Five on the Rise: Emerging Offensive Weapons in 2010

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Zach Miller

  • Role in 2009: Zach played mostly in 2 Tight-End sets or split out wide as a hybrid TE/WR in 2009. The sixth-rounder opened some eyes in Week 13, when he scorched Brian Cushing on a short drag route and turned upfield for a 62 yard gain. He had his biggest game (8 catches, 69 yards, 2 TD’s) in the regular season finale against the Browns, where the 2-TE sets were used extensively, due to Greg Jones’ absence.
  • Potential Role in 2010: Dirk Koetter would love nothing more than to use Miller as his version of Dallas Clark. As a conversion project, Miller has shown mouth-watering potential with his athleticism and surprisingly good hands. Del Rio mentioned that he will line up all over the field (in-line, out wide, in the backfield) and will be put in motion to get him in space and create mismatches.
  • Possible Obstacles: The only thing standing between Zach and a breakout season is durability concerns – his foot injury that popped up last season has kept him on the stationary bike far more than anyone would like this offseason. His blocking ability remains a liability as well, as putting him in the game may tip Defenses off to the pass. Though he has acknowledged he will likely never be a traditional, in-line blocking Tight End, he is being coached on blocking techniques to make himself more versatile.
  • Odds of Fulfilling this Role:  60%  –  Zach’s injury troubles this offseason are the only thing holding him back from becoming a featured player in this Offense. His ability to throw a block here or there could go a long way in preventing Defenses from keying in on him.