Zach Miller getting adjusted

Tight end Zach Miller figures to play a pivotal role in the Oakland Raiders offense. He has the toughness to go over the middle, blocks well, and is fundamentally sound. Now, he is at his first mini-camp.

How many plays did you get for the first mini-camp? Is it dramatically different?

Zach Miller: The plays are really similar but the terminology is different, so I have to memorize all that and adjust to it. It's a little bit of a new system so I have to adjust to that.

How much were you able to get before you got here? Did they send you a playbook?

Zach Miller: They sent me the installation for today and called me and we went over it on the phone so I had a little idea about it before I came in. It happened pretty quickly after the draft. On Monday I got one packet, on Tuesday I got the other.

You're in the mix for the starting tight end job. How long has it been since you were in this kind of competition?

Zach Miller: I guess that would be my freshman year of college. Competition is a good thing. I'm out there to work. There are a lot of tight ends out there. You have to do what you can when you get the reps.

How do you size up the other guys? Do you know much about them?

Zach Miller: I don't know some of our older guys. Some of the guys I know because I worked out with them, like Fred Wakefield at Arizona. I met all of them just this morning.

What's it like to work with JaMarcus Russell?

Zach Miller: Certainly, no one will question his arm strength. He's picking up the offense well. I think he's going to be a great player. He's leading the offense when he's in there. Right now he's learning as much as he can. He's out there with his playbook, next to the other quarterbacks, asking for help. It's good for him; he's going to get it down quick.

How much different is the speed of the game here?

Zach Miller: Everyone out here is so much faster, things happen faster. You have to know exactly what you're doing and you have to be ready to adjust. The defense flies around so it's a big difference from college.

Does Andrew Walter. seem like the same QB?

Zach Miller: Yes. He threw me a pass on a flat route and I caught it; he came over to me and joked, "Just like old times." It's cool having him out there.

Being a rookie, is it helpful to have someone out there you have some familiarity with?

Zach Miller: It definitely does. He came up to me the first time I saw him this morning and said, 'If you need help with anything, just ask me. If you have any questions, if you every need to know anything, just give me a call.' Stuff like that. It's nice to know you have someone like that here.

Did you have that moment out there when you look around and say, 'God, I'm here?'

Zach Miller: When I first went out there, when I put on my jersey and the helmet, it's an amazing feeling. You're an NFL player. I always dreamed of being that. It's exciting. I'll remember it forever, the first day I put on the uniform.

What's the energy level out there, with Coach Kiffin and his staff? Is it like college?

Zach Miller: It's a lot more intense. He keeps a fast pace. Faster than we did in college. You're running plays one after the other. Running from drill to drill, from here to there, he keeps such a pace that it takes a while to get your wind at times.

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