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michael89156

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: December 29, 2012, 12:12:21 AM



Bucs defensive tackle Roy Miller (quietly) has breakout season

 By Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer
 In Print: Saturday, December 29, 2012




Tackle Roy Miller (90) handles Chiefs guard Jeff Allen (71) while linebacker Lavonte David stops tailback Jamaal Charles for a loss.
[DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
 





[DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
Gerald McCoy, left, and Roy Miller almost played together at Oklahoma. They had to wait a few years to be teammates.
 
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TAMPA

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been one of Roy Miller's biggest fans.

As an Oklahoma City teenager, McCoy looked up to Miller, the Bucs nose tackle, watching his Killeen (Texas) High highlights from afar. And when the two were recruited by Oklahoma, McCoy dreamed they'd play alongside each other.

Miller, 25, spurned the Sooners for Texas, but the two remained in touch. And when McCoy was drafted No. 3 overall by Tampa Bay in 2010, Miller welcomed the touted rookie by giving him his No. 93 free of charge.

"He just said, 'Here, take it,' " McCoy, 24, said. "That's just the type of guy he is."

The nature of Miller's position is to be unselfish, drawing double teams and plugging the middle to free up fellow linemen. But while McCoy garners the attention (and first Pro Bowl selection) and end Michael Bennett racks up a team-high nine sacks, it's not lost on the Bucs that the 6-foot-2, 310-pound Miller has helped both by having, arguably, the best season of his four-year career.

"Roy has been a very integral part of our defense," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said of the 2009 third-round pick. "He's a heck of a run-stopper and plays the position very well. And he's really custom built to play it."

Miller has flourished in a scheme that befits his physical and aggressive style. While Miller plays mostly on first and second down, he's a key reason why the Bucs have the No. 1 run defense in the league. And Miller, who like Bennett can become a free agent after this season, hopes to be back.

"I just hate the feeling I have right now of this is the last (game) that's guaranteed for me," Miller said. "But the reality is that's the situation I'm in right now. I'm just hoping we can work some things out, and I'd love to come back and be a part of this team next year."

Miller has not played in the same scheme for two straight seasons. During his rookie season, Miller was asked to gain weight and play a two-gap, read-and-react system. When then-coach Raheem Morris became defensive coordinator, Miller was positioned over the center in a traditional Tampa Two.

But this season, Miller has lined up on an angle, tilted over the center, which allows him to use his quickness and strength.

"I think my best attributes are just getting off the ball and playing with my hands," Miller said. "And I think at the point of attack, if I can attack the guy from an angle like that, I don't really think they've got a chance. I really like it, and I feel like it's a perfect fit for me."

Miller's contributions aren't measured in numbers. He has tallied just 14 tackles in 14 games, and his career high is 32 in 2010.

"I think how Roy has played and how physical he is being in the run game has given a chance for some of the run-blocking schemes for Gerald to get a single block, get off and make plays," Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said.

"I think Roy has had a very good year. He's been very disruptive. He's a guy a lot of times you need to put two blockers on him or else he's got a chance to really knock the center back and get in the backfield."

McCoy could sense something clicked during training camp, when Miller played at, he said, "another level." And that carried over into the season, when Miller has been able to stay on the field. He has missed just one game due to a concussion.

"My dad said, 'You ever think you'd get to play with that guy?' I said, 'No, I didn't,' " McCoy said. "I've watched him develop. His level of play has gone up each year. And this year, he's played very well. He's been very consistent and solid, and I think everything that's coming his way is very deserving."



Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

Benchwarmer#1

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#1 : December 29, 2012, 01:12:13 AM

I hope Miller ups his game even more. He's been "ok" at times, but others below average.

He seems to slowly improve every season, but in no way am I labeling him irreplaceable or some sort of star.

The guy has a tackle a game. Eh, whatever.  ::)

tripblood

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#2 : December 29, 2012, 08:21:16 AM

I was talking with Miller when we drafted Mccoy at the Buccaneers draft day party. He seemed to know we were going to select a DT, and was happy we drafted Mccoy instead of trading up for Suh..

Show No MRSA..

FIRE SCHIANO!!!!

