After Tampa Bay wide receiver Scotty Miller said last week he thinks he would beat Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill in a race, Hill, widely considered the fastest player in the NFL, took no umbrage at the remark. He said earlier this week that Miller should have that kind of confidence in himself. Then he suggested a time and a place to find out.
"Maybe we can do something during halftime," Hill said.
That’s obviously not going to happen. And the two offensive players won’t even be on the field at the same time in Sunday’s Super Bowl. But on Wednesday Miller, the second-year player from Bowling Green, doubled down on his claim.
"I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere not being confident in myself in this profession," Miller said. "I have so much respect for Tyreek Hill. He’s a guy I aspire to be like. I’m hoping to have a similar career to him. But I would love to race him and see who is faster. I’d never turn down the challenge."
Miller’s speed is what has allowed him to become a big part of the Buccaneers’ deep passing attack. Ironically, it was his lack of speed that made him a Buccaneer. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich recalled being at Miller’s pro day at Bowling Green (he was not a Combine invitee) and, knowing about that thrust, hoping that he wouldn’t put up a time that would make the rest of the scouts in attendance open their eyes to his potential. Miller wound up running a 4.4, Leftwich pumped his fist, and the Bucs took him in the sixth round.
These days, Miller’s speed is no longer a surprise. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
"I’m not sure why guys continue to sit on him," Bruce Arians said of cornerbacks defending Miller, such as the way Green Bay approached him when he sprinted past Kevin King for a 39-yard touchdown at the end of the first half in the NFC Championship Game. "After 20 weeks you would think there would be some respect about his speed. I’m sure there will be Sunday."
During the game. And – maybe, just maybe – at halftime.