UNITY TWP., Pa — Even after legends retire, they do not always go away, and that is the case with Heath Miller. As a Steelers legend, Miller was just honored with an induction into the team’s Hall of Honor on Saturday. Still, Miller has been mentoring someone that the Steelers hold in high regard in the team’s future — tight end Pat Freiermuth.
Freiermuth broke out in his rookie season. However, it was with some help from Miller, who gave the young Steelers tight end some much-needed guidance in his new role. While Miller may not be around every day, he can still be a valuable resource. While Miller is not putting out that he is the counsel for Freiermuth, a young player can always learn things from someone who did it well before them.
I met him last year. He’s obviously a great player,” Miller said. “He was doing great things his rookie year and then we spoke a little bit today. He doesn’t need any words of advice from me. He’ll be fine, I’m sure he’s got a strong work ethic. He’s obviously very talented. So, they’ll do great. I think the Steelers are lucky to have him for sure.”
Freiermuth Learns from Miller
Heath Miller will not put over the counsel that he provided Freiermuth, but the young tight end is grateful for everything that he has given him. For Freiermuth, he was a young guy surrounded by other young guys in the tight end room. Thus, Miller became somewhat of an outlet.
“He just got inducted into the Hall of Honor, he’s a legend,” Freiermuth said. “Anything I can pick from his brain is obviously useful. He’s been a great mentor in my early career. I’ll look to him more when going through my career.”
Consistently throughout last season, Freiermuth would use Miller as a resource when necessary. It helped propel him to a season where he put up 7 touchdowns and almost 500 receiving yards in his first season. It is tough for a rookie tight end to be productive, but Freiermuth did it. Miller had an eerily similar rookie season, putting up 439 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. That mentorship helped spring Freiermuth into the spotlight early.
“I definitely use him as a resource,” Freiermuth said. “He’s an unbelievable mind to just pick his brain. He’s got so many useful tips to give. Heath is just a great guy to pick from.”
The Notorious Chants
For years after Heath Miller retired, the ‘Heath’ chants would rain down from the seats in Heinz Field. Since he was drafted, ‘Muth’ chants have instead become the mainstay of the tight end room’s fanfare. For Freiermuth, having his own chant in Pittsburgh is a surreal experience.
“It’s so cool,” Freiermuth said of the chant. “You know, seeing the legend that Heath is, to follow in his footsteps and get the chant that he originated is really cool. It’s definitely one of those blessings.”
Miller still hears some of those chants as he goes out to the local grocery store. However, he is happy that something has usurped the chant that was so notorious and synonymous with his name. For Freiermuth, he created something unique out of a true tradition amongst Steelers fans.
“Yeah, it’s cool,” Miller said of the ‘Muth’ chants. “Like I said, he probably appreciates being called his name. So, either way, it’s a pretty cool tradition.”
It was easy to see just how excited Freiermuth was to have Miller around. The ‘Heath’ chants echoed throughout Chuck Noll field on Saturday, but Freiermuth was talking to Miller for a good portion of practice. That is the type or mentorship among former and current Steelers that bond the past and present of the organization, and lead to the widespread success the Steelers have had.