Its so hard for me to sit back on this forum, lookin at a guy on here, holler in\' my name!  When last year i spent more on 5 electric bills from this side of the country to the other, than you made! You\'re talkin to the Rolex wearing, diamond earring wearing, kiss-stealin, WOOOO!, wheelin dealin\', CTS drivin, jet-flyin sonofagun.. And I\'m havin a hard time holding these alligators down! WOOOO!

Dolorous Jason

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#3 : December 29, 2012, 09:32:44 AM

He's been "ok" at times, but others below average.

He seems to slowly improve every season, but in no way am I labeling him irreplaceable or some sort of star.

The guy has a tackle a game. Eh, whatever.  ::)

Are you talking about Girly Man , or Miller.....I couldn't tell...
: December 29, 2012, 09:35:19 AM Fire Mark Dummynik

What is your point? I was wrong? Ok. You win. I was wrong.

           

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#4 : December 29, 2012, 09:34:21 AM

I was talking to McCoy at teh Buccaneers draft party.  He seemed to know we were going to select a DT

Everyone knew we were drafting a DT that year. We were garanteed either Suh or McCoy.

What is your point? I was wrong? Ok. You win. I was wrong.

           

Ft Myers Buc Fan

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#5 : December 29, 2012, 09:36:37 AM

This was by far Miller's best season.  He is a good fit for the tilted nose DT in this scheme. I hope we re-sign him but draft another DT who can rush the passer on passing downs

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#6 : December 29, 2012, 09:59:40 AM

Miller has played a lot better this year, but he still isn't that good of a starter. I like him for depth purposes though.


tripblood

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#7 : December 29, 2012, 12:09:31 PM

I was talking to McCoy at teh Buccaneers draft party.  He seemed to know we were going to select a DT

Everyone knew we were drafting a DT that year. We were garanteed either Suh or McCoy.

I was talking to Miller.. And the point of what I was saying was he seemed to prefer the Bucs picking McCoy over Suh.

Show No MRSA..

FIRE SCHIANO!!!!

Its so hard for me to sit back on this forum, lookin at a guy on here, holler in\' my name!  When last year i spent more on 5 electric bills from this side of the country to the other, than you made! You\'re talkin to the Rolex wearing, diamond earring wearing, kiss-stealin, WOOOO!, wheelin dealin\', CTS drivin, jet-flyin sonofagun.. And I\'m havin a hard time holding these alligators down! WOOOO!

ryan24

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#8 : December 29, 2012, 12:17:00 PM

This was by far Miller's best season.  He is a good fit for the tilted nose DT in this scheme. I hope we re-sign him but draft another DT who can rush the passer on passing downs

I tend to agree. One alternative if the team can bring everyone back and they stay healthy is a passing down DL consisting of Bennett, Bowers, McCoy and Clayborn.

Happy and Peppy and Bursting with love.

JDouble

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#9 : December 29, 2012, 12:29:34 PM

This was his best year and it was average. I hope we resign him as depth, but I'd like to see us go after Henry Melton or Glen Dorsey. To me, DT is still one of our biggest needs.

Draft Aaron Donald



Detrimental

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#10 : December 29, 2012, 01:30:48 PM

I want us to go sign Terrance Knighton.

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#11 : December 29, 2012, 01:40:21 PM

Dorsey would be cheap and has the potential to get back to his college day, dominating style. Him, Miller & Gibson would sure tire out the opponents interior line. Depth, depth, depth.

                \'Every day above ground is a good day\'

bradentonian

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#12 : December 29, 2012, 02:22:43 PM

I'd like to see us sign Sammie Lee Hill away from Detroit


JDouble

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#13 : December 29, 2012, 08:40:45 PM

There are quite a few FA options at DT. As long as we get one of these proven, solid veterans to improve depth and push for the starting NT spot....we'll be good.

Draft Aaron Donald



ryan24

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#14 : December 29, 2012, 08:44:17 PM

This was his best year and it was average. I hope we resign him as depth, but I'd like to see us go after Henry Melton or Glen Dorsey. To me, DT is still one of our biggest needs.

Dorsey is probably more of a likelihood pending the Chiefs moves in terms of coach/gm because of scheme. I don't see why the Bears let Melton get away.

Happy and Peppy and Bursting with love.
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