Monday, August 11, 2014
Heath Miller: Teams will notice Dri Archer
By Scott Brown
LATROBE, Pa. -- Well I never thought I would hear it but Heath Miller -- better known as "Heeeaaath" to the legion of Pittsburgh Steelers fans who shout that any time he makes a catch, even during a training camp practice -- actually made a guarantee on Monday.
Veteran members of the Steelers, including Heath Miller, are excited for what rookie draft pick Dri Archer (No. 13) will bring to the team.
First, a little background on the veteran tight end: he is unfailingly accommodating to the media but his quotes are generally bland. Miller is many things; sustenance for a voracious news cycle is not one of them.
His understated nature gives even more credence to what Miller said about rookie Dri Archer, the Steelers' blur of a running back/wide receiver/return specialist.
"I guarantee you when he is out there the next time they're going to know who No. 13 is and where he's lining up and pay extra attention to him," Miller said at St. Vincent College. "It can be good for all of us. He can help our offense."
It took all of three plays in the Steelers' first preseason game for Archer to blow his cover.
Catching a short pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on a bubble screen, Archer darted across the field and turned the corner with a host of New York Giants chasing him in vain. Archer gained 46 yards on the play, setting up an early field goal, and the 5-8, 173-pounder might have scored had he simply tried to run past Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara instead of first feigning an inside cut.
"I gave him trouble," Miller said with a laugh about Archer getting tackled by Amukamara. "I thought he should have scored."
Archer, the fastest Steelers' player, should get more chances to redeem himself.
Pittsburgh will try to get its third-round pick the ball in space as much as possible if its 20-16 loss to the Giants last Saturday night is any indication.
Archer served as the Steelers' primary kickoff and punt returner and also caught two passes for 50 yards against the Giants. He admittedly should have scored on the electrifying catch and run that still went down as the Steelers' longest play of the game.
"I made a mistake," Archer said. "I should have kept running straight."
Archer ran the 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds at the NFL scouting combine in February, and his speed and cut-back ability has been on display since the Steelers started training camp. Miller, having seen Archer practice in pads for two weeks, was not surprised that he broke a big play early against the Giants.
Nor did it faze Miller where he was on the field as the play unfolded.