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fordfixer
09-08-2010, 12:07 AM
Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 98346.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_698346.html)

Las Vegas offers, among many things, the chance to make just about any sports-related bet, no matter how outrageous it seems.

One thing Vegas bookmakers will never set odds for, simply because they may not exist: Heath Miller breaking into a celebration jig after scoring a touchdown.

"You have a better chance of the sun dying out before seeing Heath do an end zone dance," Steelers left tackle Max Starks said.

Miller has quietly established himself as a premier tight end. And more than a few people in the Steelers' locker room will tell you that there is not a more complete tight end on the planet than Earl Heath Miller.

The last guy who would say that, of course, is Miller himself.

"These guys may be a little biased," Miller recently said of his teammates, "but I don't really play to be labeled as the best tight end in the league. I have areas that I can improve on, and I'm trying to be the best end I can be."

That approach has made Miller one of the most respected Steelers among his teammates. They honored him for it Monday when they elected him as an offensive co-captain, along with wide receiver Hines Ward.

Given his understated nature, Miller's teammates seemed more excited about his captaincy than he did.

That is not to say Miller does not appreciate or cherish one of the ultimate compliments a player can receive from his colleagues. But he is not any more prone to emotion, on or off the field, than he is to flubbed catches or mental mistakes.

Miller is, in fact, so even-keeled that it would be hard to tell if he had just split the atom and brokered Middle East peace.

Or if he had just lost his starting job and been told he had to sing the national anthem while standing on his head at a Steelers' home game.

"On and off the field, he's just the same guy 24/7," Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith said. "He's like a robot almost."

"You have to check his pulse at times to make sure he is still breathing because you think he's a machine," Starks said.

One person who can probably verify this is Miller's wife, Katie.

"She gives my trouble when she sees me fist-pump or something like that," Miller said. "She says, 'Oh, I see you got a little excited out there' because she knows I never really show that much emotion."

Miller shows plenty of other stuff when he is on the field.

The 6-foot-5, 256-pounder has the speed and athleticism to make him a primary target in the passing game. The workmanlike Miller also has the size and strength to block arguably as well as anyone at his position.

"He doesn't drop any balls, he can run like a deer, and he blocks better than any of those other receiving tight ends," Smith said.

Miller has increased his receptions total every year except for one since the Steelers took him late in the first round of the 2005 draft. And the six-year veteran could play an even more prominent role in the passing game this season.

The offseason trade of Santonio Holmes leaves the Steelers with some question marks at wide receiver.

There are none regarding Miller, who gives the Steelers a top receiving threat to work the middle of the field.

As accomplished at football as he is, some of his teammates said Miller could be downright deadly in a different game.

"If you were to play poker with Heath, you would lose every time," Starks said. "You wouldn't know if he is bluffing. He has the best poker face I have ever seen on a human being."

"He definitely should think about (playing poker) after his career," inside linebacker James Farrior said.

Not that he should be thinking about post-football plans anytime soon. Miller doesn't turn 28 until late October, and he only seems to be getting better with age.

"You wish you had 50 guys like him," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "You'd have no problems as a coach."

Eddie Spaghetti
09-08-2010, 12:13 AM
burnett catches alot of heat from the dropped INT vs. the raiders, but Millers bobble off a perfect pass cost us the KC game. win either one and you're in the playoff.

i'm probably alone in thinking heath had a bad year last year. great numbers, but came up small in some big spots IMO.

stlrz d
09-08-2010, 07:50 AM
burnett catches alot of heat from the dropped INT vs. the raiders, but Millers bobble off a perfect pass cost us the KC game. win either one and you're in the playoff.

i'm probably alone in thinking heath had a bad year last year. great numbers, but came up small in some big spots IMO.

Correct.

ramblinjim
09-08-2010, 08:38 AM
Can't agree with Eddie on this one either, I think Heath may well be our number 2 receiver this year if Wallace doesn't step up. I cannot recall the Steelers having a better tight end that Miller.

ramblinjim
09-08-2010, 08:38 AM
Eric Green was good but could he block like Heath?

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
09-08-2010, 10:19 AM
Eric Green was good but could he block like Heath?
Green was a solid blocker. I would give the edge to Miller but Miller isn't the impact player that Green was in the passing game. However, I wouldn't trade either. They are both dynamic in their own game.

papillon
09-08-2010, 11:14 AM
IMO, Heath is already the number two receiver regardless of his numbers. He's a quarterback's best friend, rarely drops passes, is a big target and is good blocker. I don't want to see what the offense looks like without Heath Miller.

