Anthony Miller is trying really hard to follow advice given to him at the NFL combine.
Slow down Torry Holt Jersey , just enough to stay focused and avoid making a mistake simply because the wide receiver is moving too fast.
That's easier said than done for the man who had no offers from any FBS college coming out of high school and chose to walk on at Memphis. Miller is in a hurry to prove he's the best wide receiver in the 2018 NFL draft.
"There's not anything in my game that somebody can say that I don't have," Miller said. "I feel like I bring a lot to the table, and I feel like I deserve a chance. That's really all I need is a chance. Say I go first round or third round, if I get that chance I'm going to remain on that team. They're going to love what I bring to the table."
Miller comes by that self-confidence naturally. That's why he ignored a couple of offers from Football Championship Subdivision schools in order to walk on at his hometown university. And he left with a handful of receiving records: 238 catches for 3,590 yards and 37 touchdowns for his career. He topped his own single-season marks with 96 receptions for 1,462 yards, helping Memphis rank No. 25 in the final Associated Press poll.
"It's just fun to me," Miller said of playing football. "I feel like a person shouldn't do anything if they don't enjoy doing it. Whenever I step on that field, I see it as fun. I'm blessed to have this talent that I have, and every time I step on that field I'm just going to give it my all because it's created so many opportunities for me as well."
Kevin Locastro has seen Miller's love of football. Locastro first met Miller when the receiver was in the seventh grade and headed to Christian Brothers High School. Miller came in as a freshman, undersized and maybe 105 pounds, but always the first player on the field for practice and the last to leave. He saw someone who enjoyed football so much that Miller's work ethic was infectious, even in the sticky heat of summer weight workouts.
"You don't see much of his humility when he's playing, to be honest with you," said Locastro, now athletic director at Lausanne Collegiate School. "Not that he's an in-your-face, trash-talking type kid all the time. He plays with a certain level of confidence Charles Leno Jersey , and he wants to compete with the best. As soon as he steps off the field, he's just a really good young man. He's a yes sir, no sir kid. Very polite."
Miller had one edge, even as a high school freshman: big hands. Locastro says it seems Miller's hands are still growing, and Miller had some of the largest hands measured at this year's combine at 10 inches.
"The other day I visited my grandma, and we put our hands up next to each other. I saw that her hands were pretty big as well," Miller said of his mother's mother. "She's like, 'That's where you got your hands from.' I said, 'maybe so.' But my dad has big hands as well. So do my uncles. I guess it runs in the family a little bit."
Miller also lifted 225 pounds 22 times at the combine. Memphis coach Mike Norvell, who calls Miller one of the greatest wide receivers he's been around, said that combination allows Miller to do so many things.
"When he gets those mitts on you, it's a challenge for most defensive backs," Norvell said. "But then some of the catches that you see him have, the one-handed catches, the reaction catches where he's only able to get one hand up, having the size hands that he has and the strength that he has in them really allows him to do some special things catching the football."
Miller answered one question about himself on April 3. He broke his right foot in the Liberty Bowl when Memphis lost 21-20 to Iowa State , but Miller ran the 40-yard dash at Memphis' pro day Case Keenum Jersey , where he was told scouts clocked him at 4.46 and 4.52 seconds.
That has kept him very busy visiting with teams. The Minnesota Vikings showed interest, as did Carolina and Atlanta. He grew up rooting for the Cowboys like his father, but Miller only wants to be drafted.
"Like I said," he repeated, "I just need an opportunity."
Pittsburgh Steelers starting left guard Ramon Foster’s right knee injury isn’t as bad as initially feared.
Foster was injured Saturday and left the team’s first padded practice of training camp on a golf cart. Head coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday that Foster had his knee evaluated and the injury won’t require surgery.
Tomlin offered no additional details on the injury or a timetable on Foster’s recovery, but team president Art Rooney II said the Steelers are hopeful to have Foster back in time for the regular season.
Regardless, it appears as if the Steelers won’t lose their starting left guard for an extended period of time.
”I never speculate,” Tomlin said. ”I’m always hopeful, (and) I was that. So, we got relatively good news.”
The Steelers’ offensive line depth took a hit in the spring when they lost former fourth-round pick Jerald Hawkins to a torn quadriceps.
It didn’t look good for the Steelers when their most seasoned member of the offensive line went down on Saturday. Foster lay on the grass, holding his right knee after Landry Jones tossed an incomplete pass to Antonio Brown.
”It’s always a tough moment when someone goes down, especially in practice,” left tackle Alejandro Villanueva said.
Ben Roethlisberger was on one knee next to Foster, while injured linebacker Ryan Shazier and other teammates gathered.
”Ramon is a key guy and a key figure on this team,” guard B.J. Finney said. ”I think it did kind of jolt everybody, but it made everybody realize that you’re only one play away from playing.”
Foster, who enters his 10th season Darius Leonard Jersey , has been a consistent force on the offensive line.
He has appeared in 130 games with 115 starts since 2009, most on the team during that span. Some players looked visibly shaken on the field as a steady stream of veterans, including the starting offensive line, checked in on Foster before he left practice on a cart.
”Everybody loves Ramon and everybody wants him back,” Finney said. ”But it’s the mentality that the next guy’s gotta come up and we’ve gotta keep things going.”
That’s where Finney steps in. Finney might not be a household name, but he has been effective with the Steelers.
Finney, who enters his third season, has appeared in 27 games with seven starts, including four last season. He started for Foster at left guard Oct. 15 against Kansas City, and helped Le’Veon Bell rush for 179 yards, tied for the 10th-most single-game rushing yards in team history.
”B.J.’s got experience, which is key in this league,” right guard David DeCastro said. ”He’s played some big snaps for us.”
In his first career start at left guard in 2016, Finney was part of an offensive line that helped Bell rush for 144 yards and Roethlisberger throw for 300 yards and five touchdowns. That same season, he started for Foster at Buffalo and helped Bell rush for a team-record 236 yards.
”I don’t want the other guys to suffer from me coming in, so my mentality is to always make sure I’m not going to bring everybody down or hold anybody up,” Finney said.
Finney landed a spot with the Steelers after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent. It was a similar story in college as Finney was a walk-on at Kansas State Carson Tinker Jersey , and finished as one of just three players in school history to earn all-conference honors four straight years.
Finney has proven reliable in Pittsburgh at both guard spots and center.
”It’s not a new thing for me, so I know that I can play at this level and I can do a good job filling in when I have to,” Finney said.
Finney is going to have to fill in as the Steelers starting left guard, at least until Foster returns.
”It’s really tough,” DeCastro said of Foster’s injury. ”A guy that’s been here that long, and part of the group that we have, it’s difficult, but luckily it’s not too bad and he’ll be back.”
NOTES: S Morgan Burnett missed his third practice with a hamstring injury. … WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (undisclosed), OLB T.J. Watt (hamstring), TE Vance McDonald (foot), S Sean Davis (groin), and LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi all left Sunday’s practice early.
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