Heavily underrated tight end Heath Miller blew out his knee last season and underwent a bit of reconstruction. And, by bit I mean major. Miller is a staple in Todd Haley’s offense, and will be sorely missed were he to not return early and at full strength. Training camp will give Steeler Nation a good look as to what we can expect from Miller and how the offense may or may not need to adapt in the weeks of camp. Miller is expected to play in 2013, but no one knows quite sure at what capacity and when.
The question is not ‘if’ Miller will attend camp. It’s more of a matter of ‘when’ Miller will show up in pads. Undoubtedly, we’ll see him on the sidelines in his camp jersey. We’ll see him doing some of his own rehabilitative drills. It might be for show, it might not. I don’t expect to see Miller in pads until right before the preseason games start. And, I certainly don’t expect to see him in a game situation before the third game. However, if Miller is absent from a game, it’s safe to say he won’t hit the field during the regular season until Week 3 or 4. If we don’t see him in pads at all during camp, Miller’s return may not happen until well after Week 7. That spells bad news for the offense and puts a ton of pressure on the Matt Spaeth and David Paulson combo. Nothing like tipping your hand of what you’re going to do with the ball by having either a blocking specialist or pass catching specialist at the line of scrimmage.