Braxton Miller was drafted for one reason, to be a future weapon lining up at the slot wide receiver position. Considered a starter from day one, Miller’s ascent to producing on the field has been slowed on the stat sheet.
When Miller went down with a hamstring injury against the Kansas City Chiefs, Jaelen Strong took over at the slot receiver position and took most of the snaps for the next month. Now, with Strong out for close to a month due to an ankle injury, Miller is back in the mix at the slot position.
“Whether Strong was in there or not, I think that Braxton has taken steps to improve,” explained O’Brien of Miller. “I think he’s had a really good week of practice, so regardless of who’s in there or who’s not in there, I think Braxton will have an opportunity to take that step, if that makes sense.”
The production for Miller has not been there through the first 8 games with only 8 receptions for 52 yards. His lack of game reps might be the behind the lack of plays but Miller is confident that the work he and Brock Osweiler have been putting in will pay off.
“We get it in practice, but games are different,” explained Miller. “We just have to keep working and working, and eventually things will pop open.”
Against the Detroit Lions, Miller looked more at ease he had all season on the field. With a couple of catches which resulted in positive gains, Miller knows he has to make plays when he gets his chance.
“You know, if I get the opportunity, I’m going to make the best of it,” he said. “When the ball comes my way, just attack it and just make the best of it.”
Miller is not making any excuses on his slow start and he is about making plays for the offense to help the team win. The learning curve is steep for rookies but the bye week came at the right time and Miller is positioned to help the Texans make a second half push.
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