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Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller on the upcoming playoff game in Denver

Heath Miller might be Ben Roethlisberger's go-to man on the field but he's SCI.net's go-to man in the locker room. Here's what Heath's thinking between Cincy and Denver playoff games.

 Heath Miller, Tight End, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Mike Tomlin shut down any talk about the behavior in the Bengals game. Is that the case with the entire team?

HM: Yeah, I think we're all thinking that game's history to us. Our focus is on our challenge this week against the Broncos, the No. 1 seed in our conference.

Q: But what a game. Have you ever been in anything like that?

HM: Unique. It was unique. But like I said, we'll have plenty of time this offseason to talk about it.

Q: So, you'll answer my phone call then?

HM: (Laughs)

Q: You seemed to have a lot of success blocking Burfict.

HM: Um ...

Q: Some success anyway.

HM: Yeah. Nothing that sticks out in my mind.

Q: You guys played Cincinnati and Denver back-to-back before and had success. Isn't this odd?

HM: This time Denver's healthier on defense. They've got a guy back on offense who's notable. And it's at their place. And they've had a week off. It's going to be a challenge. I think we would be silly to think 'Oh, we beat this team before. We can just roll over and get the win on Sunday.' It's a totally different situation this time.

Q: You're a smart veteran, though. Does the rest of the team feel the same way?

HM: I think so.

Q: Their safeties are back and healthy. T.J. Ward, I'm sure you know something about him.

HM: Yeah, he's a really good player. Played against him in Cleveland for a while. He's a big part of what they do on defense. They'll be able to do some more stuff this time around because he's in the lineup that they couldn't do last time.

Q: Weren't their backup safeties effective last game?

HM: Yeah. Their defense seemed tough to me. But like I said, last time they were pretty basic when we were in kings, or three-WR formations. I think with them on the field they might be able to do more stuff. But we'll see. I don't know if they'll change it up.

Q: How much were you a factor in keeping Von Miller quiet that last game?

HM: We (tight ends) were asked to block him a little bit. It's going to be a team protection again. It has to be against those guys. There's not going to be one player who can shut down a Von Miller for an entire game, so we've all got to work together -- running backs, tight ends, offensive line, quarterbacks, try to keep those guys at bay and keep them quiet.

Q: Surely being at their home makes it harder to block a pass-rusher like that. Why is that?

HM: Well, the snap-count situation. If we do a verbal cadence, it's going to be hard to hear. If we do a silent count, he can get a good jump on the ball as he's getting the same tip that we get for the most part. That's what makes it tough.

Q: You have a playoff history in Denver. Which one stands out and why?

HM: One I want to remember and one I want to forget (laughs).

Q: So they both stand out.

HM: Yeah.

Q: Any angst still from the Tebow loss in this locker room?

HM: No. It's a whole different team right now. There aren't many of those guys -- I don't want to say there's not many guys left, but there aren't a whole lot of guys still around.

Q: I'm sure Ben will play. What are you expecting from him, arm-wise?

HM: We'll see. I have no clue how he's feeling. I have no clue how he'll progress throughout the week. But obviously we're hoping for the best and hoping to see the normal guy we see every Sunday. I'm not really thinking about anything other than that.

Q: You've seen him come back from so many injuries, it's almost kind of an expectation that he'll be back. Is that's kind of unfair to him?

HM: A little bit. Hats off to him for coming back into the game last week. With that being said, this week I know if it's possible for him to be in there he's going to be out there with us.


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