Heath Miller will Pose a Big Test for the Jets Linebackers and Safeties


July 27, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets linebackers Bart Scott (57) and David Harris (52) look on during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

David Harris is one of the New York Jets top tacklers. Bart Scott, as we have discussed previously, has made a big deal about being lighter and faster, to stay on the field during passing downs. The safety position has been completed revamped, with finally some physical presence to give offensive players some pause going across the middle.

Well, the linebackers and safeties had better be on top of their game on Sunday afternoon, because the Steelers will pose a tough test for this group.

The reason? Heath Miller.

The Jets, along with many other teams, have had big troubles defending tight ends in the past, which is why they revamped the safety position. Heath Miller will be a good litmus test to see where the Jets are with their development on this. Big Ben considers Heath a safety blanket, and trusts him as much, if not more, than any other receiver on his team, and it showed last week.

He was targeted 9 times, including plays that were called back for penalties. He finished the game with four receptions for 50 yards and 1 TD. In the redzone, outside the redzone, and mo matter the down and distance, Big Ben looked for his target, Heath Miller. His success, for the most part was across the middle and down the seam, where most tight ends do their damage, and where the linebackers and safeties will be tested.

Turn the page, and we will take a look at one one of Miller’s catches as an example.

This was from the third quarter, and the Steelers were facing a tough third and eighteen conversion. Ben is in the gun, with a back next to him on the left, and trips right. Heath Miller is lined up closest to the line on the right side, matched up against a linebacker.

Ben takes the snap, and Miller makes his move to the outside on the linebacker. Ben is definitely looking his way, let’s see what happened next.

Heath Miller makes it a double move, breaking towards the post, leaving the linebacker in the dust. Ben unloads….

Miller finds a spot behind the linebacker, and in front of the safeties. Ben hits him, and 23 yards later, Pittsburgh has a long third down conversion.

This is where the defense will be tested on Sunday. Miller creates matchup difficulties for linebackers around the league. Laron and crew will have to be ready to step up, and Bart Scott and friends need to be on top of their game. This guy could eat away at the Jets defense if they aren’t.