In eight seasons, a tight end has been the most valuable blocker and pass receiver in Pittsburgh. On Thursday, his peers made sure it didn't go unnoticed.
On Thursday, the Steelers organization named Heath Miller as their Most Valuable Player in their 2012 campaign. This is the first time Miller has received the honor; in fact, he is the first tight end to earn the award in team history.
Even though his team's final game will be his first game missed, his presence will ominous in its absence. Through 15 games, Miller has already set career marks for yardage (816) and receiving touchdowns (8). His 71 receptions fell 5 short of his personal season best, though he still leads the team in that category. If his mark stands unsurpassed after the week 17 matchup, he would be the first tight end to lead the Steelers in receptions for a season since Eric Green did it in 1993.
The only disappointing part of Miller's season, is the devastating injury he sustained while run blocking against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 16. Miller also took a direct shot at the same knee earlier in the contest from Reggie Nelson. Miller has since been placed on injured reserve due to a torn ACL, and MCL. Even optimistic recovery times place him out of commission until sometime in 2013.
While Miller has often been overlooked during discussions over the NFL's top tight ends from season to season, his efforts did not go unnoticed this year, as Miller was also voted as a Pro Bowl starter by the fans, players, and coaches. However, the recognition of his peers will mean much more to this humble teammate.
Despite his efforts to dodge any credit bestowed on the Steelers offense attached to his name, there is absolutely no escaping what Heath Miller means to the Steelers organization, the City of Pittsburgh, and Steeler Nation worldwide.