Anthony Miller
No. 83
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1965-04-15) April 15, 1965 (age 59)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school:John Muir (Pasadena, California)
College:Tennessee
NFL draft:1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:155
Receptions:595
Receiving yards:9,148
Touchdowns:63
Player stats at PFR

Lawrence Anthony Miller (born April 15, 1965) is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Tennessee.

Early life

Miller attended John Muir High School in Pasadena, California, where he was a track standout, winning the 400 metres at the CIF Southern Section meet in 1983.[1] He also competed in the long jump, 100 metres (10.3 seconds), 200 metres (20.6 seconds) and relay events.

He joined a football team for the first time in his life as a senior, at the urging of head coach Jim Brownfield. He registered 13 receptions for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns, but didn't generate much interest from recruiters.[2] He also practiced basketball.

College career

Miller initially accepted a track and field scholarship from San Diego State, but transferred after one semester to Pasadena City College, when the coaches refused to allow him to play football in addition to running track.[3]

In 1985, he became the state junior-college champion in the 100- and 200-meter distances. He also had a breakout year in football, catching 47 passes for 881 yards and nine touchdowns, a long rushing touchdown and 25 kicks returned for 786 yards. His 1,728 all-purpose yards led all California junior-college players, and he was named to the junior-college All-American team.[2]

Miller played at Tennessee during an era when the school garnered its reputation as "Wide Receiver U," with receivers such asAnthony Hancock, Willie Gault and Tim McGee preceding Miller as first-round NFL draft picks. Three of Miller's wide-receiver teammates at Tennessee— Joey Clinkscales, Alvin Harper and Anthony Morgan— would also become NFL draftees. Despite consistent competition for playing time, Miller amassed 765 yards and five touchdowns on 47 catches in just 17 games for the Volunteers, and returned 25 kickoffs for 547 yards.[4]

Splitting time with Clinkscales during the 1986 season, Miller caught 36 passes for a team-leading 667 yards and five touchdowns, and returned 24 kickoffs for 522 yards.[4] In his debut against New Mexico, he caught five passes for 80 yards and caught five passes for 66 yards in his SEC debut against Mississippi State.[2] In Tennessee's loss to Auburn, Miller provided the Volunteers' lone touchdown, catching a screen pass from Randy Sanders and racing 60 yards to the end zone.[5] Miller caught a 70-yard touchdown pass and returned six kickoffs for a school-record 126 yards in Tennessee's loss to Alabama. He had a 44-yard touchdown catch against Memphis State, and caught touchdown passes of 51 yards and 50 yards against Vanderbilt. He caught six passes for 72 yards in Tennessee's 21–14 win over Minnesota in the 1986 Liberty Bowl.[2]

During the 1987 season, Miller injured his knee in the opener against Iowa, missing five games and struggling with injuries throughout the season.[6] Playing sparingly in just six games, he finished the regular season with 11 catches for 98 yards, and returned only one kickoff for 25 yards.[4] In Tennessee's 27–22 win over Indiana in the 1988 Peach Bowl, Miller caught five passes for 78 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.[7]

Professional career

San Diego Chargers

Although some NFL teams were concerned with Miller's knee injury,[8] he was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the first round (15th overall) of the 1988 NFL draft.[9] He became a starter opposite fellow rookie Quinn Early, posting 36 receptions (tied for second on the team) for 526 yards (second on the team), three receiving touchdowns and a 25.9 kickoff return average (second on the team).[10][11]

In 1989, he had a breakout performance and one of the best seasons in franchise history, leading the team with 75 receptions for 1,252 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns, receiving Pro Bowl honors.[12][13] He was specially effective in the second half of the season, when he tallied 47 receptions and seven touchdowns in eight games. He also took part in the NFL's "Fastest Man" competition, placing second to Darrell Green.[3] The next year, he led the team with 63 receptions for 933 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.[14]

In 1991, he missed the last three games with an injury, recording 44 receptions (second on the team) for 649 yards (led the team) and three receiving touchdowns (tied for the team lead).[15][16] The next year, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery before training camp that caused him to start slow, but recovered to post 72 receptions for 1,060 yards (led the AFC) and seven receiving touchdowns.[17][18]

In 1993, he had 84 receptions for 1,162 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.[19]

Miller was a finalist in 2012 for induction into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, but lost to punter Darren Bennett in the fan vote.[20]

Denver Broncos

On March 17, 1994, Miller was signed as a free agent by the Denver Broncos to replace wide receiver Vance Johnson.[21] Miller became just the fourth player in franchise history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season by registering 60 receptions (third on the team) for 1,107 yards (led the team) and five receiving touchdowns (led the team).[22] It was also the first time in club history that two receivers (Miller and Shannon Sharpe) recorded 1,000 yards each in the same season.[23]

