Former Texas Longhorn and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Roy Miller was a significant contributor as a rotational player last season, but could be on the cusp of becoming a starter in 2010. The 22-year old, 6-foot-2, 310-pound Miller is entering his second season with the Bucs. He was part of the rotation at defensive tackle that featured the likes of Chris Hovan, Ryan Sims and the seldom used Dre Moore. Miller finished the season with 54 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss and 7 quarterback pressures in his rookie season.
Miller who gained weight to play in former defensive coordinator Jim Bates 2-gap scheme, has since shed roughly 20 pounds to get back to a more comfortable playing weight, which will allow for far better explosion at the snap. In 2009 he played in a total of 470 defensive snaps, but was only three tackles behind Chris Hovan who recorded 57 tackles, in 774 defensive snaps or roughly 40% more opportunities then Miller. According to ProFootballFocus.com’s cumulative defensive summary, Miller was the team’s best interior lineman in 2009 with an overall grade of -10.6.
With Hovan’s age and lack of pass rush becoming a persistent problem and the ineffectiveness of Ryan Sims, Miller could be penciled in as a starter heading into training camp with a solid showing in the teams OTAs and off-season workout program that began last Monday.
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The Buccaneers will have the eighth easiest schedule in 2010. Although “strength of schedule” is a good barometer, the NFL can be a topsy-turvy league and you never know how a team is going to fair from year to year. In an instant it can be turned upside down depending on injuries, coaching changes and player movement in the off-season. Its basically rendered obsolete once the regular season begins, but nevertheless below is the Strength of Schedule for 2010.
At the moment, the two weakest divisions in the NFL appear to be that of the NFC West and the NFC South with the NFC West having four of the five easiest schedules on paper and the NFC South have four teams in the top twelve easiest of schedule bracket.