Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller is recovering from his second shoulder surgery in as many offseasons, so he knows the drill.
And as he works his way back to health, he has hopes that he’ll be able to make a big step this season.
“I feel like this is going to be my best year yet,” Miller said, via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve matured a lot on the field and I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, especially this offseason. I’ve been studying up a lot on other players and seeing what they do so I can enhance my game.”
Miller was hurt while returning a kick in a meaningless Week 17 game (only out there because Cordarrelle Patterson was injured), calling it a “freak accident.” But they immediately knew he needed surgery, and now he’s going about the business of rehabbing without a fully equipped training staff. He’s still not to the point of being able to catch passes, but there is time before he’ll need to.
“Just knowing I had to go through this again . . . another series of seven months getting everything right again [is the challenge],” he said. “I have to spend the offseason rehabbing. I would like to do other things, but this is what’s going on now. So this is what I deal with.
“I’ve learned to be more patient, especially with the healing process. I’m just making sure everything heals the way I want it to so I can contribute the way I want to on the field.”
Miller became more of a contributor as last season went on, and with Nick Foles‘ arriving to compete for the starting quarterback job, the Bears have a chance at a more competent offense. But they know they need more from Miller, and he’s spent his offseason studying receivers such as Steve Smith, Isaac Bruce, and Stefon Diggs. And of course, being in Chicago, watching The Last Dance.
“Michael Jordan is the greatest athlete of all time in my eyes,” he said. “Just seeing what he went through to achieve his goals and to get everybody on his level, it was amazing. He’s a guy you can emulate your game off of, your mentality off of.”
Miller’s not quite to the Jordan level yet, but he is getting better, and if he continues to get well, should be in line for a bigger role this year.