Roethlisberger Says Heath Miller Is ‘One Of The Best Men I’ve Ever Known’

This topic, admittedly, doesn’t have much to do with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ current standing. But it brought back some Wednesday afternoon nostalgia. Speaking with reporters earlier today, Ben Roethlisberger was asked if he’s found a chemistry with another receiver similar to what he had with¬†Heath Miller.

“Besides AB?” Roethlisberger joked.

Diving into his answer, Big Ben talked about how much Miller meant to him and the offense.

“You develop that relationship with Heath over years and years and practices. Plus the type of player and person he was. I’ve said many times probably the best teammates I’ve ever played with and one of the best men I’ve ever known in my life. Those things all combine to becoming a great football player and comfort for me.”

Miller retired after the 2015 season, a surprise to us on the outside but not to those in the locker room. In 168 games, Miller never missed more than two games in a season, he caught 592 passes for 6569 yards and 45 touchdowns. He came into the league just one year after Roethlisberger, a first round pick out of Virginia, and was the second leading receiver in receptions and touchdowns his rookie year.

Big picture, the conversation centered around Roethlisberger’s comfort with Vance McDonald. Sunday, Ben said he had all the confidence in the world in McDonald, who recorded his first catch, and noted the offense needs to get him more involved.

“I think he’s got a lot of confidence,” Roethlisberger said today of McDonald. “He’s learning the offense every day.¬† Getting more and more reps. More practice time, more communication with me. So I’ve seen steps every day, every week.”

Jesse James has 18 receptions on the year though he was shut out against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s been quiet since his two touchdowns in the opener but either him or McDonald will have to do their best Heath impersonation the rest of the way.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • John Noh

    Heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaath.

  • PaeperCup

    I believe it. Miss that guy. We had some quality players and real stand up guys not too long ago. Miller, Troy Kiesel, A Smith, Farrior, Ward….

  • Michael Mosgrove

    I wish he would have played 1 more year. If he had retired in 2016 instead of 2015. It would have made a huge difference.

  • Grant Humphrey

    Man I miss him so much.

  • rystorm06

    One of the best football players I’ve ever seen, the guy was a complete player.

  • The Tony

    That is a good point, however Heath did not have the pure athleticism that Green possessed, which made most Steelers fans very excited for his potential. If only Green had Heaths health, we could have had a dynamic receiving threat

  • Phil Brenneman II

    It is crazy how stacked that team was not too long ago between leaders and great players. You have your list plus Hampton, Clark, Porter, Bettis, and Ike Taylor. Not saying they all had both qualities but they all had at least one between being a good player or leader in some way.

  • The Tony

    I would even include Jeff Hartings on that list. He really solidified the center position for a number of years for us. We had so many great underrated players

  • Darth Blount 47

    Close. Very close. But it’s…

    Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeath!

    Lol!

  • Mark

    Yes Sir, Heath was and still is the man!!!

  • pittfan

    No hat, all cowboy.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Love me some Heath Miller. I wear my number 83 with real pride.

    After doing some thinking on it, I realized that TE is the missing component of our Offense, and the biggest reason why Ben’s numbers are down. Yes, the missed deep shots and the lack of a real productive #2 WR right now isn’t helpful, but what we really miss is a TE. Take a quick look at the few top teams right now in the league. Kansas City has and leans on Travis Kelce. The Eagles have and lean on Zach Ertz. The Pats, grrrr, have the Gronk.

    I was truly hoping that Jesse James would step up into a large role. Then when we got McDonald, I really thought we may have something there. David Njoku, the guy many were targeting as a TE selection for us late in round 1, got drafted by the Browns. Is it a stretch to say, (since Njoku has almost split half of the snaps over there with Seth Devalve for some “only-known-to-the-Browns” type of reason), that if he were playing for us/Roethlisberger, he’d be exploding right now? I don’t think so. He has 3 TD’s on the year over there, and has made a few jaw-dropping catches. He basically scores, whenever they use him, and doesn’t score, whenever they don’t, obviously. So…. it doesn’t take a Josh Dobbs to figure that one out.

    I’m not saying I would rather have Njoku over Watt, just that having a young, explosive, useful TE, would make this Offense really move. And give Ben those higher completion percentages and Red Zone helpers, that he’s had in the past. That of course pre-supposes that Haley would use him correctly, but another weapon in the cupboard at that position would be lovely. I’m not sure why we get into the RZ anymore and forget that we have a 6’7 TE who actually does well in a confined space, since he doesn’t have to actually run much.

  • PaeperCup

    100% with you. I thought James was going to take a step this year…he is improved, but it’s like a half step. I thought McDonald would add that element…he is incredibly effective when blocking yay, but yeah the pass game hasn’t benefited from his skills for one reason or another.

    I look at Kittle in SF, he’s been fully implemented into the pass game which is somewhat surprising being that he was an excellent blocking TE in college. I saw that potential and really wanted him, so that’s frustrating.

    But yes, and yes. a quality pass catching TE can really help an offense out, especially in the Redzone.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Topic for discussion: will Heath be a HOF candidate? If I had a vote, 100%.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Had heath played another year we would have avoided the green debacle outright. Jesse could have learned how to be a tight end better than his short time with heath that he had.

  • AndyR34

    And to think we could have had Kittle, who made McDonald expendable, but in this year of going all in, we drafted the smartest clip-board carrier in the league…as practice for when we go after a true franchise QB to replace Ben. SMH

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Spot on. TE is a pick within the 1st three rounds next year. Possibly a 1st if the value is there. Not a knock on the Outlaw, I just think he would be a solid backup. As far as Ben’s numbers, his best years were when he had Hines and Heath as short or mid range targets as neither were burners or major downfield threats…just great ballers!

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Heaths athleticism was fine enough for what we used him for. A checkdown safety valve and middle of the field catcher. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when he left Ben stopped attacking midfield.