2012 was a year of transition for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The franchise hired new offensive coordinator Todd Haley and he brought with him a new offensive system. With this new system came some growing pains. Growing pains that gave the offense mixed results. There were certainly parts of the offense that were improved with the new system. But it became clear that other players in this offense weren’t able to get traction and their production suffered. But which player was the top offensive play of 2012?
In going over all these games this year, the problems this offense had, and the injuries and roster adjustments that had to be made, it was no easy task to get down to many really offensive standouts. But I was able to narrow it down to two legitimate candidates that really shined through all of the madness.
The first candidate is, of course, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. You have to look no further than at what happened while he missed time while he was injured if you need to understand his value. In only 13 games he still got 3,265 yards with 26 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He topped 300 yards three times, compared to last season when he had five in the same number of starts. The word elite gets tossed around a lot, but Roethlisberger really is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
The only other contender for this honor was Roethlisberger’s favorite target, tight end Heath Miller. Miller led the team in catches with 71, and 816 yards and eight touchdowns both either one or two on the team and both career highs. He found ways to consistently get open on a regular basis, and what he lacks in athleticism he made up for with raw strength and effort.
But who gets the nod? Which guy was the most outstanding offensive player this year? I am giving it to Miller. His season ended with an unfortunate injury that could delay the start of his 2013 season, but for 2012, he was the singular bright spot among the skill players. The relationship between he and Roethlisberger was evident all season long, but for me, Miller was the most pleasant surprise of the entire season and for that he gets the nod from me. Just have to hope that he can return to form in 2013 and be ready to continue what he started in 2012.
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