Miller has come a unique path to the NFL. A quarterback at Nebraska-Omaha, he was immediately converted to a tight end after being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2009 Draft. His only experience at his new college job was in the Cactus Bowl. , a Division II All-Star Game.
Miller played 66 games with 33 starts in three seasons with the Jaguars, catching 45 passes for 470 yards and four touchdowns. But he missed the next three years mainly due to injuries.
Miller revitalized his career with the Bears in 2015, catching 34 passes for 439 yards and five touchdowns. He followed in 2016 with 47 receptions for 486 yards and four touchdowns. But midway through the 2017 season, he suffered a devastating injury in a game in New Orleans that nearly cost him his leg and end his NFL career.
Seeking to fill a significant void without football in his life, Miller turned to music.
“I started writing years ago,” he said, “and after I got hurt it became kind of therapy for me, so I started writing more and more. and I started to fall in love with it.
Miller wrote about 30 songs. He recorded “How Ya Like Us Now” in Nashville at Dark River Studios, which is owned by his friend, Colt Capperrune. Miller has performed in public twice since – May 1 and 7 at the Good Life Sports Bar and Grill near his home in Omaha.
Prior to that, Miller played his music for friend and former Bears teammate Jay Cutler, who stopped by Miller’s in Nebraska on a road trip across the country.
“It was actually one of the first times I played music for someone outside of my family,” Miller said. “Jay was like, ‘What do you mean in writing and all that? I want to hear it. ‘
“I was actually a little nervous because you want people to like it. We sat down and stuck out all night. He was like, ‘It’s okay, slow this down,’ and now Jay is on my wiretap. If I write a new song, I send it to him for his ideas because I know one thing: he will be honest with me. “
Miller is pictured on the cover of “How Ya Like Us Now” running on the beach with his wife, Kristen, the mother of their children aged 11, 9 and 3. The former band Bears are grateful for the support they have. received from Kristen, both during her long recovery from her terrible leg injury and now that she is releasing her first single.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Miller’s new venture is that he learned to play the guitar himself by watching YouTube videos and reading books. His journey began when he received his first guitar as a Christmas present from a friend while in college.
“It’s like golf,” Miller said. “You can golf like shit all day, but if you hit a good shot you’ll come back. This is how the guitar was for me. It took me a while to get over the growing pains of learning – and I still have a lot more to learn – but now at least I can put songs together and play open chords and bar chords and compose. music. “
Miller is clearly comfortable sharing his music, but that wasn’t always the case.
“It was more like something I liked to do,” he said. “It was a hobby. It was a way for me to sort of disappear from everything, football, all that, just going to sit down and play guitar. It was just a hobby and I really enjoyed doing it – and it turned into something more. “
Miller’s face lights up when he says Bears fans often ask him how he’s doing after suffering a horrific leg injury.
“Some days are better than others,” he said. “The nerve damage is going to last a lifetime and just general pain. There are days when I can run with the kids – well, run cautiously with the kids – and there are other days when I have to facilitate.
“That’s how it goes. I see I’m lucky to be where I am rather than not having a leg or whatever it might have been. I choose to [view] in that light and keep going. “