Surprise, surprise — despite all those huge playmakers on the field such as Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte, it was a third-string TE who stole the show for much of the Chicago Bears‘ preseason opener.
Yes, Zach Miller — not the one everyone knows who’s started for the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, but the former backup Jacksonville Jaguars tight end — had a huge night and basically stole Dante Rosario‘s spot as the No. 2 TE behind Martellus Bennett on the Bears’ depth chart. And it’s not anything that Rosario didn’t do well enough or anything of the sort. In fact, the former Carolina Panther made the most of his chances with two catches for 28 yards and converted a two-point conversion.
Rather, it was Miller dominating with every opportunity that was presented to him. He finished the game with six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns, with both coming in the first half against the first and second stringers. It wasn’t just that Miller simply caught the ball and went down either. Every catch included either a fantastic leaping grab, or he was breaking tackles and making guys miss, looking extremely athletic in the process.
His first touchdown catch came near the end of the opening quarter. Jay Cutler tossed a beautiful pass into the back of the end zone between two defenders and Miller made a great leaping grab (it can be seen in the picture above). Early in the second quarter, Miller took a little out-route from Jordan Palmer, broke two tackles and picked up 17, with at least 14 of it being YAC. His other big highlight was the second TD reception, a 12-yard grab in the middle of the end zone while jumping over the defender who was covering him well.
Miller has missed the past two seasons with multiple season-ending injuries. However, he’s finally healthy and is trying to take advantage of this opportunity with the Bears. With his performance tonight against the Philadelphia Eagles, I believe he’s done just that and I fully expect him to be the Bears’ No. 2 this year, and hopefully will contribute to an ever-improving passing game.