Heath Miller: Stopping football cold turkey was hard

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Longtime Steelers tight end Heath Miller retired this offseason, and for someone who loves the game as much as he does, that wasn’t an easy decision.

“It was a big decision because it was something I had done for as long as I can remember,” Miller said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It was high priority for me, and to stop cold turkey was hard. I probably won’t feel it until the season starts.”

So why did Miller call it quits? Mostly to spend more time with his family.

“It wasn’t just one thing that made me decide it was time to retire,” Miller said. “It was a number of things that told me that now was the time. I don’t know where I’ll be [when training camp starts], but I won’t be in Latrobe, at least not this year. It’s always a tough balance between football and family — or at least for me it was. Now, I’m certainly making up for lost time. Although my boys are going to miss being around the game. For me, it’s always been a big commitment. I really didn’t change, but as you get older. you have to put in more time to make sure your body is ready to go.”

Miller never had a formal retirement announcement and hasn’t previously spoken publicly about his decision.

“I didn’t want to make a big deal about it,” said Miller.

It’s a big deal to the Steelers, who will miss Miller both on and off the field.

22 responses to “Heath Miller: Stopping football cold turkey was hard

  1. I wonder how long it will take the simpleton Steelers fans to stop yelling “Heeeeeath” when any TE catches a pass, before they realize he’s retired.

  2. Had the pleasure of watching him for four years as a Cavalier then I had the displeasure of watching him for 10 more years against my favorite teams rival. As good as they come and very well might go down as the most under rated TRUE tight end to ever play in my opinion.

  3. Time with his family? Players get many, many, many more days off in a year that 99.9% of people who have a job.

  4. He will probably un-retire right about the time that the preseason ends. The great ones can’t keep away from the game.

  5. “I didn’t want to make a big deal about it,”
    That is Heath in a nutshell and one of the many qualities that made him beloved by Steelers fans.
    I see he said he won’t be at Saint Vincent, at least this year. Does that mean a coaching internship in the future?

  6. Never of fan of his teams but definitely a fan of his as a player and person. You never heard anything but good about him off the field. And on the field, he worked as hard as anybody.

    Best of luck in retirement.

  7. ravanator says:
    Jun 16, 2016 7:43 AM

    Already forgot this bum even played football. He was below average and will never make the HOF ballet. Cheers!

    Unlike Ravens fans making the Ballet HOF, Heath Miller will make the HOF ballot.

  8. Heath Miller was awesome to watch. Best all around TE the steelers ever had. He picked up two superbowl rings and had a 3rd one coming if he could of stuck it out another year or two. The Heath chants will be missed.

  9. Heath will be missed. I loved the way he played the game. He could do the most amazing things a just toss the ball to the red and get back to the huddle. Class act who was vastly underrated throughout his career. Not too sure he’ll make the HOF, but her should on character alone :).

  10. I think Miller was clean, a good guy. Good to watch. But I think we’re seeing more sudden late-but-not-that-late career retirements because, with the new bio-marker testing coming in (which cuts out many opportunities to use careful timing of drugs to cheat the tests), players are going to be less tempted to start juicing up like many (of several teams) often did. Increased CTE-risk awareness also plays a key factor.

    Staying clean & being concerned = get out wealthy & still healthy.

  11. The hardest thing about Heath retiring will be the fact that you need two guys to replace him. You don’t see many Pro Bowl quality pass catchers that also block like lineman.

  12. As a Bengals fan, I have to say I hated seeing this guy torch Cincy over and over and over and over.

    Hats off to him. Hopes he enjoys his retirement in good health.

  13. Man do we need Heath back. Green is out. We got burned on him. Whose left at tight end? Going to be a tough year.

  14. He should be remembered as a player for making tough catches that moved the chains and for his above-average blocking. I can imagine that it’s a lot harder for a TE to be physically ready as they get older than other positions because they have to be big and strong enough to block a linebacker while having speed, agility and good hands to be a receiver.

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