Jim Bates Still Haunting Roy MillerJune 18th, 2011
Like the rest of the 2009 Bucs defensive linemen, Roy Miller got the edict from Jim Bates, and presumably the rest of the Bucs staff, to fatten up. Gain weight.
Bates needed/wanted big bodies to play his heinous two-gap system, even if the bodies on his roster couldn’t be their best selves with all that extra beef. It was an embarassing miscalculation by Raheem Morris, which led to Rock Riley chasing down Bates at a fast food joint after he was defrocked by the Bucs midseason.
It’s been about 20 months since Bates was put out to pasture, but the edicts of that woeful era are still haunting Miller, so he told “Old School” of WhatTheBuc.net, during the website’s online radio show Thursday night.
Old School: In some ways, you’re kind of lost in the shuffle in the middle there with this revamped D-line. Where can you stand out?
Roy Miller: What I’ve been doing this offseason is losing a bunch of weight. I really, I’ve been playing at a weight that I never really played at, and even in college I always stayed around 290, 285. When I first came into Tampa, my coach, we were kind of more in a 4-3, two-gap type defense and I gained that weight because they told me to gain, and I never really could shake it, man. I mean, I got down. My first year I was like 325, and coming from 285 was crazy. Last year I was down to 316. I just want to keep getting back down. I want to just get off the ball and get back to what I’m used to and just do my thing. You’re right. You could say I’m, whatever, ‘lost in the shuffle.’ That’s fine with me. I just working to do what I got to do … and produce.”
Obviously, from Miller’s comments, he felt he was lacking burst last year and was perhaps a step slow. Very telling considering he started every game and was up the gut in the Bucs’ porous run defense and weak pass rush.
In addition to losing weight, Miller said he’s still bench pressing 540 pounds and has been focusing a lot this offseason on building his hand and forearm strength, areas he said he’s never focused on previously.
Still 23 years old, there’s no reason to think Miller can’t take his game up a couple of notches. He might have to if Brian Price’s unique injury isn’t ready for the rigors of the NFL.