Miller Content with Combine Results

Despite having his name etched in ASU's record books, tight end Zach Miller was never about flash or pizzazz. Being the best run-blocker for the 2006 Sun Devils only enhances his blue-collar mentality. Thus, he doesn't get excited about his 40-yard times at the NFL combine, and told Devils Digest that he's feels good about his workout performances thus far.

The NFL combine in Indianapolis is a four-day event designed to impress as many pro teams as you can in that time period. According to Zach Miller, it's also an exercise in handling a pressure environment, with an assortment of challenging activities and 19-hour days

"It was a unique experience. They keep you so busy and you don't have a lot of free time. You're always being evaluated, having psychological tests; attending meetings…It's what I expected," said Miler. "I guess one thing that did surprise me was that I had 18 scheduled interviews with teams. The interviews were done by 11 pm, but sometimes you find yourself staying up until midnight and talking to coaches there. You try to go to sleep at midnight, but by then you're hungry so my agent would grab me and we would try to find a place to eat at."

During his pre-combine workouts in Southern California, Miller tried to familiarize himself with the various drills the event would present. Even though he knew that the combine likes to change things up every year, he stated that in general nothing caught him off-guard. "Some of the routes that I ran were a little different, but I felt that I was really well-prepared," he commented. "It was hard at times because you're there for three nights with little sleep, but I felt that for the most part I did well in the workouts. The whole combine was a good experience."

Being clocked at 4.86 and 4.93 in the 40-yard dash, were deemed by combine observers as an aspect that can greatly hurt Miller's draft status. The former Arizona State tight end acknowledged that he can run in the 4.7 range, and yet claimed that his results were not all that disappointing to him.

"I didn't feel great that day as far my explosiveness," he explained. "I plan to run faster at Pro Day (which will take place at ASU next week). Teams expected me to run a 4.8, so I didn't disappoint anyone but I didn't help myself a ton either. 40 times are only so helpful for tight ends – it's not like tight ends often run 40 yards in a straight line coming off a stance. You have to see how it really applies to football. I just don't get really worked up over such things." Like some players there, Miller didn't bench press at the combine, but plans to do so at Pro Day. "I think I can do 20 reps," he noted. "That's my goal – at least 20."

Miller saw many familiar faces at the combine. He flew to Indianapolis with fellow former Sun Devils Jesse Ainsworth, Andrew Carnahan and Stephen Berg. Once at the combine, he often saw former Sun Devil skipper and current Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter, who recruited Miller to the maroon and gold. Because some of the down time involved waiting in one line or another, he did get to talk to his former coach on more than one occasion. "He said that it would be great to have me play for the Jaguars," Miller recalled. "But that team is pretty heavy at tight ends and they drafted one in the first round last year. So they're definitely not looking for one early in the draft."

So who is eyeing Miller in a serious way? "Right now I would say New Orleans Saints are showing a lot of interest. Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay showed some interest too," he replied. "But it's hard to say if the other teams are interested in you or not. Some don't need a tight end and still talk to you and some need a tight end and you won't hear from them."

These days, Miller is back home in the valley and working out towards the aforementioned Pro Day event. In his workouts he's catching balls from former BYU and Mesa Mountain View quarterback John Beck, who Miller hopes will attend Pro Day since no other signal caller will be available.

The enormity of the combine cannot be overstated. That's why one should expect Zach Miler to be more at ease from here on out and probably producing better results. "I feel like a lot of pressure is off of me now," he admitted. "I feel that I did well for the most part, aside from the 40's. I look forward to bench pressing at Pro Day and showing all those scouts what I can do. I'm gonna be at the practice field I've been at the last three years so I knew I feel more comfortable there."

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