Just in time for next week’s regular-season opener at Carolina, Zach Miller got his one and only tune-up: a single series.
The six-play, 80-yard scoring drive to open the Seattle Seahawks’ 22-6 exhibition win over Oakland was the only action Miller saw, but it gave the 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end a taste.
Offseason foot surgery meant Miller spent all but the past two weeks of training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. A few reps in Thursday’s final preseason game had Miller feeling “good to get into a rhythm again.”
Getting the go-ahead from coach Pete Carroll to play ahead of Miller’s projected debut for the regular-season opener against the Carolina Panthers wasn’t easy, but an impressive practice session earned Miller an earlier shot – against his former team, no less.
“I felt really good the last two weeks,” Miller said, “I wanted to get work in before the regular season. Just a little bit helps.”
Miller gelled with the No. 1 offensive unit during his brief appearance. He saw value in the first unit’s strong series as it prepares for the Panthers.
“That gives us a little bit of confidence,” Miller said. “I expect our offense to be explosive this year, so it’s what we should to do start a football game.”
Miller’s return was a welcome sight. Of the five tight ends on the team’s 75-man roster, Miller has the most NFL experience. Backup Sean McGrath saw action in the team’s final four games – two regular-season and two postseason – last season, while Darren Fells, Cooper Helfet and rookie Luke Willson have never appeared in a regular-season game.
Willson made the most of the exhibition season with Miller out, finishing with a team-high eight catches for 82 yards, including four catches for 45 yards Thursday, entering the game after Miller’s one-and-done series.