Miller went from Oakland Raiders union rep to prized Seahawks free-agent addition to nearly forgotten blocker over a five-month period last year. Miller's role changed again this month when the Seahawks acquired tight end Kellen Winslow from Tampa Bay.
Zach Miller Receiving
While the Seahawks hope Winslow can provide a receiving threat, that doesn't necessarily mean Miller will spend all his time blocking in the shadows, either.
"They want me to get out more on some routes moreso than last year, when I was in protection a lot," Miller said following practice Wednesday. "Then I'll be in protection sometimes as well. And then with Kellen, I don't know if you saw him out there today, but he's such a good receiver, he makes plays on the ball. He is going to be great for us to run in two-tight end packages."
Miller finished last season with 25 receptions, down from 60 with Oakland in the previous season. Winslow caught 75 passes with the Bucs. How many passes will there be to go around for the Seahawks' tight ends? They didn't catch a touchdown pass last season.
"A lot of it comes with staying on the field as an offense and having a good passing offense," Miller said. "It gives everyone more opportunities. You see those guys in New England, they are both getting a lot of balls. It's just, how good is your offense running?"
A few notes from Seahawks practice:
Coach Pete Carroll wasn't available afterward. That prevented anyone from asking about Brian Banks, the former USC recruit the team will run through a tryout next week. Banks, a linebacker, was recently exonerated after serving an extended jail sentence. Now 26, he hasn't played competitively since high school.
Receiver Golden Tate has a broken hand and is not practicing. The team expects Tate to return for training camp. Seattle has high expectations for Tate this season, so the missed time is costly in the short term, especially since the lockout prevented him from practicing last offseason as well.
Guard John Moffitt is getting work at center. Offensive line coach Tom Cable likes to shuffle linemen through multiple positions. Moffitt is returning from knee surgery.
About 100 area soldiers watched practice. Running back Marshawn Lynch played catch with one of them during practice. Players met the soldiers afterward. The soldiers are headed for Afghanistan in the coming months.
Defensive end Chris Clemons continued to skip these voluntary sessions. He's entering the final year of his contract.
Center Max Unger expressed some, shall we say, humorous skepticism over Deuce Lutui's pseudo-veganism. Unger joked that he was also a vegan "right now" because he hadn't eaten anything in three hours. Lutui has altered his diet. He's still a huge man, however, and the vegan thing remains a tough sell.
I headed over to Seahawks headquarters hoping to speak with Carroll regarding Banks, whose compelling story has played out nationally over the last week. Rick Reilly's piece for ESPN.com has the details. Carroll is expected to be available following practice next week.