Bucs Q&A: Roy Miller

The 2009 third-round pick out of Texas is considered the future of the interior line in Tampa Bay. Bucsblitz.com talked to Miller earlier this week about starting over as a rookie, his relationship with Tampa Bay's offensive players and which Bucs player he models his game after.

Q: How has the first week of practice been going for you?

MILLER: It has been good. Adjusting back to the humidity has been a big thing. These guys are really good and if you don't get to go against that type of caliber back home then it can be kind of hard. I have just been adjusting and have been trying to learn my technique all over again. I came back and now I am on kick and punt return so I am always trying to learn more. You become more of a man out here because just getting up and grinding every day is not easy.

Q: What has the process been like from going from being the big man on campus to starting over as a rookie?

MILLER: It is definitely a process. You go to your hometown and you are the king as they say, but you come back out here and you are the rook. People are telling you to go grab their helmet and all of these things that you all of a sudden have to do. It is a little different. You have to earn your respect with all of the older guys and that is what I am trying to do right now. I am just trying to earn respect and am just trying to learn because I am a rookie all over again, and it is definitely a little weird.

Q: Have any of the veterans been giving you a hard time early on?

MILLER: I get it from all different sides whether it is coaches or players. I hear rookie this and rookie that. It is what it is. You just have to take it and embrace that position.

Q: As a defensive lineman, how is your relationship with offensive players such as Davin Joseph and Jeff Faine so far?

MILLER: It has been good off the field. On the field, it is a competition, and it gets tough. We are good friends off the field, but it gets pretty intense out here though.

Q: Do you live in the weight room?

MILLER: Oh yeah. I don't know what it is about that place, but I like to stay in there and get big. I like to do that.

Q: What is your workout regimen like?

MILLER: I like to do a little bit of everything. I like working on my hips and working on my chest because I bench around 540 lbs. I want to keep getting stronger in that area, but I want to work on my weaknesses as well. Right now, I am just working really close with Kurtis Schultz, and he has been giving us a great workout for now.

Q: You were the first defensive selection under this new regime. What type of relationship do you have with Jim Bates?

MILLER: Coach Bates has been really good to me. He has just been trying to get me to learn more. After every practice, he comes up and talks with me about how I am doing. He gives me great feedback of what he would like to see me do better. He has been really upfront with me, and I appreciate that.

Q: How do you think you fit into Coach Bates' defensive system?

MILLER: It is definitely something new. At Texas, I was more of a one gap player, but I am adjusting very well to this. That is a credit to Coach Bates. They knew I could do it. Just having that trust in me helps me go out there with confidence too.

Q: How have you been handling the mental side of the game while at training camp?

MILLER: It is definitely a grind. I don't even know how to explain it. When I look at the older guys, I have so much respect for them for being here for over 10 years. It is very tough and is something that I am definitely not used to. You just have to be a man. Every night it feels like you can't get enough sleep so it's a grind, but it is what is going to make us tougher. It is going to have us ready. If you take it like that, you need to go out there to practice and have a great day.

Q: They at least feed you good though right?

MILLER: They feed you too good and then have an official weigh-in the next day.

Q: What is the biggest difference that you have noticed between the professional and college level?

MILLER: Expectations! Having to get up and hit every day. Coach Raheem is tough on us, and he expects that out of us. You have to expect yourself to do good every day. Nobody is here holding your hand. Nobody is trying to baby you through things. You have to have high expectations for yourself. Everyone around here has high expectations for you, and you have to fulfill them.

Q: Have you been surprised how difficult the transition can be?

MILLER: It was a surprise. You hear a lot of people saying that the NFL is not as tough as people make it out to be. There are not too many people who can come out here and do what we do every day. It is hotter than heck and this humidity is crazy. All of that along with the demands for you to perform and then going to meetings all day while being away from your family. A lot of people can't do that. I am from an army background. That's why before I left home; I adopted a saying from the soldiers. I got to see some of them take off, and I saw a sign that read, "Army Strong, Come Back Home Safe." That is something that pumps me up every day. I see these people going to war and doing crazy things where they might not get to sleep, but they can't complain. They have to get up because their life and their family lives depend on them coming back safe. That is something that I have adopted and keep in mind because that keeps me going out here.

Q: Any predictions for the Texas and Oklahoma game later this year?

MILLER: Oh you already know. There are three guys from Oklahoma. There's Davin Joseph, Donte Nicholson, and Jimmy Wilkerson and I get to take all their money. The streak continues.

Q: Speaking of Wilkerson, has he had any effect on you at the defensive tackle position?

MILLER: Definitely. Jimmy is a great pass rusher, and I have just been watching him practice. I have been trying to pick up things from him. I will ask him about getting my hips open, and he will sit there and explain it to me. He will come out before practice and show me different drills that I could work to do that. He is just a great technician and a hard working guy. I would just love to become like him.

Q: Is there someone you really model your game after?

MILLER: I really like the type of player Chris Hovan is. I really do. He comes in here and does what he is expected to do every day and more. He never complains and is a true professional athlete. He comes in here early in the morning before everybody to stretch and warm up. If he sees people lying down, he will tell them to get up. He is a family man at the same time. It is all those things and he comes out here and gets things done then he helps us out. He has been very instrumental to me. I want to be like that.

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