CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller last played in a meaningful NFL game in 2011, but if Friday night's performance against the Philadelphia Eagles is any indicator, that streak may be on the verge of ending.
Miller, a fifth-year veteran and former 2009 sixth-round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars, led the Bears with six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears' 34-28 preseason victory over the Eagles.
With Martellus Bennett currently serving a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, Miller and fellow tight end Dante Rosario received extensive snaps in the first-half with the starters and top reserves.
"You know, if anybody isn't surprised about how Zach played, it's me," Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer said. "I was with Zach in Jacksonville and he's one of my good buddies. I told people when the Bears signed him; watch how Zach runs his routes. He can really catch the ball."
Miller's first score of the night came courtesy of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who fired a bullet to Miller in the endzone for a 10 yard touchdown. Palmer later found Miller on a 12 yard scoring completion when the 6-foot-5 tight end jumped in the air to complete the catch against an Eagles defender positioned in front of Miller.
"It was actually the same play call – almost the same throw from both Jay [Cutler] and Jordan [Palmer]," Miller said. "It was a back-shoulder throw, and they put it where they needed to."
Cutler added: "[Miller has] had a good camp. We just want to get him in games and see how he can do. Every time he's had an opportunity he's made a play. We just have to keep progressing him along. He has been a nice addition for the offense and we're excited to use him more."
Miller appeared in 33 games (five starts) for Jacksonville from 2009-2012, catching 45 passes for 470 yards and four touchdowns. He spent all of 2012 on the Jaguars' injured reserve before spending the next offseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, only to be waived prior to the start of the 2013 regular season.
The Bears signed Miller on December 30.
"It felt good to go out there and make some plays," Miller said. "I'm just thankful for the opportunity. I've had a decent camp so far, but I'm just trying to take it one play at a time and improve."