Bucs Central

Miller On The Cusp, Could Be Vying For Starting Spot In 2010

Miller could emerge as potential starter in 2010

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.

In Other News

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.

2010 Strength Of Schedule
Winning Percentage
Opp. Total Wins
Opp. Total Losses
Titans .547 140116
Texans .547 140116
Cowboys .543 139117
Bengals .539 138118
Jaguars .535 137119
Patriots .531 136120
Giants .527 135121
Redskins .523 134122
Eagles .520 133123
Browns .516 132124
Colts .516 132124
Lions .508 130126
Ravens .508 130126
Bears .504 129127
Vikings .504 129127
Bills .500 128128
Chiefs .500 128128
Dolphins .500 128128
Jets .500 128128
Raiders .500 128128
Falcons .496 127129
Packers .488 125131
Steelers .488 125131
Broncos .484 124132
Buccaneers .480 123133
Panthers .477 122134
Saints .469 120136
49ers .457 117139
Chargers .453 116140
Seahawks .453 116140
Rams .449 115141
Cardinals .445 114142

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.

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