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Thread: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

      
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    Default Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force
    By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    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.

    [IMGL]http://i54.tinypic.com/j0veps.jpg[/IMGL]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."

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_698346.html
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    Default Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Q&A with Heath Miller
    Beaver County Times
    Wednesday September 8, 2010

    Heath Miller, the Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, set a franchise record last year with 76 catches. That’s the most ever by a Steelers tight end. Miller's performance last season sent him to the Pro Bowl for the first time.

    On Monday, Miller learned that he had been selected a team co-captain after a vote by his teammates. Never before has Miller served as one of the Steelers’ co-captains.

    Times pro football writer Mike Bires spoke to Miller about his role as a co-captain and what he expects from himself this year. Following are excerpts of the interview:

    Q: How’s it feel to be a co-captain for the first time?

    A:”It’s an honor. It’s voted upon by your teammates, so that’s what makes it special. So I take a lot of pride in that. I take it as the highest compliment from my teammates.”

    Q: For a guy who isn’t very vocal, are you surprised that your teammates want you to be a co-captain? Does that honor speak more of your actions on the field than the words you might speak?

    A: “It has to, I guess, because I didn’t talk my way into it. And yeah, I am a little surprised because I really wasn’t expecting it. But I’ll be the same guy I’ve always been. I’ll go about my business and lead by example. We have leaders on this team who are more vocal and if something needs to be said, odds are they will probably do the saying. I’ll pretty much stay the course. But like I said, I’ll be very proud of it.”

    Q: The Steelers regard you as one of the NFL’s most complete tight ends. Ben Roethlisberger even said he believes you could end up with 100 catches this year. What do you expect out of yourself this season?

    A:”Personally, I just want to be the best player I can be and help the team do whatever they ask me to do. The bottom line is getting wins on the field. Everything comes along with it. So I really don’t focus on individual goals.”

    Q: What did you think when you heard that Roethlisberger said you might catch 100 passes?

    A:”The way I look at it, if you get opportunities, you just have to make the most of them. But like I said, I’m not really focusing on individual goals. I just want to do whatever I can to help this team get back to the Super Bowl.”

    Q: Last year, you signed a six-year contract extension that will keep you a Steeler through the 2014 season. What did that mean to you and do you think you’ll play your entire pro career in Pittsburgh?

    A: “I hope so. I can’t think of a better city to play football than Pittsburgh. It's a great organization with a great coach and there are great men in this locker room. For me, it couldn't be a better situation."

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sp...th-miller.html
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    Default Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    I wanted to get his jersey last year, but just wasn't in the cards. This year though to go with my Hines and Troy jerseys, not to mention the best of all, Roberto Clemente. That's 4 players I admire a lot.

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    Default Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    I wanted to get his jersey last year, but just wasn't in the cards.
    Same here... I "almost" got one thru my sources back in Pa at a reduced price (fell thru, though), but just can't see spending too much on jerseys since I already have more than enough to wear a different one each day of the week...
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    Default Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    I bought the #83 last year when I was in Pittsburgh for the Sunday Night Game. I have 3 jersey's: Bettis, Kirkland and Miller
    "ARRRGGHHH THERE WILL BE MUTTON TONIGHT!" Said the Troll

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    Default Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    Quote Originally Posted by bdeff View Post
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    I bought the #83 last year when I was in Pittsburgh for the Sunday Night Game. I have 3 jersey's: Bettis, Kirkland and Miller
    I KNEW you had good taste!

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    Default Re: Miller emerges as Steelers' quiet force

    One of my favorite players on the team right now. I think a lot of people don't realize that he had 76 catches last season, pretty **** good!

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