Earlier this week, Danny Kelly put together a look at some of the best offensive role players across the league. The headline refers to grittiness, and while that is often a PFT Commenter joke, it is also a phrase we hear so frequently with regard to role players.
Danny defined role players as "players that are not generally considered "stars" on a national level, nor considered the "go-to guys" on any given team. That means, for skill position players, we're talking that third receiver or that second tight end. For offensive linemen, I'm including starters, but focusing in on a few guys that don't get a ton of fanfare as perennial Pro Bowlers or high-profile studs. Obviously, some of these determinations are going to be a little subjective."
On Friday he focused on offensive players, and San Francisco 49ers fullback Bruce Miller made his list. There were several players at each position, although quarterback was not included. When we're talking about role players and the grittiness cliche, fullbacks are often the very definition of those terms. Miller was joined by Anthony Sherman and Kyle Juszczyk. Here is what he had to say about Miller:
Baltimore's Kyle Juszczyk and San Francisco's Bruce Miller play similar roles for their respective teams, but also add some skill in the passing game. Juszczyk's 19 catches trailed only Oakland's Marcel Reece last year, and Miller wasn't far behind with 18 receptions. Having a solid option to pass to out of the backfield is a big deal in short-yardage situations and on the goalline, and Miller caught two touchdowns for the Niners last season.
The 49ers offense is a bit of a question mark, so it is hard to tell what exactly Bruce Miller's role will entail. How frequently will we see him as a lead blocker? Will we see him used more in a Delanie Walker role where he is utilized in different positions. He has been a solid pass catcher in the past, so it would make some sense to work him into the passing offense beyond just pass blocking. The 49ers have added several offensive options, including Torrey Smith, Reggie Bush and Blake Bell. And we can't forget about Trey Millard competing for a roster spot as a potential H-back.
Miller has been a solid component of the team ever since arriving as a converted defensive end/linebacker. But the team is facing its most significant transition since Jim Harbaugh arrived on the scene. We don't know enough about the offensive changes at this point to say anything with certainty, but until we know more, what do you see happening with Miller in 2015?