Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Miller Regains Most, If Not All, of His Top Form

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Miller Regains Most, If Not All, of His Top Form

Article excerpt

Age and injuries have robbed veteran tight end Heath Miller of the athleticism that made him a first-round draft pick in 2005. He can't elude tacklers as well as he once did and won't win many races against the new wave of pass-catching tight ends.

But Miller still can get open and catch. That was evident Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he set a personal single- game record with 10 receptions for 85 yards in the 27-24 loss.

One year after a major anterior cruciate ligament injury contributed to one of his worst statistical seasons, Miller has been productive and reliable through four games. He has 21 receptions, which ranks is fifth among tight ends and is tied for 21st overall in the NFL in the same category.

Miller, who will turn 32 later this month, moved into fourth on the franchise list for most receiving yards, passing Hall of Fame receiver Lynn Swann. He has 5,470 yards.

"Maybe one day, it'll be more significant than it is right now, but you don't really have time during the season to think about those types of things," Miller said. "My focus each week is to do what I'm asked to do to help the team win, and that's the main goal."

Miller has caught at least one pass in 92 consecutive games. The last time Miller did not catch a pass in a game was Nov. 3, 2008, against the Washington Redskins.

"He is a guy who is going to give you everything he has," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "He scored two touchdowns in the span of [four] plays, and he got his head knocked off on both of them, and he made a play. He's just tough. He's mentally tough. He's physically tough. He gives you everything he has every single day, and that's in meetings, that's in practice, and that's in the game. That's what makes him so special, and that's why it's an honor to play with a guy like that."

Miller's career high for receptions was 76 in 2009. …

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