Heath Miller has officially retired, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced today.
The Steelers' first round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft tallied 6,569 receiving yards and 45 career touchdowns donning the gold and black. Miller was an incredibly durable tight end, missing only eight games in his entire career.
Miller was fairly effective against the Bengals, most notably in 2015, catching 10 passes in both of this past season's regular season contests. In his 22 career matchups with the Bengals (postseason included), Miller caught 84 passes, tallying 745 yards and four touchdowns. It often seemed the Bengals were simply incapable of covering Miller who had his best game of 2015 against the Bengals in Week 8 when he recorded 105 receiving yards. That was his only game surpassing 85 yards this season.
Miller has the most career receptions (592), receiving yards and touchdowns of any tight end in Steelers history, and he ranks among the team's top five pass-catchers in all three statistics when including receivers. A two-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion, Miller was one of two players in Steelers history to catch a pass in 100 straight games.
Seeing Miller hang up the cleats is certainly bittersweet for Bengals fans, as he's one of the few Steeler players who Cincinnati fans don't seem to have a vendetta against. That being said, there's perhaps nothing more irritating than the "HEEEEATH" chants Steeler fans bellow with every reception Miller makes. Miller was a great player, however, as a football fan, it's sad to see him go.
On the flip side, we'll miss seeing plays like this from Bengals defenders going up against him:
Jesse James, the Steelers fifth round draft pick from 2015 will be the next man up in Pittsburgh. James caught eight passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in his rookie season. James will be backed up by Matt Spaeth and 2015 college free agent Xavier Grimble, barring the drafting or signing of an additional tight end. At Penn State, James recorded 1,005 yards and caught 11 touchdown passes in three seasons as a Nittany Lion.