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Heath Miller

Miller blocking in 2006
No. 83     Pittsburgh Steelers
Tight End
Personal information
Date of birth: October 22, 1982 (1982-10-22) (age 27)
Place of birth: Richlands, Virginia
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 256 lb (116 kg)
Career information
College: Virginia
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 1 / Pick: 30
Debuted in 2005 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Receptions     244
Receiving Yards     2,721
Touchdowns     27
Stats at NFL.com

Earl Heath Miller, Jr. (born October 22, 1982) is an American football tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. He was selected as the 30th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft out of the University of Virginia.

Contents

Early years

A native of Swords Creek, Virginia, Miller attended Honaker High School in Honaker, Virginia. Heath has one younger sister, Amanda. He played Quarterback (wearing no. 11) for Honaker High School, setting several school records in passing and leading the team to its first state championship game his senior year.

College career

Nicknamed “Big Money" for his ability to gain first downs and touchdowns, Heath Miller was a three-year starter at tight end (TE) for the University of Virginia. He led ACC TEs in receiving every year of his career (2002-2004), and he was the 2004 recipient of the John Mackey Award, presented annually by the Nassau County Sports Commission to the top tight end of the season, scored at least once in each of his first five games at Virginia and his nine scoring grabs set a school season-record for tight ends. Miller was the first ACC player to win the Mackey Award.

Originally signed to play quarterback, Miller made the transition to the tight end position during his redshirt freshman year. He did throw one pass during his college career, hooking up with fellow tight end Patrick Estes for a score in a prime-time game against South Carolina.

In his freshman season, Heath set an ACC record for freshmen TEs with 9 touchdown receptions in a season. He followed that up with a sophomore campaign that saw him set ACC TE records for receptions (70) and yards (835) in a season. In his junior season, Heath was awarded the John Mackey Award and was only the second player in Virginia history to be a unanimous All American.

Heath concluded his career holding ACC records for most career receptions (144), yards (1703) and touchdowns (20) by a tight end. In Virginia history, these totals place Heath 2nd in receptions, 7th in yards, and 4th in touchdown receptions, regardless of position. He also shares the school record for most 100-yard games by a TE (3), and he caught at least one pass in 32 of his final 33 games. He majored in Sociology.

NFL career

In his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Heath Miller finished with 39 receptions for 459 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is also 1 of 4 John Mackey Award recipients to win a Super Bowl. (The others are Daniel Graham of the New England Patriots, Dallas Clark of the Indianapolis Colts, and teammates Matt Spaeth of the Pittsburgh Steelers.) During a four game stretch in his rookie season, he caught 5 touchdown passes and was considered a strong candidate for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Though he cooled off, he remained a solid contributor in the Steelers' 2005 Super Bowl run. Miller caught 3 passes for 61 yards and 1 touchdown in the Steelers 21–18 upset win over top seeded Indianapolis Colts in the divisional playoff round.

In the Steelers opening game of the 2006 season, Miller caught 3 passes for 101 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown reception, the longest touchdown catch by a tight end in a regular season game since 1974. It was also the longest catch ever recorded in the Steelers home stadium, Heinz Field. Replays showed that he should have been marked out of bounds at about the 1 yard line, but the play was not challenged by Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban quickly enough. Miller finished the season with 34 catches for 393 yards and 5 touchdowns.

In the 2007 Season, Miller set new career highs for touchdowns (7), receptions (47), and receiving yards (566). He benefited from new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' system of offense which called for 3 tight ends, giving Miller more chances to catch passes. 2007 was the breakout year that most experts expected him to have after being under-utilized in his first two seasons. In Super Bowl XLIII , Miller had 5 receptions for 57 yards and helped Pittsburgh win the game . Miller won his second Super Bowl Ring . Miller is gaining recognition as one of the best tight ends in the league.[1] He is well balanced, being an exceptional receiver as well as a blocker. However, because the Steelers deemphasize tight ends in the passing game, he does not have exceptional statistics, and therefore is not as widely acknowledged. However, Miller still capitalizes on the few opportunities that he gets, rarely dropping a pass. He still makes significant contributions to the Steeler's passing game.

On July 29, 2009 the Steelers signed Miller to a new six-year contract that binds him to the team through the 2014 season[2]. The contract is worth $35.3 million contract, including a $12.5 million signing bonus.

Miller was elected to his first Pro Bowl on the 25th January 2010, replacing the Indianapolis Colts' Tight End Dallas Clark who will participate in the Super Bowl.

Personal

He and his wife, Katie, were married in the 2007 offseason.

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers 1st round draft pick
2005
Succeeded by
Santonio Holmes
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