The Bears began the 2019 season with such high hopes on offense. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky was poised to emerge as one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks while wide receivers Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller made their case as one of the league’s best starting tandems.
Robinson did his part but it took much longer than expected for Miller to produce.
By the time the season ended, Miller posted career-highs in receptions (52) and yards (656), but it wasn’t until Week 5 that he finally started to produce at a somewhat consistent level. It took Miller until Week 13 to post his first 100-yard game (140 yards against the Lions), and while he ended the year as one of Trubisky’s best playmakers, concerns linger about how high his ceiling actually is.
There’s no denying Miller’s talent. He can be a lethal route-runner and has the quick-twitch athleticism that many of today’s top pass-catchers possess. But as coach Matt Nagy pointed out throughout the season, Miller’s attention to detail leaves much to be desired. Whether it’s running the wrong route or letting his emotions get the best of him, there are too many bad moments to ignore.
In a weird way, the Bears’ disappointing season helped mask some of Miller’s frustrating mistakes. It was a bad year all around for the team; Miller’s absent-mindedness was the least of the offense’s worries.
That’ll change heading into 2020. Miller’s role is expected to grow even more, and with that comes an even greater amount of pressure to be a pro’s pro.
Was Miller’s season a complete letdown in 2019? No. His strong finish was a better reflection of who he is as a player than his slow start was. But he’s now a veteran receiver, and he has to be play like one in 2020.