A little bit of Heeeeeeeath.
Soft-spoken Steelers' tight end Heath Miller held court with reporters after today's OTA session. Some excerpts:
On David Johnson moving from TE to FB:
"I thought he was a great tight end. He did a great job at tight end for us, but if Coach Haley's gonna use the fullback more often, it's in DJ's best interests to meet with those guys and get a better understanding of what they want out of him, what they ex[pect out of him. Hes gonna do great with it. ...
On new TE acquisition Leornard Pope:
"He's a good player. He's a solid player. He's been around along time. Hes been with Coach Haley for a long time, so that’s a plus on our end, having someone you can bounce stuff off of if we've got questions. It's been a big plus for us."
On how TEs will be used in the new offense:
"I think there's going to be a lot of opportunities for us. Coach Haley's putting everything in right now. I think when the season starts, he'll kind of assess what he has and pare it down and play with his strengths. We're going to have an opportunity just like we've had in the past and we'll be happy with whatever job we get."
Has his training changed now that he's beginning his 8th year and approaching 30:
"I just tried to train smarter. My answer to everything's always been work hard work hard work hard but I think you have to know how to be smart about things - you have to know when to work, how to work, and not to overdo it so, I tried to take that approach this year and take a little more time off before I started back ...
"You want to be as strong as you can and the most important thing is to be as healthy as you can be and try to maintain that throughout the season."
Has this approach helped him gain speed?
"If you know how to, let me know [laughs]. I've been trying to pick up speed my whole life."
The Terrible Truck
Andy Gray, who runs SI Vault -- the voluminous database of stories and photos from 68 years of Sports Illustrated excellence -- tweeted out this beaut this afternoon:
(click photo for larger version)
According to this 2000 Post-Gazette article, it was the creation of John Kaiser, of Indiana Twp., who owned "Johnny K Toys" in Etna:
Steelers fans will recall the "Terrible Truck," a fixture at games in the ' 70s when the Steel Curtain was woven with such names as Mean Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert and Mel Blount. Before each game, the celebrity brought in to sing the national anthem would be loaded on the truck and brought onto the field. It was used in parades and other promotional activities.
And John Kaiser built it.
"It was my season ticket," he recalled. "Every famous person from that era you can think of probably sat on this truck at one time or another. I met them all."
Charlie Daniels is pictured riding in the Terrible Truck above, and the lyric "you just go and lay your hands on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan" from "In America" was inspired by Kaiser during Daniels' ride in the Terrible Truck (at least according to a post on songfacts):
"The truth behind the the line "Just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan" is that the Steelers used to have this truck called "the terrible truck" and Charlie Daniels used to sing off the bed of this truck. The truck was 1921 beer truck. Now one day before he went to sing, Charlie sat down on the fender on the truck and the owner, John Kasier said on live T.V to get off his a-- that's not a seat. Then later Charlie put that famous line in this song."
Daniels, however, didn't mention that during a 2011 interview on KDKA radio.
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