Miller coming off big playoff debut for Seahawks

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 12, 2013
Zach Miller came to Seattle in 2011 with a big contract and a penchant for catching a lot of passes. After the tight end spent his first season with the Seahawks mainly as a blocker and catching very few balls, there were plenty of questions about whether the team made a smart investment. If they weren't before, those questions were gone after Miller's performance in last Sunday's wild-card playoff victory over Washington. ''He'd like to do everything and catch 10 balls a game, but in the system the way it is, he's there for really opportunities and to make things happen when he gets his chances, and he's done a great job,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. That deal Miller signed in 2011 possibly paid for itself with his performance in the Washington win. Miller caught just four passes but they might have been the four biggest receptions in his two seasons in Seattle. He twice converted third-and-long situations on drives that led to points and caught a critical 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks' 24-14 victory. Miller's four catches against Washington were tied for second-most of any game not just this season but in his two years with the Seahawks. ''You have a lot of guys that are receiving tight ends or blocking tight ends and in this system you have to be able to do a little of all of it,'' Miller said. Before he came to Seattle, Miller was known more for his ability as a pass catcher. In his final two years with Oakland, Miller caught 66 and 60 passes, respectively, and ranked among the top 10 in the league in receptions by a tight end both seasons. That translated into a big payday for Miller before the start of the 2011 season when he joined the Seahawks on a five-year contract. But the numbers he posted in Oakland simply didn't make the trip up the coast. Much of that was the circumstance Miller was thrown into. A year ago, the Seahawks were in the midst of revamping their offensive line and trying to do it without the benefit of offseason workouts due to the NFL lockout. That led to problems with protection once the season began and the need to use Miller as an extra offensive lineman. Carroll said Miller accepted whatever was asked. ''He's such a good team guy that the only problem would be if he'd felt it, if he was frustrated by it,'' Carroll said. With a solidified offensive line, Miller has gotten more chances to be a receiver this season and is often a target late in plays for rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. He caught a pass in every game but one and had five receptions against the New York Jets in November, Miller's most since his final game with the Raiders. But his most important catches of the season came last Sunday. It started in the first quarter when the Seahawks were already facing a 14-0 deficit. On a third-and-12 at their own 18, Wilson saw Miller open, but the pass was underthrown. Miller reached back, picking the ball just off the top of the turf, then spun off two tacklers and dove to get the first down. It was the Seahawks' initial first down of the game and eventually led to a field goal. ''Definitely the way the game started we needed to convert a third down and it happened to be third and long and it ended up being a big play,'' Miller said. ''We got points on that drive, which was huge and kind of got the offense rolling.'' Miller's other big catch came in the fourth quarter on the drive that gave Seattle the lead. Facing third-and-10 at the Seahawks 46, Miller initially stayed in to block as a defensive tackle looped around. That block bought Wilson time, but all his options were covered downfield. Miller then started a late route and Wilson found him in stride for a 22-yard gain. Three plays later, Marshawn Lynch scored on a 27-yard run and Miller made a difficult catch on the 2-point conversion to give the Seahawks the lead. ''I thought it was cool the way it happened and definitely love the trust in Russell to expect me to be there and throw it out to me,'' Miller said.
Why Tony Romo's return is the best thing for Dak Prescott's career
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Hue Jackson shoots down Joe Thomas trade rumors

Teammates Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch tussle after race

Report: Dez Bryant expected to play in Week 8

Jay Cutler cleared to return from thumb injury

Report: Geno Smith likely suffered torn ACL


Report: 49ers willing to trade LT Joe Staley

Report: Rockets management worked to cut Howard’s minutes

WATCH: Cardinals, Seahawks trade missed chip shot OT field goals in worst game ever

Gronk giggles like a school boy thinking of 69th career touchdown

WATCH: Stafford connects with Boldin for game-winning TD

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Benching from Jets inspired me

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Cleveland Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

What's wrong with Man U?

Can Oilers' amazing start last?

WATCH: MLS player got a yellow card for twerking

Rock Band Rivals review: Score hunting

The NBA vets we're going to miss in 2016-2017 season

Tyrann Mathieu irritated over lack of offense for Cardinals

Four-star recruit on Notre Dame: Talking to Kelly ‘wasn’t fun’

Five best hockey fights from Week 2 in the NHL

Who and what is hot and cold to start the NHL season?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

Rock Band Rivals review: Score hunting

The NBA vets we're going to miss in 2016-2017 season

Who and what is hot and cold to start the NHL season?

With Game 6 looming, Kershaw is not defined by inaccurate image

Best games to watch in Week 8 of CFB and the rest of the season

Five most interesting NBA players who don’t play for the Warriors or Cavs

Indians go from overlooked to potential World Series favorites

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker