Miller focused on task at hand

Reporting to camp this time around was a lot different than past years for Maurice Miller. The junior offensive lineman is a starter heading into the season, so the only thing now is to keep it that way.

Miller was designated a backup until injuries plagued the tackle spot in 2006. Then, the Arkansas native got his shot by moving from guard to tackle and starting the last seven games of the season.

He was impressive during that stint as well as during spring practice. Miller arrived to camp Friday a little slimmer and a lot more confident. The kind of confidence that goes with being one of the top five.

"This is one of the best summers I've had," Miller said. "With the activity, I feel great after dropping some weight. I know that I will drop some more by the end of camp, and I will be feeling even better. One of the keys for us is the offensive line. We have an advantage with experience, and we need to keep building on that."

Miller comes in at around 330 lbs., but is hopeful of playing about ten pounds below that. The tackle is more solid and has dropped fat while adding muscle to his 6-3 frame. The experience and knowledge of what to expect has Miller ready for camp and the season. That goes for all the offensive linemen.

"With the experience, we know the plays and what is coming from the defense based on previous knowledge," Miller noted. "We know where to be and how to deal with it. Also, we have several years under our belt in this system."

The team's makeup has changed according to Miller. He thinks everyone is on the same page and ready to all focus on the task at hand. And for the first time, experience is present.

"The biggest thing is the amount of young players playing. There are still those guys, but now we have some experience as well. The team is more close-knit, and the guys are closer together. We are a family now. You could feel diversity in that first year. We were close, but now as close as we are now. There isn't any separation in the locker room like there may have been then."

The expectations have been set, so it is simply time to get to work for Miller and company.

"We are coming in a lot more focused as a team. Everyone has the same goals, and there aren't any distractions. We are ready to go from day one."

And Miller is ready to go as a starter in 2007.

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