Miller Time. . . Again . . . (Sigh)

Max KienzlerAnalyst ISeptember 10, 2008

The aging Fred Miller (or in NFL terms, “the veteran”) has resigned with the Chicago Bears adding depth the tackle position.  The Bears cut rookie tackle Kyle Barton to make room for Miller on the team.

This is a questionable move at best.  Do you know the only thing Fred Miller is guaranteed to give you every game?  False starts.  The man jumped early more often than Cedric Benson fell down last year.  He was terrible.  Not to mention the fact that I cringed every time Grossman (or Grieseball or KO) went back to pass because if Miller didn’t commit a false start, it meant that he moved when the ball was snapped and that vastly increased the odds of him getting burned by whatever defensive end was opposing him.

I realize the Bears are not bringing him in to start (at least I hope that’s not the reason) so why am I so upset about it?  Because he has no upside.  We have seen Fred Miller’s best (and his worst) and he has already peaked.  Kirk Barton, while having no experience, can at least get better. 

The only thing I can pin my hopes on is that Miller was hurt last year.  He claims he was playing at only 40 or 50 percent last season.  He had surgery and now says he is at 90 percent which is the healthiest he is going to get.  So is 90% Fred Miller better than a completely healthy Kirk Barton?

Ok ok ok, John St. Clair was getting manhandled on that left side for the whole Colts game so I understand the argument for some experience, but it doesn’t matter who you have on that left side because even pro bowl tackles have their hands full with Dwight Freeney.   And I know the saying, "you can never have to many linemen" so I suppose there are worse calls than resigning Miller, but at the least it shouldn’t have come at the expense of a possible up and comer in Barton.

Miller is old and slow, even when healthy.  I know the Bears and their fans are looking for anyway to improve our O-Line which, with the emergence of Matt Forte and the mistake free play of Kyle Orton so far, is our weakest link.  If he comes in and contributes (and doesn’t get someone killed), I will be the first one to admit I was wrong . . . but I will not be holding my breath.