The Rams had their selling points and their own offer to consider. But tight end Zach Miller said re-signing with the Bears puts him in a comfortable place.
“For me and my family, this is where we wanted to be,” Miller said Tuesday during a conference call. “Then business decision-wise, you look at it and the type of franchise that the Chicago Bears are, the organization, the way that it’s ran now.
“The way [general manager Ryan Pace] is moving forward with things and coach [John] Fox’s vision, it’s just something that I really want to be a part of. The arrow is pointing up.”
The Bears are counting on him to help keep it that way. With Martellus Bennett widely expected to be playing for another team in 2016, Miller is set to be the Bears’ No. 1 tight end. And he’s ready for it.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to really step in and be a leader yet throughout my professional career, but it’s growing,” Miller said. “However things play out with Marty is how they play out. That’s out of my control and out of his control. He’s a special player and a special person to be around. You guys [the media] all know that. It’s not up to us. However it plays out, I’m ready to fill whatever role is needed.”
Miller’s receiving abilities aren’t a concern. With a bond with quarterback Jay Cutler established, Miller set career highs last season with 34 receptions, 439 receiving yards and five touchdowns – most of which came in the final eight weeks when Bennett was injured.
Compared to Bennett, Miller’s blocking requires the most attention. But Miller, a quarterback in college and high school, said he made big strides last year under his position coach, Frank Smith.
“It’s a weird thing for me, because obviously playing quarterback my entire life and making this transition at the highest level into the NFL,” Miller said. “I wasn’t asked to do it a lot my first two, three years [with the Jaguars], so I never really got to work on it, practice it. It’s different when you’re doing it in practice and working on the fundamentals, to actually get reps in the game.”
Miller said he wasn’t focused on Bennett’s situation when he considered his options in free agency.
“I just control what I can control and thank God that we were able to get back here,” said Miller, who signed a two-year deal full of incentives. “This is exactly where my wife and I wanted to be, to raise our family here. We feel at home.”
Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns