Over the past six or seven years, professional athletes have gained more and more platforms to speak directly with fans. Whether it be Yardbarker back in the day, Twitter, or various new websites, athletes can frequently skip the proverbial middle man to say what they want to say.
Bruce Miller recently wrote an article for Chatsports, in which he discussed a variety of topics, focused primarily on the first year of his NFL career. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it provides some insight into a few topics.
Miller was drafted in 2011, which was the year of the lockout. There was no formal offseason workout program, and so Alex Smith set up an informal version of the program at San Jose State University. Miller said that Smith was in touch with him a week after the draft. Miller wrote that, “Alex had snuck out a copy of the playbook.“ Miller said he didn’t know how Smith got it, but we can say with near certainty that he got it from Harbaugh in the brief window they could meet before the lockout officially began.
Fooch’s update: I forgot that Harbaugh said he had given Smith a playbook during the brief window the lockout was lifted at one point.
No rookie hazing
Jim Harbaugh told the veterans to treat rookies like family, and there was to be no rookie hazing. Miller said that Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly have both echoed that sentiment.
Miller was converted from defensive end to fullback as a rookie. He eventually emerged as one of the best fullbacks in the league, but it was special teams that got him a role coming out of training camp. Moran Norris was the fullback at the start of the season, but a broken fibula got Miller into the lineup in Week 2. Miller had an injury later in the season, but otherwise was the starting fullback moving forward from there.
It says something about Miller that he not only made the conversion from defensive end to fullback, but he did it without the benefit of the offseason workout program. Learning a new position is never a simple process, but I don’t see how it would be too difficult for Miller given his history.