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Steelers notebook: Unsung Miller flexing his offensive muscle

| Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, 10:18 p.m.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't get a Pro Bowl vote. If he did, the first name on his ballot would be Heath Miller.

Miller receives only a fraction of the attention of tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, who catch passes at a wide receiver-like rate. Roethlisberger argues no tight end does as many things as well as Miller, especially blocking.

“He's always been a comfort zone and blanket. He is a great player, great teammate, maybe the best I've ever had,” he said of Miller, who has a team-high five TD catches.

With 36 career TDs, Miller is one off Elbie Nickel's team record by a tight end. “Fortunately I have been with a good quarterback all these years,” he said.

Miller had a touchdown catch and a two-point conversion catch Sunday in Cincinnati. He celebrated by flexing, an uncommon display for a low-key player who almost never calls attention to himself.Roethlisberger felt like flexing, too.

“It's fun and gets you going because he doesn't show emotion,” he said.

Harrison ‘getting better'

James Harrison did not have a James Harrison-like game last week. Of the 19 Steelers credited with making a defensive play such as a tackle or sack, Harrison was not among them.

To defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, Harrison was one of the players most responsible for the Bengals generating only 185 yards during the Steelers' 24-17 win.

Harrison has one sack and eight tackles since missing the preseason and first three games with a left knee injury.

“I think he is getting better every week,” LeBeau said.

Ex-Pitt standout released

The Steelers promoted safety Damon Cromartie-Smith from the practice squad to their active roster Saturday and released guard John Malecki (Pitt/Franklin Regional).

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at arobinson@tribweb.com.

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