WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- It has taken Braxton Miller some time to get used to playing wide receiver in the NFL.
The Houston Texans' 2016 third-round pick only played one season at the position at Ohio State after making the transition from quarterback before his senior season. In his rookie year, not only did Miller face the challenges of transitioning from a college offense to the NFL, but he did it at a position he didn't have that much experience at.
For Miller, the most challenging part of playing receiver in the NFL is recognizing coverages. Texans wide receivers coach John Perry said he has been trying to spend time working with Miller in that area.
"It's much different when you're under center recognizing coverages as opposed to being out wide and recognizing coverages," Perry said. "When he knows who he has to beat, he's very good, but he has to keep working on that coverage aspect of it. You'll see a lot more improvement there."
Miller said he has spent a lot of time watching film this offseason of other slot receivers who play in a similar offensive scheme. He said already knowing the playbook going into this season has made a huge difference as well.
"This year, I'm more relaxed. Last year, I was more tense," Miller said. "The playbook is kind of tough.
"Now I'm going out there open-minded, like I know what I'm doing. The only thing I have to worry about is how I'm going to beat the guy in front of me."
Head coach Bill O'Brien has noticed that as well.
"Braxton's become a better route runner," O'Brien said. "He knows our system better, so now he can really concentrate on technique and not have to think about the plays all the time. He's worked really hard. He came on strong at the end of OTAs and he's having a good camp here."
Now that Miller has a year under his belt, the physical attributes are there, and the Texans think he will succeed in the slot role.
"He has the quickness and the speed that you're looking for in there," Perry said. "The thing that's really intriguing is that he's generally a larger guy than most slot receivers, but he does have that quickness and speed to go along with that. That's something that's really valuable and gives him options to play on the outside and do those things, too. He's fighting to try to get on the field in a lot of different ways."