Much expected from healthy Bruce Miller

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
12:00
PM ET
The reason it wasn't a big deal that the San Francisco 49ers' interest in Toby Gerhart didn't develop is the same reason it wasn't considered a blow that Anthony Dixon left the 49ers to sign with Buffalo in free agency.

Bruce Miller will be healthy in 2014.

The fullback's game was evolving nicely when he suffered a broken scapula in the 14th game of the season. He was put on the injured reserve. The 49ers missed Miller.

The running game was a bit flat after he was shelved. Miller was a multi-dimensional player by the time he got hurt. In addition to being a top-notch blocker, Miller was a capable receiver and short-yardage back. During the season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Miller was becoming the 49ers' “Swiss Army Knife,” replacing Delanie Walker, who left for Tennessee in free agency after the 2012 season.

Miller should get more opportunities in short yardage with Dixon in Buffalo. Like Dixon, Miller also shines on special teams. Miller, a seventh-round pick, is also popular in the locker room.

These are all reasons why the 49ers and Miller have had contract extension talks. He can be a free agent after next season, but it would not be a surprise at all if he extends his deal this offseason.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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