Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller might have only caught 58 passes in 2013, but being as he only played in 14 games, that’s not too shabby at all. While Miller may have seemed back to normal to many people last year after tearing up his knee late in the 2012 season, normal was something he searched for all season.
“Last year was about trying to find a new normal for myself and I’m a creature of habit, so that wasn’t easy for me,” Miller said Thursday, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “I’m fully confident by the time the season rolls around I’m going to be feeling much better than the start of last year just from a confidence perspective.”
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has said several times over the course of his time in Pittsburgh that it takes a player at least a full year to get back to normal following a serious knee injury that involves ligaments being torn. Miller’s year anniversary of his knee injury was Week 16 of the 2013 season, so you can clearly see why he can’t wait to get back on the field again in 2014.
“I should be able to put more preparation in, should be able to work like I’m used to working,” said Miller, who also admitted that he struggled with finding the right balance between how much to work and how much to take off during his rehab process.
Several in the fan base believe that 2014 will be the final season for Miller in Pittsburgh, but I have made it quite clear that I don’t buy into that line of thinking. In fact, I think I will be more surprised if Miller doesn’t play out his current contract, which now runs through the 2016 season thanks to him signing an extension this past offseason.
Miller, perhaps, has the best hands on the team and that is evidenced by his career target to reception percentage. His dip in yards per reception last season was certainly understandable as well being as he was coming off of a serous injury.
Will Miller catch 70-plus balls in 2014? It’s hard to say, but I wouldn’t bet my house against that happening. I expect he’ll be back to pre injury form in 2014 and he thinks he will be as well.
“I expect to be better than last year,” Miller said.