Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Heath Miller Poised for Breakout Season?

In a new column at ESPN.com, columnist Jeffri Chadiha predicts Pittsburgh's third-year TE Heath Miller (1st round, 30th overall, 2005) will be a "breakout player" this coming season. It's difficult to believe that Chadiha couldn't think of another offensive player in the entire NFL more likely to have a breakout season in 2007. We've all heard how new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians plans to utilize the team's tight ends more often and how Miller has Pro Bowl potential, but it's doubtful that Miller will dramatically improve on last year's performance (37 catches, 393 yards, five touchdowns). One reason is that Ben Roethlisberger isn't a dink-and-dunk/safety valve-type QB; at best, Miller is a third or fourth option, as WR's Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes are significantly more enticing targets for a big play passer like Big Ben. However, I will concede that Miller's stats are likely to improve if QB Charlie Batch plays extensively, as Batch seems inclined to look for Miller more frequently. Recall that Batch was responsible for Miller's biggest play last season, an 87-yard touchdown catch in the season opener versus Miami.

3 Comments:

Blogger Matt Loede said...

There is no doubt that Heath having a big 2007 is going to do nothing more than give Ben another target. That play vs the Dolphins last season showed that Heath has the ability to get it done when it matters.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Black&Gold Girl said...

I really don't know why Cowher was never interested in using TEs. And then they go out and get Heath. He was awesome his rookie year, but then they stopped throwing him the ball. Weird.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous LT said...

Haven't we been hearing for over a decade that the Stillers are 'going to use their TEs more this year'?

Didn't we hear that Bruener was going to be a bigger part of the offense?

Miller is obviously much more talented as a receiver, but I'll believe it when I see it.

8:43 AM  

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