Old 10-28-2005, 01:46 PM   #1
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Default Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread



Where I will post all my Heath Miller Props.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-10-26-rookie-miller_x.htm

Try Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.

How about dash?

Perhaps look to Dallas Cowboys linebacker Demarcus Ware.

But when mulling possible choices for unofficial NFL rookie of the midpoint honors, look beyond fairly obvious contenders and way, way down on the first-round draft list.

As in No. 30. That's where the Pittsburgh Steelers selected tight end Heath Miller.

The former University of Virginia standout is emerging as one of the Steelers' more reliable offensive players, something that's been a welcome sight to second-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who knows a thing or two about unexpectedly making a rapid rookie ascension.

"I told him if he keeps it up, he's going to break the touchdown record for Steelers tight ends," Roethlisberger said. "He is a threat in the middle and down the field."

Miller already has four touchdown receptions. That's more than halfway to the team-record seven scoring catches by rookie Eric Green in 1990.

A nagging groin injury made some teams leery of taking Miller higher, but he insisted at last winter's league scouting combine he would be fine, and the Steelers checked him out and happily grabbed him when he remained available.

Even lower down the list, there's wide receiver Brandon Jones of the Tennessee Titans, taken with the 96th selection. He leads all rookies with 21 catches for 274 yards.

The draft's No. 1 pick, meanwhile, has established himself as the unquestioned starting quarterback but not much else. Alex Smith has struggled mightily for the woeful San Francisco 49ers since replacing Tim Rattay.

"I'm still frustrated with it because I'm so accustomed to playing well," Smith told reporters this week.

"It's getting there. I just have to get patient with the growing process."
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Old 10-28-2005, 01:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

"Rookie tight end Heath Miller has a touchdown catch in three consecutive games and, with four touchdowns, is tied with Mike Sellers of Washington and Randy McMichael of Miami for the NFL lead among tight ends. With 16 catches in seven games, Miller has as many receptions as a Pittsburgh tight end normally makes in two seasons."
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

http://www.nflplayers.com/news/rookie.aspx

Now We are getting noticed!
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Last edited by Steel - X; 10-31-2005 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel - X
http://www.nflplayers.com/news/rookie.aspx

Now We are getting noticed!
The link is dead... They need to put him on the Pro Bowl ballot.
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by BB2W
The link is dead... They need to put him on the Pro Bowl ballot.
Why would it work in your thread but not mine?
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Old 10-31-2005, 02:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

Todd Heap who ??????????????????
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

PITTSBURGH - Brett Keisel wears a yellow jersey in practice to indicate he's a defensive player, but there he was playing on a line of white-clad offensive players.


Keisel likes to stand out, but he looked like a penalty flag playing tight end at practice this week. The back-up defensive end took some reps at the position in case of an in-game emergency.

"Hey, that's why I went to BYU, to play tight end," Keisel crowed after practice. "Finally someone here recognizes my potential for greatness.

"Of course," Keisel added with a wide grin, "I'm not in a league with the great one here."

Next to Keisel's locker was rookie tight end Heath Miller. The first-round pick has started five games, but the last start marked his first in a single-tight end set.

Miller officially became the Steelers' starting tight end last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals and he had two-thirds of Ben Roethlisberger's nine completions for 58 yards and a touchdown.

It was Miller's fourth touchdown in six games, putting him on pace to break the team record of nine touchdown catches by a Steelers tight end set way back in 1952 by Elbie Nickel, who was voted the franchise's all-time best player at the position in 1983.

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In a mid-week press conference with Baltimore reporters, Steelers coach Bill Cowher brought up the other great Steelers tight end when he called Miller "an element we haven't had since Eric Green."

Green lasted only five years with the team, but he caught 198 passes for 2,681 yards and 24 touchdowns. Nickel spent 11 years with the Steelers and caught 329 passes for 5,131 yards and 37 touchdowns.

So far, Miller has caught 16 passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns, which projects to 43-486-11 for the season. So it's reasonable to expect Miller to chase the aforementioned numbers through the coming years and perhaps become known as the Steelers' greatest tight end.

Don't laugh; it could happen. Heath, what are your thoughts on the matter?

"My thoughts?" Miller asked. "Well, you heard that laughter I just gave."

Of course, this topic embarrasses the humble rookie.

"You know, I've played, what, six games here," he said. "I'm far from being called that, or even mentioned like that. I'm just trying to do the best I can to take care of my responsibilities and help us win.

"I know I've got a lot to learn. I know I can get better in a lot of ways, so I just have to keep that in mind and keep working every day."

Miller feels he needs to become more familiar with defenses because "the quicker you can recognize that and anticipate it, the better you can become as a route runner. Also, I think I can become a better blocker, too."

Miller had a lousy day blocking the Jacksonville Jaguars, but improved markedly Sunday against the Bengals. Still, his most impressive attribute is his pass catching. After all, he caught 144 passes at the University of Virginia.

"He's got great hands," said Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu. "I think that's the thing most people notice."

