Steelers TE Heath Miller Says OTA Practices Are Beneficial For Him

While Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller was able to play in 14 games last season after tearing multiple ligaments his right knee at the end of the 2012 season, he wasn’t able to fully participate in any of the offseason or training camp practices. Now that he’s a nearly a full year and a half removed from his original injury date, the 10-year veteran is more than happy to take part in this year’s OTA practices.

“Last year was the first year I haven’t been able to prepare for a season with these (May-June) practices, and they’re certainly beneficial — to me, anyway — to be out here to work on your technique,” Miller recently told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“It’s hard to simulate football activity without doing football.”

Despite missing the first two games of the 2013 season while finishing up his rehab, Miller still managed to catch 58 passes for 593 yards. In addition, his 916 offensive snaps played were the fifth-most on the offensive side of the ball. That’s nothing to sneeze at when you consider that he wasn’t even a full year removed from his injury until late December.

If there was one statistic where Miller really suffered the most last season, it was in the touchdown column as his lone score, a three-yard shovel pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the Week 7 win over the Baltimore Ravens, was a new season-low for him. One would think that he’ll easily surpass that number in 2014.

While Miller might not have fully trusted his surgically repaired knee for most of the 2013 season, there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with his hands as his 73.4% completion rate of balls thrown his direction was his highest since the 2009 season.

Miller heads into the 2014 season having caught at least one pass in the last 88 games that he’s suited up for, including the playoffs. He is also just two touchdowns away from tying Buddy Dial (42) for the fourth most receiving touchdowns in team history.

While he may have been slowed a little last year, there’s no reason to think that Miller can’t catch another 70 balls in 2014. After all, he was only 12 catches shy of that number last season even though he missed the first two games.

  • treeher

    Maybe. But balls are going to be spread around to a talented group of receivers, plus the team will run more this year and he’s going to be expected to block. I predict 50 receptions, 3 TDs.

  • steeltown


  • shawn

    You are on the low side … i think more like 60+ 700yds/ 8TDs …. i believe the new offensive talent along with a more healthy Heath will open up more opportunities for him in the RZ

  • PA2AK

    I agree. 58 receptions last year in 14 games and he clearly wasn’t 100% when he came back, let alone for the year. You can’t key on Heath too heavily this year as a defense. The backfield is a major threat and the talented group of receivers treeher mentioned will command some attention. More attention from defenses than from Ben, imo. We all know Ben loves Heath as a security blanket. It’s for good reason. At the very least, we will see improvement on the 58 catches of last season.

  • JohnB

    I hope we wont be throwing as much this year.

  • Big White

    Miller will have one of his best seasons ever in 14-15′.