When Heath Miller was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in round one of the 2005 NFL Draft, there were few people who disagreed with the move. The Steelers were desperate for a multi-faceted tight end who could reliably catch passes from their young quarterback and block as if he were an extra offensive lineman.
Ultimately, this is exactly what the Steelers got in Miller and this was certainly a big part of why he was so beloved by the Black and Gold faithful but it goes much deeper than that.
Although he was born and raised in Virginia, he was “Pittsburgh” through and through. He exhibited toughness and perseverance and never sought anything more than victories for his team.
If you listen to or read the comments by Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger and many others, you get the idea of just how respected Miller was as both a player and a person. He is what you want your hero to be. Respected, loved, admired…. “All the above” if you will.
Steelers’ fans are not exactly easy to impress which makes the adoration of Miller that much more impressive. I’ve always appreciated and had a fondness for Steelers who weren’t “perfect.” As is the case with human beings in general, few of us are flawless in and out of our occupation but Heath Miller comes pretty damn close doesn’t he?
When I think of Miller I think back to a “Seinfeld” episode where Jerry meets the perfect girl. He goes insane trying to find a flaw but can’t and soon he realizes the only flaw is that she has none! Heath Miller was like this to many of us. To borrow another line from Seinfeld’s mother on the show, “how could you not like him?”
That’s Heath Miller. Tough, durable and humble. A Pittsburgher born somewhere else. Nothing flashy, no over-the-top touchdown celebrations and never any words about anything other than the team.
Whether Miller enters the Hall of Fame is up for debate and my guess as of right now is that he probably doesn’t get in but I don’t believe he lays in bed at night worrying about it. He played this past season with a lot of pain in his knee and with four young children I’m of the mindset that it was time to be as healthy as he possibly could be for his family.
Then again it should come as no surprise that Miller would put others ahead of himself. It’s what he’s done his entire career.