Aug 25, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore (27) and Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) have words during the second quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
The All Division Preseason Team was chosen based on performance in 2011, projected success in 2012 and extraneous factors, such as potential, opportunity and overall talent. Positions are taken generally, meaning there won't necessarily be one right tackle and one left tackle, but there will be two offensive tackles.
The use of the tight end position is the current evolution in the NFL. With gigantic wide receivers playing in-line like Green Bay's JerMichael Finley and New Orleans' Jimmy Graham, the AFC North hasn't really dipped that far down the line just yet. Instead, they're still moving forward down the line of progress by finding super athletic pass catchers, but they still have blocking assignments and do not split out from the line as often.
His counterparts may be younger, but none even come close to Miller in terms of run blocking, and when asked, he's still an outstanding receiver. The combination of the two is something the league lacks top to bottom, but Miller is one who has both. While he was kept in on passing plays often over the last two years to help protection that seemed to be leaking constantly, the Steelers' offense moved the best when Miller ran routes.
TE Ed Dickson, Baltimore Ravens
Dickson barely edges out Cincinnati's Jermaine Gresham on the speed of his red zone production. At this point in his career, Dickson is a below average blocker, and while he's shown to be an excellent receiver in space, he's becoming more of a liability in the run game. He's still a young player, and should improve his blocking in time, something that's very much in line with a younger tight end. The more experience he gets, the closer to Miller he'll grow.