Mike Tomlin rarely gushes about a player in a press conference. Partially to avoid a player from getting too confident in himself.
I don’t think there’s any worry about that when it comes to Heath Miller.
So when Tomlin was asked what he’s learned about the veteran tight end in his time, the response was, in the head coaches’ own words, “easy.”
“It’s not about words, it’s about actions with Heath. He’s a detailed and tireless worker. He’s a great effort guy, he’s a detail guy both on the grass and in the classroom, and really has been since the day I met him.
He has had a quiet year statistically with just 17 catches for 168 yards but his value has always gone well beyond the box score. Tomlin attributed his lack of involvement, Miller failed to catch a pass Sunday for the first time since 2008, to a variety of reasons.
“It’s a combination of all of the above,” speaking to being to asked to block more often and playing without Ben Roethlisberger. “We’ve used him some more in protection circumstances in recent weeks. For obvious reasons, Kelvin Beachum going down with injury being one of them. And obviously, we’re not throwing the ball from a percentage standpoint to the rate we were throwing it with Ben in. So that reduces the total number of targets so he’s been a victim to that like a lot of guys have been a victim to that.”
Week Seven snap totals have not been made official yet but coming into Sunday, Miller had played the fourth highest percentage of snaps by a tight end in the league. Only Greg Olsen, Jason Witten, and Martellus Bennett have played more than Miller’s 95.7%.