"He's a tall guy who can bend his knees and get down in the run game," said offensive coordinator Ken Whinsenhunt. "But the most impressive thing about him as a receiver is he catches everything away from his body and he's got strong hands. That's what's impressive about him."

So Miller has big, strong hands and uses them perfectly. But what's the key to getting open in the middle of the field?

"You try to use your body," said the 6-foot-5, 256-pound Miller. "I realize that I'm a big guy and a lot of times I'm bigger than the defensive backs. So whenever the ball's up there you try to use your body to your advantage."

Did he play basketball?

"A little bit. I could rebound. I couldn't shoot though."

Miller was better known at Honaker (Va.) High for the way he put those big, soft hands to use as the two-time all-state quarterback. So he's yet another in a long line of Steelers who used to play quarterback, but unlike Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El, Deshea Townsend, Cedrick Wilson and the others, Miller wouldn't go back to the position even if he could.

"I like to mix it up a little bit," Miller said. "You don't get to hit anybody when you play quarterback; you're always getting hit."

Old school all the way. Elbie Nickel, beware.
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Old 11-01-2005, 10:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

Heath has the most TD catches in a rookie's first eight games since 1954!!!
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Old 11-01-2005, 11:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

This guy is really becoming something special for this team. Keep up the great work Heath!
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steel-x's HEATH MILLER Thread

http://www.timesonline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15489733&BRD=2305&PAG=461&dept_id=478568&rfi=6


PITTSBURGH - When the Pittsburgh Steelers used the 30th selection in this past April's NFL Draft to select Heath Miller, it elicited a lot of chuckles.

It wasn't that the draftniks thought Miller, the big tight end from the Univeristy of Virginia, was a bad player. He was considered a consensus first-round talent after a career a fine career in Charlottesville.

Miller was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection for the Cavaliers and finished his career as the school's second all-time leading receiver with 144 receptions for 1,703 yards and 20 touchdowns.

However, it just seemed the Steelers would have been better served drafting a quarterback who ran the wishbone in college than a tight end. In recent seasons, the Steelers threw to the tight end about as often as an NFL offense ran an option play.

Steelers tight ends caught a grand total of 17 passes in 16 regular-season games last season, then two passes in two playoff games. You don't need a mathematics degree from a prestigious university like Virginia to figure out the tight ends were lucky to get more than one pass thrown their way in a game.

Of course, the Steelers' reluctance to throw to the tight ends isn't a recent phenomenon. Until Monday night, it had been eight years since a tight end had caught as many as six touchdown passes in a season.

The most perplexing part of the Steelers' reluctance to throw to their tight ends is that their current offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, was a tight end in his playing days. So was Whisenhunt's predecessor, Mike Mularkey, who moved on to Buffalo to become the Bills' head coach last season.

However, a funny thing has happened this year. The Steelers aren't just throwing to their tight end this season, but they have made Miller a primary receiver.

Miller was on the receiving end of both of Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown passes Monday night as the Steelers escaped with a 20-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.

Miller a caught a 4-yard pass to cap a 15-play, 77-yard scoring drive that took the first eight minutes and 57 seconds of the game. He then hauled in an 8-yard scoring pass with 5:55 left in the third quarter that snapped a 10-10 tie as the Steelers went on to improve to 5-2 and remain a half-game behind the upstart Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North race.

Fittingly on Halloween, the Steelers also put another nail in the coffin of the Baltimore Ravens, who were the trendy pick to unseat Pittsburgh as the division champion in the preseason.

The Ravens fought valiantly despite missing the last two NFL Defensive Players of the Year; inside linebacker Ray Lewis had a strained a hamstring, and strong safety Ed Reed had a sprained ankle. While the Ravens' patchwork defense limited Miller to three catches for just 18 yards, they couldn't stop him when it absolutely counted.

The Steelers' change in philosophy concerning their tight ends and Miller's emergence is a big reason why Pittsburgh has to be considered the favorite to repeat as AFC North champs along with a favorable schedule that includes a number of cupake opponents down the stretch.

Defenses have to change their game plans because of Miller.

Where opponents could once cheat by bringing the strong safety up to the line of scrimmage and put eight men in the box to stop the Steelers' running game, they must now respect Miller's pass-catching ability. With the strong safety forced to now play off the line, it opens more running room for Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis. Heck, even Duce Staley could gain some yards if he ever got the chance to dress for a game anymore.

And Miller is forcing defenses to respect him more with each passing week.

He has caught touchdown passes in four consecutive games. That ties the team record for tight ends set by Eric Green in 1991.

Miller's six touchdown receptions this season are the most by a Steelers tight end since Mark Bruener had six in 1997.

The scary part is that Miller should only get better. He came out for the draft a year early and just celebrated his 22nd birthday 10 days ago.

He is still learning the Steelers' offense. He is still getting used to playing against NFL competition.

It is scary to think how good Miller can be once he truly gets his feet on the ground. We're talking a perennial Pro Bowl-type player.

Who would have thought that on draft day?
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