Sunday, April 25, 2004

Speed, versatility attract club

Linebacker Caleb Miller

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Caleb Miller did not know the name of the town, only that he was somewhere across the Arkansas state line.

R1: RB Chris Perry
R2: CB Keiwan Ratliff
R2: FS Madieu Williams
R3: LB Caleb Miller
R3: LB Landon Johnson

"I've been at this Christian youth camp," Miller said. "I think we're somewhere in Oklahoma. I'm not exactly sure."

There was a working phone line at the camp, and on NFL draft day that's all Miller and the Bengals needed.

"I was the one who found him," Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis said.

The Bengals selected the speedy Arkansas linebacker with their first pick of the third round (80th overall).

"I'm just glad to be part of a team coming up," Miller said. "... It's definitely better to be on a team that's coming up rather than one going in the other direction."

Miller, who started 37 of 48 games with the Razorbacks, was the first of two linebackers chosen by the Bengals in the third round.

Cincinnati liked the Sulphur Springs, Texas, native because of his speed (4.66 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and versatility.

Miller had 117 total tackles last year and 352, including 35 for a loss, during his career at Arkansas.

"He has some pretty good pass rush ability," Bengals linebackers coach Ricky Hunley said. "The thing we like about him is the way he plays on the line. He's real active."

As an assistant at Missouri, Hunley recruited Miller while he was in high school.

"He's probably 15 pounds heavier," Hunley said. "I still think he has some growth potential."

Miller, who is 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds, primarily played at inside linebacker.

"We are looking for guys who make plays on tape and who are productive," Hunley said. "He gets in there, makes plays and mixes it up."

The Bengals envision him being able to play any linebacker position, as well as helping on special teams.

"Any linebackers that myself and (special teams coach Darrin) Simmons are going to look at have to be able to play special teams," Hunley said.

Miller is pleased to be joining a team whose coaching staff has an established record of developing quality linebackers.

"You have to look at it as a positive, coming there and being able to learn some great stuff," Miller said. "It's just ... a good situation for me to be in."

Caleb Miller, LB, Arkansas

Height, weight: 6-3, 224

DOB: 9/3/80

2003 stats: 117 tackles; 14 tackles for loss; 3 forced fumbles; 2 fumble recoveries.

2004 projection: Could contribute on special teams.

Personal: Exercise Physiology major with a 3.07 GPA ... Named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll three times ... Born and resides in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

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