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Steelers' Miller's new role? Fill-in QB

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers tight end Heath Miller catches a pass in front of the Chiefs' Eric Berry during the second quarter Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at Heinz Field.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 7:12 p.m.
 

Heath Miller was a two-time all-state high school quarterback in Richmond, Va., and originally signed with Virginia to play that position. He switched to tight end as a freshman and has played there ever since.

He could have been forced back to his original position Monday night.

With Ben Roethlisberger out and Byron Leftwich the only other Steelers quarterback in uniform, Miller was the emergency QB against the Chiefs.

Teams usually draw up a sequence of plays for such conditions but, Miller said, “It would have been a very small package.”

And how many snaps has he taken in practice? “Maybe two,” he said.

Safety first

Steelers safety Ryan Clark is wearing a new, larger helmet— like the one worn by Troy Polamalu — and he fitted it with the Kevlar padding that James Harrison wears to reduce the impact of on-field collisions. Clark played 11 seasons without a concussion, but now that he's had two of them in three weeks, he is being more cautious. “I'm going to be messed up,” he said. “When you sign up for this game, we know there are risks, and you pray and hope you never have to deal with long-term effects. But you know there are going to be long-term effects when you play a collision sport.”

— Alan Robinson

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