Dennis Dixon needs to introduce himself to Heath; he will be the player that Dixon should use when he's in a tight spot.

Pappy

feltdizz
09-08-2010, 11:50 AM
Heath is not a great blocker. He is decent but he is a much better receiver than blocker.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
09-08-2010, 11:57 AM
IMO, Heath is already the number two receiver regardless of his numbers. He's a quarterback's best friend, rarely drops passes, is a big target and is good blocker. I don't want to see what the offense looks like without Heath Miller.

Dennis Dixon needs to introduce himself to Heath; he will be the player that Dixon should use when he's in a tight spot.

Pappy
Exactly right Pap. A good TE is every young QBs best friend.

SteelCrazy
09-08-2010, 11:57 AM
Heath is not a great blocker. He is decent but he is a much better receiver than blocker.

As TE's go, he's one of the best in the league..........@ blocking

papillon
09-08-2010, 12:04 PM
Heath is not a great blocker. He is decent but he is a much better receiver than blocker.

He's above average in the league right now, IMO and the Steelers don't want him to be a third tackle on the field. He's a Pro Bowler that doesn't get recognized because he doesn't catch 90 - 100 passes.

Dixon should lean heavily on him against the Falcons.

Let me add this about Miller, he is whatever the quarterback needs him to be. What I mean is that he can be a weapon or a security blanket. For Ben, he's a weapon first and then a security blanket, for Dixon he should be a security blanket first and a weapon second.

Pappy

feltdizz
09-08-2010, 12:05 PM
Heath is not a great blocker. He is decent but he is a much better receiver than blocker.

As TE's go, he's one of the best in the league..........@ blocking

don't believe it... maybe he is the best blocking TE with over 50+ receptions but there is no way he is the best blocking TE in the league. It's a myth... watch him on 3rd and short.. he gets beat inside too much IMO.

SteelCrazy
09-08-2010, 12:57 PM
Heath is not a great blocker. He is decent but he is a much better receiver than blocker.

As TE's go, he's one of the best in the league..........@ blocking

don't believe it... maybe he is the best blocking TE with over 50+ receptions but there is no way he is the best blocking TE in the league. It's a myth... watch him on 3rd and short.. he gets beat inside too much IMO.

Watch any TE, they blow blocking assignments and blocks every game....Heath is above average in both receiving and blocking, making him one of the best all around TE's in the game today. He isnt perfect by any stretch, but he is a rare breed.

grotonsteel
09-08-2010, 01:47 PM
burnett catches alot of heat from the dropped INT vs. the raiders, but Millers bobble off a perfect pass cost us the KC game. win either one and you're in the playoff.

i'm probably alone in thinking heath had a bad year last year. great numbers, but came up small in some big spots IMO.

Last season Big Ben did throw a lot to Heath Miller and he may have dropped/bobbled a few passes but if you look at the percentage, the drops were very negligible. I mean Heath is going to drop a few passes if he is catching 70 passes a season. Same goes for Hines Ward and Holmes.

RuthlessBurgher
09-09-2010, 12:27 PM
Eric Green played 5 seasons in Pittsburgh. He had 198 catches for 2681 yards and 24 TD's.

Heath Miller has played 5 seasons in Pittsburgh. He has 244 catches for 2721 yards and 27 TD's.

feltdizz
09-09-2010, 01:06 PM
Eric Green played 5 seasons in Pittsburgh. He had 198 catches for 2681 yards and 24 TD's.

Heath Miller has played 5 seasons in Pittsburgh. He has 244 catches for 2721 yards and 27 TD's.

who was the QB for Green? :stirpot

he was on run first and run often football teams.

if he had Ben Green may have had twice those numbers

RuthlessBurgher
09-09-2010, 01:22 PM
Green had flat-out amazing physical skill. He could have been a bigger, more physically imposing version of Antonio Gates if he wanted to be. But he was a lazy @$$. When I think of Green now, I don't think of what he did out on the field...I think about what he could have done out on the field if he were truly motivated...what might have been.

Ghost
09-09-2010, 02:20 PM
Every WR in the Hall of Fame has dropped a catchable ball. With the season on the line, Miller is as clutch as they come (he's the opposite of Nate Washington....)!

I'd love nothing more than to see Dixon find him on a regular basis. Only good things happen.

Slapstick
09-09-2010, 02:32 PM
who was the QB for Green? :stirpot

he was on run first and run often football teams.

if he had Ben Green may have had twice those numbers

Green was on run first and run often teams because they had to be...

Miller played on a team last year with Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace...

Green played on a team with Jeff Graham, Ernie Mills and Dwight Stone...