On the Sidelines with Heath Miller
Steelers.com will bring you a regular feature throughout the season titled On the Sidelines where Teresa Varley will sit down with players and help you get to know them away from the game.
Steelers fans have taken tight end Heath Miller into their hearts thanks to the big plays he makes on the field. When he makes a catch, you hear them all yell out "Heeeeath" in unison.
But there are others whose heart Miller has captured. Those in the Pittsburgh community and his hometown who need a helping hand.
Miller doesn't like to make a fuss when he is out lending a hand. He quietly went to the Light of Life Rescue Mission last Thanksgiving and while cameras were rolling in one room, he was in another talking to the men who are part of the program there.
He did a football camp in his hometown Swords Creek, Virginia this offseason to give kids a chance to learn football skills from an NFL player.
The camp was designed to teach a wide variety of fundamentals, techniques and drills, including speed and agility development techniques along with core football drills.
Miller also is hosting Bid for Hope this year, an event that benefits A Glimmer of Hope, a breast cancer research organization. He also has lent a hand to Project Bundle-Up by hosting a miniature golf tournament, hosts kids from Variety the Children's Charity at training camp and assists with the Urban Impact Football Camp.
Miller talks about his start in football, community efforts and different topics in this installment of On the Sidelines.
When did you start playing organized sports?
I think I was three-years old and I was on a baseball team. I don't remember too much. I think I had to play the outfield.
When did you start to play football?
I started in second grade. One of the stipulations was I had to wear shin guards and forearm pads or my mom wouldn't let me play. I wasn't moving around too good. I probably looked like a mummy running around. I was the only one doing that. It was kind of embarrassing.
When did it become a reality for you that you could play professional sports?
Once I started playing in college and I saw guys I was playing with move on and have success at the next level. That's when I thought maybe this is a possibility for me.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I have received a lot of good advice and it's always hard to narrow it down to one. As far as sports just always think about outworking your opponent.
You did a football camp in your hometown, why did you do that?
It always feels good when you can give back to the community because you know you have been in the same shoes as the kids who came to the camp. When I thought about who I wanted to give back to kids were first and foremost in my mind. This was a good way to do that.
I went to a few camps growing up, but not in my hometown. It's always a fun time to bond with your friends who you go to camp with. I had good memories from those. I am happy to do this at home.
Hopefully they enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun for me. I enjoyed being able to interact with the kids. Being able to see the smiles on their faces made it all worthwhile for me.