With the Pittsburgh Steelers going through a bit of a transitional period on offense in 2013, production from the tight end position will become even more crucial. Luckily for Ben Roethlisberger, he’s had the same solid tight end for the past eight seasons – Heath Miller.
It doesn’t seem like it, but Miller is now a grizzled veteran on this Steelers’ team. He’s coming off his best season as a pro in 2012, as he caught 71 passes for 816 yards and eight touchdowns. All three categories were career-highs for Miller, and his results were good enough to earn him a trip to his second Pro Bowl.
Miller has been nothing but reliable for Pittsburgh during his tenure, never missing more than two games in a season. But after the tight end tore three knee ligaments late last season, his status for the season opener is in question. It was a cruel ending to an otherwise great year, but Miller isn’t expected to miss extended time in 2013.
One could argue that the veteran TE is more valuable to the Steelers than ever before. Now that the team is down a few playmakers from the last couple of years, the offense needs constant production from the tight end spot. If Miller is unable to play by week one, Matt Spaeth will get the nod. Spaeth is known as a blocking tight end, and he’s never caught more than 17 passes in a season.
It’s safe to say that the Steelers desperately need a 100%-Miller, sooner rather than later.
Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter