While the Buccaneers offense finished fifth in the NFL in yards per game, there is still room to improve. New head coach Dirk Koetter and offensive coordinator Todd Monken undoubtably would love to add some explosiveness to a receivers corps that, while capable of big plays, doesn’t necessarily have a “take it to the house every play” kind of weapon.
One player who showed that ability in Mobile, Ala. last week during the Senior Bowl practices was former Ohio State quarterback and wide receiver Braxton Miller. During media night last Tuesday, Miller confirmed the Bucs have shown interest.
“Yes actually I was just texting them a little while ago,” Miller said. “I spoke with them the first day and they are staying in contact, so there might be something.”
PewterReport.com asked Miller if he has thought about catching passes from quarterback Jameis Winston.
“That’s what he needs. He needs a playmaker. I know he does.”
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, if Miller was on their radar as Day 2 pick, Miller’s performance last week may have pushed him up as a late first rounder.
After a quarterback logjam at Ohio State, the Buckeyes staff shifted Miller to a hybrid-type player, using him in multiple ways. Miller ran the ball 42 times for 260 yards with a touchdown and added 26 receptions for 341 yards and three touchdowns. But with his sights set on the NFL, Miller plans to prove what he can do as a receiver.
“When you are on outside it is 1-on-1, the best player against their best defensive back they have,” Miller said. “I want to be that best player on the outside. I already know I can do the inside. I never played on the outside at Ohio State so that is a big thing for me this week to show I can play inside and outside. If you can do both, it is a different kind of ball game.”
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who’s staff coached the North team, talked about Miller last week in Mobile.
“We’re coaching these guys hard and it’s good to see how well he’s responded to that coaching,” Garrett said. “(Braxton Miller is) clearly a great athlete and a productive football player, and someone that has a lot of upside.”
Miller was asked about his days of playing quarterback and if he wonders what things might have been like had he stayed under center.
“I am just a receiver now, being a quarterback is in the past,” Miller said. “I learned a lot from playing quarterback that helps as a receiver. It is an advantage to knowing the concepts like the fronts, the linebackers lining up, I take advantage of that because I already understand the coverage before they line up.
“If the ball comes my way, I am going to do something with it. I have been praying for days like this to show it on a national level.”
Miller did just that last week, and if the Bucs, or any team for that matter, thought he would fly under the radar, he quickly changed that thought process. Miller told the media he expects to run a sub 4.3 40-time at the upcoming NFL Combine, and if that happens, Miller will most likely hear his name called by Roger Goodell on the first night of the NFL Draft.