Heath Miller Press Conference Transcript Thursday Super Bowl XLV


Heath Miller Press Conference Transcript Thursday February 3rd Super Bowl XLV

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE

TIGHT END HEATH MILLER

(on Rashard Mendenhall’s performance during the playoffs) “I think he’s had a tremendous year, to be honest with you. He’s played well for us all year. In a lot of games, he’s made big plays for us in the running game and the passing game. He’s really a key component of our offense.”

(on the Steelers’ offensive approach on Sunday) “You never know how the games are going to play out. I think, as an offense, we always like to get the running game established. If we’re able to that, which isn’t going to be easy, then our whole offense kind of opens up. That’s our goal. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be really tough, but I think we can get it done.”

(on the similarities between the Pittsburgh defense and Green Bay’s defense) “They do some similar things, schematically and in terms of personnel, so there are some similarities there, but we haven’t really faced our defense since training camp. They’re kind of a distant memory for us, so this is kind of reacquainting ourselves to blocking a 3-4, blocking a zone blitz, picking that stuff up. So it’s kind of new for us, actually.”

(on what makes Troy Polamalu such a special player) “I guess if it was an easy answer, there would be a lot of people trying to do it. He’s a special player. He has, obviously, above-the-line physical abilities. He’s fast, he’s explosive, he’s tough, strong. He also has the instincts, too, and I think that goes a long way to making him the player that he is. I’m pretty sure that he can see things that not everybody can see, and that sets him apart from all the other safeties. He’s the best safety in the game. There’s obviously some other good ones, but he does some special things on Sundays where I just kind of smile and I’m like, ‘I’m glad he’s on my team.’”

(on the family atmosphere amongst the Steelers players) “I would say, maybe, it starts at the top with the owners. The Rooneys do a good job of welcoming everyone and making everyone feel as though they kind of have a personal relationship with all the people in the organization. And I think that this is a good group of guys. The guys that are brought here aren’t brought here by happenstance. They’re brought here because they’re good character guys. They’re guys who will put the team before themselves and play for each other.”

(on the Rooney family’s track record of hiring head coaches) “I don’t know how they do it. Obviously, they’re good at it because three coaches in that amount of time is very impressive. I think that goes a long way when you have stability in your organization, which they’ve proven they have for a long time. I think as players, you appreciate that and how fortunate you are to be able to come to work there.”

(on the Rooney family showing patience with coaches and players early on) “I think that’s why they’ve had coaches. It’s not because maybe the coaches have been 14-2 every year they’ve been with them. They trust their instincts. They stick by you, no matter what, and I think coaches appreciate that, players appreciate that, and it makes Pittsburgh a place where a lot of guys want to come play.”

(on the recent increase in the number of athletic tight ends across the NFL) “It seems like every team has one nowadays. They’re able to split them out wide in some cases and create mismatches with the linebackers or safeties. They’re too big for safeties or too fast for linebackers to cover. Teams like San Diego and when (Jeremy) Shockey was in New York, I feel like he fit that. Maybe they were one of the first teams. Tony Gonzalez has kind of always been that, sort of, too. So I would say (Antonio) Gates, Gonzalez and Shockey kind of started the trend.”

(on how Mike Tomlin has changed as a coach since he was hired in 2007) “I don’t know if he’s changed a whole lot. I think he’s gotten to know this team, which can only come with time. As you get to know your team, I think you learn, first, it’s a group of great guys, and areas where he can let off, areas he can push the guys. Outside of that, I don’t think he’s changed at all.”

(on how Tomlin’s youth affects his ability to relate to his players) “I think because he is a younger coach, he can relate to the guys a lot easier. Guys can come to coach with issues maybe not even pertaining to football, issues out football and outside of their professional lives and he maybe helps them to be a better person or helps them off the field that can eventually help them on the field. I think the younger age can help him relate better.”

(on Green Bay’s linebackers) “As a group, they’ve got a great group. I’ve got a lot of respect for them because, outside of Clay Matthews, they’ve had a lot of injuries in that group and guys have stepped in and played really well, if not better than before. So in that respect, I’ve got a lot of respect for them. And then, Clay Matthews is one of the best in the League. He’s proven that. So it’s going to be challenging for us. Outside of their linebacking corps, their whole defense is really good, top-to-bottom. Their secondary is great, they’ve got a lot of good defensive linemen, so my job is going to be tough on Sunday and hopefully we can move the ball on them.”

(on whether he expects a low-scoring game with two great defenses on the field) “I never really approach any game like that, to be honest with you. I just know that as an offense, at least individually, I’m going to do everything I can for us to move the football and hopefully score every time we touch the football. We know that’s not realistic a lot of times, but we try and make that our goal, and hopefully sometimes we come close.”

(on how he evaluates his career) “I never really take the time right now to look back at it. I feel like I’m fortunate to be a part of this organization and I know that that’s a huge positive and I’m very lucky to have been drafted here and to have played here for six years now. But I’m sure there’s going to be a lot to be proud of when it’s all said and done.”

(on the impact that the Steelers organization has had on his career) “I think sometimes being around the tradition, the history, the guys that I’ve been able to play with to this point, I can’t help but be a better player. Pittsburgh has been good for a long time. When I came here, there were a ton of veteran leaders that knew how to be professionals, that knew how to be good players. I tried to learn as much as I could from those guys and I try to still display that now. If young guys ask me, I try to help them out, and that’s another reason that I feel fortunate to come here, outside of the organization and the tradition, but the guys that were on the team when I was young. I learned a lot from them.”

(on playing in front of an international audience on Sunday) “It’s exciting to know that the whole world has their eyes on this game. It’s kind of why you play the game is to be in this situation, to be playing for a Super Bowl championship, and we don’t take that lightly. We’re excited about it. I try not to think about it too much because you don’t want to get overwhelmed, or you can get nervous thinking about the magnitude, so I just try to focus. It’s still a game. It’s still football. It’s what I’ve always done my whole life, so I try and keep my focus that way.”

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