Sometimes, a person's greatness can become boring and overlooked.
Oh look at that, another crushing block by Heath Miller.
Yawn, another clutch, third down catch by Heath over the middle, never mind the punishment he endured after securing the catch and a new set of downs.
Check that out, another red zone touchdown by our tight end to help put this game on ice.
I think you're getting the drift of this piece, which is that the consistent greatness of Heath Miller has become as common as hearing "Renegade" to start the final stanza of a Steelers home game.
To me, Heath's greatness is defined by this fact: Steelers fans have grown accustomed to seeing a top-flight tight end master the profession, year in and year out. You seldom see features on Heath, via in articles or on TV. His name is seldom mentioned among the great players from the 2000s Super Bowl teams, even though he was a main cog on the most recent two championship-winning teams. But that's what great tight ends do, they do their jobs without much fanfare, and they do it consistently, year after year after year.
Over his last eight seasons, Miller has caught at least 42 passes and has eclipsed over 500 yards each season, and three times, has tallied 700-plus yard receiving seasons. He's caught at least five touchdowns in five of his 10 seasons, and in all has tallied 6,034 receiving yards with 43 touchdowns while averaging over 11 yards a catch.
Heath's playoff statistics are actually slightly better than his regular season averages. In 13 postseason games, Miller 46 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns, averaging over 12 yards a catch. In the 2008 playoff run, Miller pulled down 11 catches for 156 yards and a score.
Miller's productivity as a receiver is only telling half of the story, as the 6'5'', 256-pound Miller has become one of the finest blocking tight ends of his-or any-era. Last season, Miller was essentially a pulling guard in a highly successful counter run play that centered on Miller, guard David DeCastro and Le'Veon Bell. They play helped produce several game-breaking plays, and it was the play the Cincinnati Bengals' defense simply couldn't stop in Week 14, as Bell galloped for 185 yards and two touchdowns in Pittsburgh's 42-21 rout.
Heath Miller never accumulated Antonio Gates-like receiving stats. He doesn't celebrate in the end zone like Jimmy Graham and isn't the celebrity Rob Gronkowski is. What Heath is is a consummate professional, a security blanket that Ben Roethlisberger has enjoyed since his second year in the NFL. Miller's dependability, durability and the professional attitude that he exudes is what has endured throughout his time as a Steeler. Heath Miller is a classic Steeler, a blue-collar player that perfectly represents the city of Pittsburgh.
There's much warranted optimism surrounding the Steelers offensive this season, with Mike Tomlin even predicting that it could become the very best offense in the NFL in 2015. While the attention will be mostly on Big Ben, Bell and Antonio Brown, let's enjoy the contributions giving to the squad by Heath Miller, a great player who is hopefully rewarded one day in the Hall of Fame.