Braxton Miller’s ‘Journey’ Leads Him to Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Braxton Miller failed in Houston but that doesn't mean the former two-time Big Ten Player of the Year can't play in the NFL.
The talented Miller, once a third-round pick of the Texans, will get his second chance in Philadelphia after the Eagles officially announced his addition to the practice squad on Monday.
It remains to be seen if this is a marriage made in heaven but it is one that starts out of convenience.
Miller, 25, was always going to be a project after converting from quarterback to receiver during his final year at Ohio State and his first two NFL seasons offered little production, a total of 34 receptions.
The skill set remains, however, and the Eagles believe taking a look at Miller at a position where they need help is a prudent decision. Conversely, Miller observed the landscape and saw a talented team looking for help at his position.
“It came down to what’s the best opportunity for me,” Miller said when talking to reporters after his first practice with the Eagles Monday. “Start here and work my way up. Compete and show what I can do.”
At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Miller offers some size to an offense struggling without the rehabbing Alshon Jeffery and the injured Mack Hollins, the two rangiest receivers in Philadelphia.
Miller's diverse abilities also project nicely into an innovative offense which in theory could take advantage of Miller's ability to run and throw with the football.
“I love this type of scheme," Miller gushed. "Everybody making plays.”
Even though Miller has a big name from his days at OSU and somewhat of a pedigree, it's clear Philadelphia is taking a wait-and-see approach by making him face the hurdle of the PS rather than just immediately placing him on the 53-man roster.
Miller is embracing the challenge.
“I’m good,” he said of the PS designation. “As long as I’m on a team right now playing ball and showcasing my talents, it’s a great opportunity and being coached by one of the best.
"... It’s a process. Don’t feel like I’m on the practice squad. Feel like I’m free, playing football, being happy.”
Miller was released by the Texans earlier this month and returned to Columbus, Ohio, while mapping out his next step and a change of scenery was likely needed.
“It’s been up and down,” Miller said when discussing his first two years. “I had good moments and bad moments. Everything’s a process, so I’m just hoping for the best. ... Get back to having fun doing it and being around a group of guys who have fun doing it."
Philadelphia represents a fresh coat of paint for Miller. He, in turn, is hoping to reciprocate that for a receiving corps that managed just 43 yards against the Atlanta Falcons last week.
“It’s a fresh start," Miller said. "Different scheme, different offense, different culture. The love that I got when I came here first day is great. I can tell everybody plays for each other, and that’s what I like.
“... It’s all part of the journey."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen