When you have an offense which deploys the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, DeAngelo Williams, Markus Wheaton, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Martavis Bryant, it's easy to leave someone's name off the list. More often than not, the person whose name is left off of the list is none other than No. 83, Heath Miller.
Miller is the antithesis of other NFL-types. Unlike J.J. Watt's yelling and screaming personality, or the bang-my-chest-when-scoring-a-TD persona of a Dez Bryant, Miller is cut from a different cloth. The cloth which says when you score a touchdown, act like you've been there before and that you'll be there again. Simply hand the ball to the official.
Seeing Miller show any type of emotion is enough to get the fan in the highest row in the furthest corner of Heinz Field hyped into a frenzy. But don't let Miller's cool, calm and collected personality fool you about his spot on the team and how important he is to an offense which plans on being the best in franchise history.
"What a guy to have on your team. Maybe best football player I've ever been around, [as far as] all around what he brings to you in such a quiet, unassuming way but commands leadership. Great football player and great guy to have around. I think he's back to where he was." Offensive coordinator Todd Haley told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
Where he "was" is in reference to the 2012 season Miller was having before tearing his ACL in late December of that season. Before the injury, Miller was having a career year with 71 receptions for 816 yards and eight touchdowns. His 2013 season, which got off to a late start due to him rehabbing his knee injury, made the veteran look hindered by his injury. 2014 saw him see more production, but nothing near what he was before injuring his knee.
Many have stated it takes two years to fully recover from major knee surgery, and for someone like Miller, that time is now.
"He's back to where he was when I first got here," Haley said. "Not quite as dynamic [as his early years] but, man, what a football player."
With Miller entering his 11th season with the Steelers, he and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have a unique relationship both on and off the field, but it is their uncanny ability to understand what the other is thinking on the field which makes them a dynamic duo.
"I don't know that I've seen two players, a quarterback and receiver, on the same page as much as Ben and Heath," Haley said.
So what does the rest of 2015 hold in store for Miller? Only time will tell, but expect Miller's name to be included among the bevy of offensive weapons the Steelers will deploy each week. After having eight receptions for 84 yards in the team's Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots, he looks to pick up where he left off, doing what he does best.
Expect the sellout Heinz Field crowd to serenade Miller with the traditional "HEEEEATH!" cheer Sunday whenever No. 83 comes down with a reception. Such a sound never gets old, even for a veteran like Miller.