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Thread: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

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    Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force
    By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Wednesday, September 8, 2010
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 98346.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."

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  2. #2

    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    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.

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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Spaghetti
    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.

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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    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.
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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Eric Green was good but could he block like Heath?
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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Quote Originally Posted by ramblinjim
    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.



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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    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.

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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Heath is not a great blocker. He is decent but he is a much better receiver than blocker.

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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Quote Originally Posted by papillon
    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.



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    Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    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

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