The Cincinnati Bengals’ approach to 2019 free agency has been very similar to that of previous years. It’s largely been about keeping their own valued talents they have developed, while keeping an eye on other extensions they would like to get done.
However, they have dipped their toes in unfamiliar waters this offseason. One of their acquisitions is an interesting guard in John Miller, whose new deal has the look of a guy penciled in to start on the offensive line.
It turns out that Miller exudes a lot of traits that excite the new Bengals’ coaching staff. From offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to offensive line coach Jim Turner, Miller seems like a lineman in their mold.
“Oh yeah. I’ve seen him. Tough,” Turner said on Friday, via Bengals.com. “But I’ve been watching more of the film. The first word that comes into my mind is ‘physicality.’ There’s no substitute on any line for that. It’s contagious. He’s a going to a great fit for what we’re trying to do here.”
There is an easy joke there with the new position coach, but we’ll gloss over it. Regardless, Turner does have a player profile he prefers and he undoubtedly had a say in Miller’s Queen City arrival.
Turner wasn’t the only one gushing over Miller, either. The fresh-faced Callahan has a vision for the Bengals’ offense, and Miller obviously fits into the concept.
“He’s got good tape out there. He helps us a ton,” Callahan said of his newest addition. “He walks in the room and you see it. He’s big, he’s thick, he’s square and you watch the tape and that’s how he plays. He can move for a big man. Good athleticism.”
Miller is known as a workout warrior, of sorts—especially on his social media platforms. It’s becoming a common practice for impending free agents to show off their workouts, but Miller has made sure to keep in excellent shape when looking for a new opportunity.
Callahan continued his gushing of Miller by praising his ability to pass protect. Last year’s starter, Alex Redmond, was stout in the run game, but both he and Bobby Hart struggled on the right side in pass protection. It sounds like this is an aspect that is more of a strength for Miller.
It also sounds like Miller is excited to suit up for a new team. Aside from playing college ball at nearby Louisville, he fell out of favor in recent years with the Bills. It’s apparent that he’s excited for a new opportunity with a new team.
“The Bengals have a winning organization and it’s a fresh start for me and the coaches,” Miller said after signing his deal. “We talked about different offensive line techniques and he’s excited and I’m excited. We’re ready to go.”
Miller isn’t a household name, but he should provide some improvement on a line group that sorely needs it. That’s good news for Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon and the entire unit.