Scotty Miller Plays Different Role, But He’s Studied Patriots Slot Receivers

Scotty Miller is not a Patriots slot receiver clone


Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Scotty Miller has drawn comparisons to former New England Patriots slot receivers like Julian Edelman, Wes Welker and Danny Amendola because he catches passes from Tom Brady, and well, he faintly resembles those guys.

It’s kind of a lazy comp despite Miller’s undersized 5-foot-9, 174-pound stature because he’s a much different player. Miller said last week that he thinks he’s faster than Kansas City Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill, and while that is a bold claim, it’s not completely laughable.

Miller ran a blazing fast 4.36-second 40-yard dash at his pro day at Bowling Green in March 2019. Hill ran a 4.29-second 40-yard dash at his pro day at South Alabama in March 2016. Edelman (4.52 seconds), Welker (4.65 seconds) and Amendola (4.58 seconds) are all quicker than fast.

Miller was targeted deep on 34.6 percent of his total targets this season, which ranked second among qualified NFL receivers, per PFF. He caught six deep balls for 244 yards with two touchdowns during the regular season and two more for 68 yards with a touchdown in the playoffs.

Edelman and Amendola were never targeted deep on more than 14.3 percent of passes from Brady. Welker topped out at 11.4 percent.

Miller, unsurprisingly, was asked Wednesday if he spent any time studying Edelman, Welker or Amendola because of his connection with Brady. It turns out he has.

“I played more in the slot in college, so I remember trying to get my video guy to put stuff on my iPad so I could watch guys like Edelman, Welker, Amendola, Cole Beasley, those types of guys because that was more the role I was in, running option routes, stuff like that,” Miller said. “Those guys did a great job developing that trust with Tom. That’s something I’ve tried to do and continuing to try to have him trust me on every single play that I know exactly where I’m going to be. I’m going to win, and then I’m going to make the play on the ball. I think that’s a key piece for any quarterback is just getting on the same page and having him believe in you.”

Miller only spent 24.1 percent of his snaps in the slot this season. Chris Godwin led Bucs wide receivers with 66.1 percent of his snaps coming in the slot. Justin Watson and Jaydon Mickens also played more than 50 percent of their snaps in the slot.

If Miller has to be compared to a former Patriots wideout, then he’s much more similar to Brandin Cooks or Deion Branch as an undersized, speedy outside receiver.

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