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Steelers tight end Heath Miller retires

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After 11 seasons, two Super Bowl titles and multiple team records, Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller has retired.

Miller played 11 seasons for the Steelers (2005-15) after originally being selected by Pittsburgh in the first round (30th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. He started 167-of-168 games played during the regular season, and he started all 15 postseason contests that he played in. Miller’s 168 regular-season games played are the most by a tight end in Steelers’ history.

"I realize how extremely fortunate and grateful I am to have spent my entire career as a Pittsburgh Steeler," Miller said in a statement. "I would like to thank the Rooney Family, Kevin Colbert, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin, James Daniel and the rest of the Steelers organization for giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream.... I want to thank Steelers Nation, the best fans in the NFL!

"Lastly, I owe the biggest thank you to my wife, Katie, and our four children for their unwavering support."

In team history, Miller is the all-time leader in receptions (592), receiving yards (6,569) and receiving touchdowns (45) by a tight end. Overall, he ranks second in career receptions, fourth in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, and sixth in scrimmage yards (6,577) in Steelers’ annals. Miller is one of four players to record 500 receptions, one of five players to record 6,000 receiving yards and one of five players to record 40 receiving touchdowns in team history.

“Heath Miller was as great a combination of character and football player as I have ever been around,” added General Manager Kevin Colbert.

Miller is one of 12 tight ends in NFL history to reach 6,000 career receiving yards, and at the conclusion of the 2015 season, his 592 receptions are the sixth-most in NFL history by a tight end, and his 6,569 career receiving yards are the ninth-most in NFL history by a tight end.

“Heath has been an amazing player on the field and an outstanding contributor in our community,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “The chants of “HEEATH” will be missed at Heinz Field and around the entire NFL.”

In 2015, Miller recorded 500 receiving yards for the ninth straight season to become just the second player in team history to accomplish that feat (Hines Ward). Also in 2015, he became just the second player in team history (Ward) to record at least one reception in 100 straight regular-season games played (Miller, 103).

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to coach Heath, to watch him grow and evolve and perform,” said head coach Mike Tomlin, who coached Miller for nine of his 11 years in the league. “There are great benefits and blessings that come with being some place as long as I have been here. It also creates unique relationships and feelings and experiences that make events such as his retirement difficult.”

A two-time Super Bowl Champion (XL and XLIII), Miller was also a two-time Pro Bowler (2009 and 2012). He earned Steelers’ MVP honors for the 2012 season, as he led Pittsburgh with 71 receptions, while registering single-season career-highs in receiving yards (816) and receiving touchdowns (8). Miller was also named to USA Today’s All-Joe Team following the 2008 season for his unsung efforts. As a rookie, he was the recipient of the 2005 Joe Greene Great Performance Award, given annually to the top Steelers’ rookie.

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