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Thread: Finding Miller's understudy

      
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    Default Finding Miller's understudy

    The tight fit: Finding Miller's understudy
    By Andrew Chiappazzi
    Times Sports Correspondent
    Wed Aug 10, 2011

    LATROBE — Only a few people know for sure, but it’s likely Matt Spaeth’s future with the Steelers was sealed on Dec. 19, 2010. Filling in for an injured Heath Miller, Spaeth couldn’t come up with two potential game-winning touchdown catches in the final minutes of a 22-17 loss to the New York Jets. Spaeth caught one more pass the rest of the season and then was shown the door, creating one of the few true position battles in Steelers camp this August.

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ID:	3009As the Steelers’ offensive personnel matures and fluctuates, the role of the tight end has changed as well. Miller’s now considered one of the best overall tight ends in the league, and the Steelers began moving him around more last year to take advantage of mismatch opportunities.

    With no fullback on the roster anymore, third tight end David Johnson has filled the role the past few years. But with Miller now occasionally lining up in the backfield, something that will continue more in 2011, Johnson’s been given more responsibilities in camp. Recently signed veteran free agent John Gilmore, another candidate to be the main backup to Miller, said the requirement for versatility to be a Steelers tight end is a bit eye opening.

    “You can’t really get locked in one position. You have to know the whole concept,” Gilmore said. “They are definitely an intricate part of the offense and the way they run them is pretty cool to see.”

    Gilmore and Johnson are the main candidates to back up Miller, although undrafted free agent Weslye Saunders is also a possibility. The Steelers may not be done looking, either. Former Bengals tight end Reggie Kelly visited camp on Tuesday and could be brought in to compete for a spot. Gilmore said he understands the draw Pittsburgh has, both as an organization and for their use of the position.

    “It definitely wasn’t the normal process. But the Steelers have a reputation as being winners,” he said. “So being rushed is one thing, but when you’ve got someone knocking on the door like them, it’s really a no-brainer.”

    Gilmore and Kelly profile as similar tight ends. Both are experienced vets with reputations for being excellent run-blockers. But with Miller moving around more, the second and third tight ends for the Steelers may need to be more adept at hauling in passes as well. Gilmore has just 52 receptions in 131 career games. Kelly has 147 receptions in 168 games.

    The wild card in all of this is Johnson. The third year pro has just six career receptions, but he’s been in Spaeth’s spot most of camp. How comfortable the Steelers feel using him as more of a pure tight end and less of an H-Back type player will depend on Johnson’s performance and increased grasp of the system.

    “I actually came into camp remembering a lot more than I was thinking I would,” Johnson said. “I thought I would be a little rusty, but just going through it the last two years, it was pretty easy coming back in.”

    The Steelers will carry three tight ends, but the battle to determine exactly how those tight ends fit may be one that carries on throughout the season.

    “I’m pretty comfortable with everything now,” Johnson said. “I just have to go out and play. I know our offense pretty well so whatever they want me to do, I’ll do it.”

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/lo...59cfd40a1.html
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    Default Re: Finding Miller's understudy

    Miller’s now considered one of the best overall tight ends in the league.
    Heath's understudy is sure going to have some big shoes to fill. Heeeeeeeeaaaaaaath! I love that man!

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    Why don't they take this 6'7" Greenwood kid and make him eat cheeseburgers?

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    Default Re: Finding Miller's understudy

    Or better yet, a few Roethlisburgers. He is a skinny dude, ain't he?

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    Default Re: Finding Miller's understudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Steel View Post
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    Or better yet, a few Roethlisburgers. He is a skinny dude, ain't he?
    Mmmmmm.... "Roethlisburgers... Is there nothing they can't do? (i.e. Homer Simpson tribute)".....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Steel View Post
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    Or better yet, a few Roethlisburgers. He is a skinny dude, ain't he?
    A few quadrupole bypass headwitches from Fat Heads if we are going there.

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