I have to start my blog by expressing my heartfelt condolences, thoughts, and prayers for the families, players, and NFL staff affected by at least two tragedies on Saturday. The events in Kansas City are unthinkable and we as humans will continue to try to find a reason for such a tragic waste of life. The Cleveland Browns also dealt with an unspeakable tragedy and I want to reach across the divisional divide and offer my sympathy to them as well.
Now, to my thoughts about the Steelers:
The tight end is the quintessential multi-purpose player – the Swiss army knife of the offense. Heath Miller really embodies that. He can block, he opens up the field with his routes and he is sure-handed. I bet he can open a bottle of wine like a pro too. He proved again during Sunday night’s game against the Ravens that he can be counted on when they really need someone to make a play. This guy needs to go to the Pro Bowl if the Steelers don’t make it to the Super Bowl. I’m not saying that because I think the Pro Bowl is an amazing game full of competition. I’m saying that because the selection means recognition from fans and peers. Miller goes about what he does with little flash but with absolute determination and effectiveness.
So, I’d like to personally lobby for readers to vote HEEEAAAATTTHHHHH to the Pro Bowl. Here’s the link to cast your votes: http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot
Need some convincing? Let’s look at the stats from NFL.com:
Unofficially (because this week’s stats weren’t totaled yet and I did the math) here are Miller’s stats through Week 13:
- 56 Receptions
- 613 Yards
- 10.9 Average
- 7 TDs
I looked at Rob Gronkowski’s (of the New England Patriots) numbers after 10 games
- 53 Receptions
- 748 Yards
- 14.1 Average
- 10 TDs
Gronk was on track for an outstanding year before he broke his forearm. Seems to me that Miller ranks right up there near Gronk. Miller probably prefers if players like Gronk get the focus while he quietly, but efficiently goes about his business.
Another interesting fact about Miller: According to Steelers.com, going into the Raven’s game, he was the Steelers’ leading receiver ahead of Mike Wallace who had 47 receptions and Antonio Brown with 42. In my mind, Miller is in the running for team MVP. I didn’t add Sunday’s numbers into the Wallace and Brown’s totals (math isn’t my ‘thing’), but I’m willing to bet Miller retained the lead. I know Brown’s totals may be lower due to injury, but that’s the point – Miller is stepping in like teammates do. Have I convinced you yet? If not, well, what other tight end would you want to vote for? Seriously, go vote! http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot
One final thought about the game – I thought my heart was going to stop a few times. Shaun Suisham really came through and the team never got down even after the miscues. That was so awesome to see. The defense brought it too. Say what you want about them getting old – they did what needed to be done on Sunday. I’m so glad that Charlie Batch was a big part of this win. If you follow Batch’s posts in social media, you know he had a rough week personally. As the game clock wound down to three minutes, I was on the edge of my seat and my dog knew something was up. She doesn’t like it when I curse (don’t ask how she knows) and she always gives me a reproving look or jumps in my lap. Forty pounds of pure lap dog – NOT. Anyway, I thought I would share a photo of Soda Pop’s concern during the final plays of the Steeler’s-Raven’s game. Enjoy!