Chicago Bears: Top 5 Under the Radar Players Heading into Training Camp

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Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Miller

Not a lot of offensive players besides Jay Cutler or Matt Forte have gotten much hype heading into the season. Even further under the radar is a player who didn’t make it out of training camp last season, tight end Zach Miller.  Miller because a fan favorite and camp folk hero last season after his performance in the first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, scoring two touchdowns in limited reps with the first team offense.

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  • Miller suffered his third consecutive season-ending injury in camp and ever got to follow up on his breakthrough performance.  Here’s what our own Mike Flannery said about Miller as one of his potential breakout candidates:

    "Miller was a popular breakout pick last season after his impressive performance in his first preseason game against the Eagles. Playing with the first string offense, Miller had 6 catches for 68 yards and 2 TDs. The numbers were impressive, but how he got them is what stood out.  There was a play where he caught a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage then broke 2 tackles and juked another defender on his way to a 17-yard gain. Miller showed the toughness to break tackles, the agility to elude defenders, and the talent to gain yards after the catch. Martellus Bennett is the clear-cut #1 TE and is back in camp after a mini-holdout, so Miller isn’t going to be in the starting line-up week 1 this season. The Bears will run plenty of double tight end sets though which should get Miller on the field for around 500 snaps¹ this season. That will be more than enough time for Miller to show off his receiving ability and red zone potential. If Bennett were to get injured at any point this season, Miller is the only TE on the roster who has anywhere close to Bennett’s talent and he could provide similar production if forced into the starting lineup. Hopefully Miller will stay healthy for the first time in four years and give the Bears the dynamic #2 TE they have been missing the last few seasons. His size will be a weapon in the red zone, he has the speed to make things happen after the catch, the awareness to find holes in defensive zones, and showed a solid rapport with Cutler in a limited audition last preseason. If the football gods let Miller make it though a full season without injury, he may finally be able to show his talent and have a breakout season as the Bears #2 TE."

    The Bears have about a dozen tight ends in camp, so it’s no wonder Miller is flying under the radar.

    Next: Former Pro Bowler