Heath Miller TE PIT 15 Days5 Comments

A study done by the New York Times' Jonathan Bales last offseason showed that tight ends historically take their biggest statistical steps back beginning at age 31.

Bales' study also showed that tight ends have the shortest shelf lives off all skill positions -- even shorter than running backs. Tight ends entering their mid and late 20s make the best breakout candidates, while tight ends begin to take big nosedives going on ages 31 and 32. Some TEs around the NFL at those ages are Heath Miller (32 in October), Jason Witten (turned 32 in May), and Owen Daniels (32 in November). Antonio Gates just turned 34.

Heath Miller TE PIT 1 Month

Ben Roethlisberger said Heath Miller has "looked healthy right from the get-go, looks kind of like the old Heath."

Miller shredded his knee in December of 2012 and missed the first two games of last season before posting a pedestrian 58-593-1 line. He clearly wasn't at or near full health for much of the year. Now fully healthy and participating in a full offseason, Miller is a big rebound candidate. He has low-end TE1 appeal.

Heath Miller TE PIT 5 Months

Heath Miller is now under contract through 2016.

Heath Miller TE PIT 5 Months

The Steelers have worked out a restructured contract with Heath Miller.

Heath Miller TE PIT 6 Months

ESPN Steelers blogger Scott Brown expects the team and Heath Miller to work out a contract extension "sooner rather than later."

Miller is entering the final year of his deal and is set to count $9.5 million against the 2014 salary cap. Miller returned better than expected after wrecking his knee in 2012 and caught 58 passes for 593 yards and one score this past season. The 31-year-old is still one of the better all-around tight ends in the league.

Heath Miller TE PIT 7 Months

Heath Miller caught three passes for 17 yards in Week 16 versus the Packers.

Miller finished a distant second on the team with his four targets, seeing nine fewer passes than Antonio Brown. Miller obviously didn't do much with his grabs, mainly catching the ball and getting tackled. He's just a TE2. The Steelers wrap up the 2013 season by hosting the Browns in Week 17.

Heath Miller TE PIT 7 Months

Heath Miller caught four passes for 35 yards in Sunday night's Week 15 win over the Bengals.

Miller caught all four of his targets, but was held out of the end zone for the eighth straight game. He has just one touchdown this season and will be just a TE2 option in next week's matchup with the Packers.

Heath Miller TE PIT 8 Months

Heath Miller caught three passes for 56 yards in Sunday's Week 14 loss to the Dolphins.

Heath Miller TE PIT 8 Months

Heath Miller caught eight passes for 86 yards in Thursday night's Week 13 loss to the Ravens.

Miller was targeted nine times and led the Steelers in both receptions and yards. He was finding room behind the linebackers and in front of the safeties all night. Miller was also stopped inside the one-yard line two separate times, or he could have had a monster game. His eight grabs matched a season-high, while the yards are a new best. Miller will be on the TE1 radar in Week 14 against Miami.

Heath Miller TE PIT 8 Months

Heath Miller had five catches for 41 yards in Sunday's Week 12 win over the Browns.

Miller was targeted six times and continues to be used as Ben Roethlisberger's primary safety valve. He's still not close to being the player he was before his knee injury, and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 7. Miller will be just a TE2 option in Week 13 against the Ravens.