It’s Miller time in the CFL – Mike Miller time. A headline that means almost nothing to most football fans in the UK. (Don’t comment @UKBombers I know you know!)
Which is real shame. Because Mike is an excellent player who just broke a league record. Special teams players can be overlooked. So it’s nice to see Miller get some recognition.
Over on cfl.ca a recent article from Matthew Cauz highlighted some great special teams play from Winnipeg in their week 4 bout against Ottawa. Because of his record setting performance, Mike was at the heart of that article.
I am on record as a Special teams fan. So any kind of recognition like this makes me happy. Especially when I know how overlooked special teams contributions can sometimes be.
In an article on this site about NFL special teams gunner extraordinaire Steve Tasker, he was described as ‘under-rated, underappreciated and overlooked’.
Tasker was one of the great X-factors in the Bills 4 consecutive Super Bowls run. That he isn’t in the Hall of Fame just reflects how overlooked the gunner position can be.
Which brings me back to Miller. He has been a tackling spearhead in the CFL since 2011. But because he’s on special teams he isn’t a household name.
Like Tasker, arguably under-rated, underappreciated and overlooked.
In that time he has appeared in 143 games. Playing from 2011-2106 for Edmonton, and from 2017 onward for Winnipeg.
He may not be the first name that comes to mind as a CFL star. But Miller is one of the best there is at his position.
In last Friday’s win over Ottawa, Miller tied a CFL record with seven special teams tackles. To give some idea of the rarity of this, it was last achieved by Darren Joseph in 2003.
Miller has played in 143 regular season games and has been steadily amassing the special teams hits.
36 games over the past two seasons in Winnipeg have seen Miller finish with 22 special teams tackles in 2018, second on the team. He also led the team in special teams tackles in 2017, and led the entire league in 2016.
The all-time target is 195 career tackles – 1 more than former BC Lion Jason Arakgi. That would deliver the all time record.
Who would be surprised to see him do it? He is already well on the way with over 160 + career special teams tackles.
Banner image from BlueBombers.com