Offensive coordinator Mike Miller spent the game against the Steelers on the sideline instead of the coaches box since, well, ever. He’s always been a coach up in the box, and for a coordinator, it’s always about personal preference (like DC Ray Horton, after spending a preseason game on the field, going back upstairs).
But Miller’s preference right now is to find some way to have the Cards and the offense snap out of their funk, so it was decided he would be on the sideline Sunday. He will return there this week in Baltimore, although the plan is to reevaluate on a week-to-week basis. The idea, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, is to better the communication for the unit, especially quarterback Kevin Kolb.
“We were just going down to see if we could improve and I think it was good,” Miller said. “There were some advantages for me too, to be able to look at guys in the eyes and be able to talk to them and they were able to come up to me.”
Miller got a chance to talk to most of the offensive staff face-to-face for the first time. Wide receivers coach John McNulty became the eyes in the sky. “He’s got good vision for the game, especially his savvy in the pass game reading coverages and blitzes,” Miller said. “That was a bonus for us with the move. I thought we saw some advantages.”
The coaches box does have tension, but nothing compares with the cauldron of emotion that is an NFL sideline. Miller said assistant head coach Russ Grimm jokingly reminded Miller that “It’s just a football game” when it started, and linebackers coach Matt Raich — who began coaching together at Robert Morris University once upon a time — reminded Miller to stay far from the line of scrimmage to improve vision of the play. That’s one of the biggest deals, since the main reason Miller (or any coach) likes being upstairs is the ability to see all the players and how plays develop.
“It was good to communicate with Kevin on that level, and it was fun,” Miller said. “It was definitely a different experience. You’ve got to try and stay calm, you’ve got to be able to think, and I think removing myself from right there at the line of scrimmage where everyone is helped.”
Tags: Mike Miller
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