Zach Miller Practices With First-Team Offense (two TE package)

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by JustAnotherBearsFan99, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    Mullin posted an interesting article on Miller and the 2 TE possibilities yesterday evening. On a side note, I would watch the interview with Zach Miller in the linked article. If you want to see the value of Emery and Trestman's focus on building a positive, family-like environment on the team, you will hear Miller say that the quality of the environment was a deciding factor for him joining the Bears.

    Link

    Zach Miller could bring Bears closer to two-TE threat

    August 12, 2014, 6:15 pm

    [​IMG]

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Some of the elite offenses in the NFL have in their quivers the threat of two tight ends, on the field on the same time, a traditional look associated with power-running football but more recently a source of matchup problems defending the passing game.
    Citing a few of the leading practitioners:
    New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez.
    San Francisco 49ers: Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald.
    Philadelphia Eagles: Brent Celek, Zach Ertz.
    Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Eifert, Jermaine Gresham.
    Those four all made the 2013 playoffs and averaged 11.25 wins last season. And they score: New England No. 3 in scoring; Philadelphia No. 4; Cincinnati No. 6; San Francisco No. 11. The Bears ranked No. 2 in scoring without two receiving tight ends but with issues at No. 3 wide receiver, an immediate opening exists for a pass-catching tight end.
    [MORE: Bears plans for Thursday's preseason game a little fuzzy]
    The Bears may be about to join the group of teams turning the tight end position into a true threat, which is perhaps a development of potentially major significance for a team right now finding itself without a proven threat at No. 3 wide receiver.
    Besides Martellus Bennett (65 catches in 2013), veteran Zach Miller delivered a strong statement last Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles with six receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns. This was with Bennett still out on suspension, but the result may have been to present the Bears with a welcome opportunity.
    “Zach, I think, has always been a good player,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “But it’s a case where he has had injury problems in the past. So he never got to show it on the field. And basically now he’s just getting the ability to show it, and we’re just glad we have him while that’s happening.”
    Miller got more chances to showcase his talents on Tuesday, turning in two red-zone touchdown catches against tight coverage in traffic. He worked with the No. 1 offense, ahead of Dante Rosario for at least the day, with Rosario nursing a leg injury from Monday’s practice.
    Miller, 6-6, 236 pounds, was a sixth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009. He does have some substantial proving to do, not having played in an NFL game since October 2011. He missed the final game of 2010 with a concussion, on IR for the final 12 games in 2011 and was in IR for all of 2012. He then failed to stick with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and sat out the 2013 season.
    [MORE: Bears end training camp in their own motivating fashion]
    What is especially notable with Miller is that he is earning the confidence of quarterbacks, including the most important one. Against the Eagles, Miller caught TD passes from Jay Cutler and Jordan Palmer, and his TD catches Tuesday were of Cutler passes.
    “Zach had a heck of a day last week,” Cutler said. “He's had a really good camp. These last couple days he's had some really strong performances again.”
    The biggest issue, besides his durability, is whether Miller can be a blocker as well as a receiver, a skills combination that makes Bennett an every down player.
    “You know, we have a good crop of tight ends that can block, and he’s one of them,” Kromer said. “You saw him in the last game. He’ll line up at fullback. He’ll line up as a wing. He’ll line up in-line, and he does some things better than others. But with the threat in the passing game, and his ability to block, he’s a good weapon.”
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  2. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    Again being a Bear fan I seem to have more interest in Pep than even the pac fans might of watching that game. I was watching him on the sidelines a few times and I saw him grabbing his lower back and stretching as he was casually talking with teammates. I don't know if he's having some lower back issues or just likes rubbing his lower back and stretch when talking but it wouldn't have made me feel good knowing he's got a a whole season ahead of him doing things of that nature. Yes, they did drop him back into coverage a couple times but it didn't amount to much of nothing. I guess if he can't pass rush or run stop he has to do something with that freakish body of his.
  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I've thought about this. There are some changes to the game that evolve over time, like defensive schemes where we see 4-3 and 3-4 variations come and go over the years. But other changes are permanent changes to the game itself, like the forward pass (nobody would survive today with the old "three yards and a cloud of dust" mentality).

    I believe the modern use of TE's is more the latter - it's not going to change as we move forward in the NFL. TE's are becoming much more important to the game, and you better have the capability like the 2-TE option or you're a less powerful offense. It's like "back in the day" you didn't need to have RB's who could catch. You're just a better offense (now) if your RB's can block, catch AND run the ball effectively. Same with having tall WR's. The day of having a roster full of midget WR's is gone. At least for teams that want high powered offenses. Now you'd better have a couple of solid receiving TE's, at least one tall WR and RB's who can run, block and catch. These type things are foundational to having one of the best offenses.

    Can you get by without these modern weapons? Sure. But you'll have a less effective offense. I think the 2-TE thing is here to stay.
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  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Pat's are only going to move on from it b/c their 1st TE is constantly hurt and their 2nd is in jail and they have other issues they need to draft for. When they get a shot they'll reload at the TE position.

    TE's are to usefull in the NFL now, big strong and capable passers make for near imposssible options to defend b/c of the rules.
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It's always been around but more often than not one of the two was little more than a more versatile OT too slow to be effective as a receiver save around the goal line. Now we're seeing TE like Jimmy Graham who can legitimately argue that they're as much a WR as they are a TE and he's not the only one who could offer that argument.

    It may be nice to have a freak of a TE who goes 265-270lbs, has the wingspan of a Condor and can run like the wind but those guys aren't plentiful. TE's are getting back to the 240-250lbs range again because they're valued more as pass catchers than pass blockers. I guess that goes to show even more how far Mike Martz was behind the times.

    Marty Bennett is more an exception to the rule as far as size goes than he is prototypical. The better TEs are almost all 250lbs or less so Miller and Rosario both fit that mold and those are the two who are fairly likely to make the team. I think Miller just glommed on to the #2 spot with a vengeance so now it's between Rosario and Mulligan for the #3 spot.
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  6. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Good to know the guy that started the pass catching TE was DITKA.
  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yep, and Ditka played at about 6'3 and 225-230lbs so about Marshall or Jeffery's size.

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