Steelers' Miller Draws Praise from Big Ben, Arians

By Brown, Scott | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 3, 2007 | Go to article overview

Steelers' Miller Draws Praise from Big Ben, Arians


Brown, Scott, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said recently that Heath Miller is a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, meanwhile, stopped just short of saying Miller is the best tight end in the AFC given what he brings to the Steelers as a blocker as well as a pass receiver. Fan balloting for the Pro Bowl starts soon, and Miller probably won't get as many votes as more celebrated tight ends such as Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Tony Gonzalez. That doesn't mean he is any less deserving to go to the Pro Bowl, Arians said.

"In my mind he is the only true tight end out of (Gates, Winslow Jr. and Gonzalez)," Arian said. "Those other guys are glorified wide receivers."

Miller entered Sunday night's game with 33 receptions for 457 yards and six touchdowns. He is on pace to set career highs in all of those categories, although he'll never put up prolific numbers in the Steelers' offense. He had two catches on the Steelers' first scoring drive against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"The other guys are the hybrid-type guys with all of the numbers in the passing game," Arians said. "Heath is a pure tight end who blocks (at) the line of scrimmage, catches passes and does it all."

A moment of silence was held for Sean Taylor prior to the game. Taylor was shot in his Miami home early last Monday by an intruder, and the Washington Redskins safety died the following day. The Steelers and Bengals also wore No. 21 patches to commemorate Taylor's uniform number.

There was one surprise among those that didn't play Sunday night for the Steelers. …

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