Heath Miller Thinks Steelers Tight End Position Is Deep

It\’s funny how non news can suddenly become big news. According to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, there\’s a “strong possibility” Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller won\’t be ready for the 2013 season opener.

Really? Robinson certainly goes out on a limb there and for some reason; this revelation of his resulted in the Steelers trending Sunday on Yahoo. Considering the tight end tore up his knee in the second to last game of the 2012 season, his readiness for the start of the 2013 has always been in question.

Miller updated his status a few weeks ago and refused to put a timetable on his return. His rehab, however, is on track, and he was even running 100-yard sprints during the last week of OTA practices.

Keep in mind that Miller is not even six months removed from his surgery right now, so there is no way that he will be ready to practice by the time training camp opens. Will he be ready by the start of the season? Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger seems to think so, but he\’s not a doctor.

Should Miller not be ready for the season opener, he has plenty of confidence that the other tight ends on the roster can fill in for him until he\’s ready to play.

“We have a really good room, a lot of capable guys in there,” Miller said. “I think maybe one of the best top to bottom that I\’ve been starting camp with. Hopefully we\’ll be able to keep everybody healthy, and I think everybody is capable of contributing and doing a good job.”

Miller is of course talking about Matt Spaeth and David Paulson, as they would both fill in for him should he be sidelined to start the season. Of the two, Spaeth is the better blocker, so he would most likely be the starter with Paulson coming in when two tight end personnel groupings are used.

Spaeth did, however, say a few weeks ago that his two years with the Chicago Bears made him a more versatile tight end than what he was when he left Pittsburgh via free agency following the 2010 season. Even if he is more versatile, both he and Paulson will still have a tough time filling just one of Miller\’s shoes and he knows that.

“I\’m a role guy, I know I\’ve got a role, and I never worry about how many balls are being thrown to me,” Spaeth said. “My goal is to go out every day and every game and play as well as I can, whether that\’s catching passes or blocking, it doesn\’t matter.”

  • NimbusHex

    Why do none of these articles ever mention David Johnson? I think he’ll move back to TE permanently now that Will Johnson has established himself, and I honestly believe he’s the best out of the 3 potential second stringers.

  • Aric Brown

    excellent question

  • Matt Searls

    Mark kaboly said that David Johnson is not looking healthy so far.

  • SteelersDepot

    David Johnson is not a pass catching threat and not a reliable in-line blocker. In addition, he still isn’t fully healthy. It will be a surprise if he makes the roster.

  • Douglas Andrews

    D Johnson is sure a liability on the goal line as he looks indecisive as to who he needs to block after the ball is snapped. Reminds me a lot of Legursky trying to play G…not pretty!. I agree he will have a hard time making the roster

  • Madi

    Why on earth do you believe he’s better than Spaeth or Paulson? Johnson’s not a receiving threat, running threat, in-line blocking threat, lead blocking threat, or half-decent special teamer. Oh, but he makes up for that with the dropped passes. He’s actually terrible at all of those things. He’s a liability in every aspect, every time he’s out on the field. The harm he’s done to this team outweighs the good by about a million to one. Nothing against the guy personally, but every play he’s on the sideline or at home is a play we are a better team.

  • hergieburbur

    To start because he probably won’t make the team.

  • Bob Loblaw

    If I was an Arizona real estate agent I’d be asking for his number.

  • steeltown

    I think D.Johnson might make the Team as the #3 but only if Heath does not return week 1 of the regular season.. and then once Heath does return I think DJ will be released with Spaeth and Paulson then becoming #2 and #3 respectively

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Why is everyone hating on David Johnson? Oh ok, so, he was good enough to be a starter last year before the injury, but now he’s not reliable enough at catching or blocking? Whatever. Sure, maybe he’s not healthy, but ummm either is Heath. Call me pessimistic, but I’m one of the people that believe Heath will not be available at the start of the season. He’ll be on the PUP list, and because of that I think D. Johnson makes the roster as an HB. Of course he’ll probably be cut when Heath is healthy, but he deserves as much of a chance as LaRod Stephens-Howling, Chris Carter and Curtis Brown have of making the 53.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I agree, I was of the same mindset myself. I feel like a lot of people are too quick to dismiss Spaeth, and pretty much assume that he can’t catch because of that one regular season game against the Jets in 2010.

  • steeltown

    Yea.. he’s no Heath Miller, he’s just an average pass catcher but he’s a damn good run blocker which is exactly where we have needed improvement… happy to have him back

  • Rob

    There is a reason he is known as whiff Johnson to a lot of fans. Look at the play where Mendenhall fumbles in the Superbowl and you will see he is hit hard by two players before getting in the hole, two missed blocks one by Kemo and one by Johnson. In watching a lot of his games he throws a lot of air blocks. Miller on the other hand usually clobbers his assigned man.