Heath Miller understands the stress players who are preparing for the NFL Draft are going through.
He was there himself one day, not knowing what the future was going to hold, where he was going to end up, and how life would change for him.
That is why when he was asked to serve as a mentor for players at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine through the NFL Legends Community, he didn’t hesitate to take part.
“It was cool,” said Miller. “I thought it would be a unique opportunity for me to give back a little bit. It was an opportunity to feed my football appetite. It was neat for me to be back around the game a little bit. It was special to see some old faces and spend some time around guys I hadn’t seen in a while.”
Miller was one of 14 former players, joining Santonio Holmes, who provided advice and served as a resource for the young players.
“I was trying to be an open book for guys who had questions, not just about the Combine, but about anything that happens next after the Combine,” said Miller. “We talked about the next steps and I tried to help them to do the right thing, help them establish themselves to have long careers.”
Miller worked with the tight ends and said from the feedback he received, the questions that were asked, that it’s a program that works.
“I think for some guys it can definitely be valuable,” said Miller. “You never know what someone is going to tell you that you carry with you for the rest of your career. It’s good for young guys to be around older guys who have been there, done that. You never know what is going to be said that can have a lasting impact.
“The Combine was a nerve wracking time for them. They understand it’s a big job interview. They are nervous about doing their interviews, how much they will lift, how fast they will run. It’s a stressful time for them. I tried to be a voice of encouragement. If someone approached me and asked something, especially when we had down time, it was good. Guys weren’t afraid to do that.”
Miller also enjoyed spending time with some of the familiar faces he ran into, from former college coaches to members of the Steelers staff.
“I got to see quite a few guys on the Steelers staff,” said Miller. “I spent time with Coach (James) Daniel, that and a bunch of guys I played with and former coaches I had. Guys I spent time with. It was neat to have that chance, that opportunity.”