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Old 11-21-2008, 10:31 PM   #1
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Default Healthy Miller keys victory

Healthy Miller keys victory
By Chris Harlan
Times Sports Staff

PITTSBURGH — Heath Miller doesn’t draw much attention.

The Virginian talks softly and isn’t much for self-promotion. He’ll probably never win a Pro Bowl fan vote. Even his locker is tucked behind a post in a corner of the Heinz Field locker room, far from the talkative linebackers and the team’s star quarterback.

Thursday, though, everyone knew Miller was back.

“It feels like you’re part of the team again, that’s always a nice feeling,” Miller said after catching four passes for 44 yards in the Steelers’ 27-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, and scoring the team’s first touchdown in eight quarters.

Miller’s presence provided an offensive flexibility that had been missing from the past two weeks when the tight end was sidelined with a sprained ankle. Miller’s absence certainly hurt the passing game, but losing one of the league’s best blocking tight ends probably hurt the running game just as much.

“Before the game I told him welcome back,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “I told him we’d get it to him early and often. … It was good to get him back involved. It was good to have him out there.”

It also marked the return of the team’s heavy use of a two tight end formation, pairing Miller with teammate Matt Spaeth. With receiver Santonio Holmes knocked woozy by a blow to the head and Hines Ward held to just one catch, Miller became Roethlisberger’s favorite downfield target.

Miller’s 3-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter tied the game, 7-7, ending an eight-play, 54-yard drive that included a risky fourth-and-one run by Gary Russell just two plays earlier.

The touchdown showed an added complexity around the goal line that wasn’t there against the Colts and Chargers, when the Steelers ran the football with very little success. With the Bengals defense crowding the middle, Miller slipped away to the right uncovered.

“It was just a good play call and a good throw,” Miller said. “I had the easy part, to be honest with you.”

Miller set up Russell for a touchdown in the third quarter with a 19-yard catch that took the football to the Bengals’ 2-yard line. Russell reached the end zone on the next play for his first career touchdown, giving the Steelers a 20-7 lead with 21 seconds left in the quarter.

“We know to win the games that we want to win we have to be a little better in the red zone,” Miller said. “But the good thing is we’re moving the ball and getting down there. We’ll start to finish them off and you’ll see more points on the board.”
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

Miller is a very underrated TE. I knew from watching him his rookie year that he was something special. He's got great hands and is an excellent blocker.

When he is properly utilized, we win.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

Get Heath the Ball!!!

No more lining him up in the backfield and blocking out of Shotgun!!

This guy is a beast and its about time we start feeding him

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Old 11-21-2008, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

It took a big hit to see him drop a ball. When was the last time he dropped one?

Take note Winslow

I really hope they start using him more, it seems like the offense begins to work every time they throw it to him
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. If Heath Miller switched teams with Antonio Gates or Jason Witten, he'd be the best tight end in the league.

You gotta love them soft-talking Virginians! (Virginia boy here)
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

It was good to see Heath getting the ball more I hope it continues down the stretch and into the playoffs.
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

when heath is healthy and playing, we move the ball on offense. he's clutch with receptions and he can do the job blocking too, imo one of the most underrated and overlooked te's in the game. gotta keep him healthy if we wanna move deep into the playoffs.
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

What a player Heath is and, he fits into the steeler mold a tough guy who just plays the game the right way.
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Old 11-22-2008, 08:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory


Just get the daggum ball to him! He may be underrecognized in the league, but Steelers fans know his worth. The man is golden.
"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Healthy Miller keys victory

That was only Millers 2nd TD pass all year?
Holy crap.

On any other team he would be getting 10 passes a game thrown his way.
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