In 1995, although he missed two games with injuries, Miller had 59 receptions (second on the team) for 1,079 yards (led the team) and set a franchise record with 14 receiving touchdowns (also accomplished in 2013 by Demaryius Thomas).[24][25]

In 1996, Miller started 16 games, posting 56 receptions for 735 yards and three touchdowns.[26] On June 2, 1997, he was surprisingly released in a salary-cap move after the team gave third-year receiver Rod Smith the starting position.[27]

Dallas Cowboys

On June 2, 1997, Miller signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys as a complement to Michael Irvin and to replace the recently departed Kevin Williams.[28] Miller missed all of training camp and most of the preseason while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery performed during the offseason.[29] Although he was limited with injuries, he still posted 16 starts, 46 receptions (third on the team) for 645 yards (second on the team) and four receiving touchdowns (second on the team).[30][31] However, the Cowboys did not sign him to a new contract after the season.

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Kickoff returns
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD
1988 SD 16 15 36 526 14.6 49 3 7 45 6.4 20 0 25 648 25.9 93 1
1989 SD 16 16 75 1,252 16.7 69 10 4 21 5.3 24 0 21 533 25.4 91 1
1990 SD 16 16 63 933 14.8 31 7 3 13 4.3 10 0 1 13 13.0 13 0
1991 SD 13 12 44 649 14.8 58 3
1992 SD 16 16 72 1,060 14.7 67 7 1 −1 −1.0 −1 0 1 33 33.0 33 0
1993 SD 16 16 84 1,162 13.8 66 7 1 0 0.0 0 0 2 42 21.0 29 0
1994 DEN 16 15 60 1,107 18.5 76 5 1 3 3.0 3 0
1995 DEN 14 14 59 1,079 18.3 62 14 1 5 5.0 5 0
1996 DEN 16 16 56 735 13.1 46 3 3 39 13.0 26 1
1997 DAL 16 16 46 645 14.0 54 4 1 6 6.0 6 0
Career 155 152 595 9,148 15.4 76 63 22 131 6.0 26 1 50 1,269 25.4 93 2

References

  1. ^ Hewitt, Brian (May 22, 1988). "Chargers' Miller, Family Face a Brightening Future Together". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d "1987 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide". University of Tennessee. 1987. p. 84.
  3. ^ a b Baker, Chris (July 25, 2013). "It Doesn't Take Long for Anthony Miller to Kick In". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Tennessee Career Football Statistics". UTSports.com.
  5. ^ "Dismal Day on the Plains," 1987 Tennessee Volunteers Football Guide (University of Tennessee, 1987), p. 100.
  6. ^ Mike Strange, "Tennessee Scouting Report: The Passing Game," 1988 Peach Bowl Program, p. 9.
  7. ^ Records, UTSports.com, p. 373. Retrieved: July 25, 2013.
  8. ^ 1988 NFL Draft part 3 with Chris Berman and Mel Kiper Jr. Tim Brown, Michael Irvin, Thurman Thomas. Retrieved May 6, 2024 – via www.youtube.com.
  9. ^ "1988 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  10. ^ "Anthony Miller 1988 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  11. ^ "1988 San Diego Chargers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  12. ^ "1989 San Diego Chargers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  13. ^ "Anthony Miller 1989 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  14. ^ "Anthony Miller 1990 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  15. ^ "Anthony Miller 1991 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  16. ^ "1991 San Diego Chargers Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  17. ^ "Anthony Miller 1992 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  18. ^ "1992 NFL Receiving". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  19. ^ "Anthony Miller 1993 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  20. ^ Gehlken, Michael (July 16, 2012). "Fans to decide next Chargers Hall of Famer". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013.
  21. ^ "Broncos Sign Miller to Offer Sheet". New York Times. March 19, 1994. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  22. ^ "Anthony Miller 1994 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  23. ^ "Denver Broncos Single-Season Receiving Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  24. ^ "Anthony Miller 1995 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  25. ^ "Denver Broncos Single-Season Receiving Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  26. ^ "Anthony Miller 1996 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  27. ^ "Broncos release, Cowboys sign Miller". The Steamboat Today. Associated Press. June 3, 1997. Retrieved March 18, 2024 – via Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.
  28. ^ "Cowboys sign Anthony Miller". UPI. June 2, 1997. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  29. ^ Baldwin, Mike (August 18, 1997). "Seven Cut by Cowboys". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
  30. ^ "Anthony Miller 1997 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  31. ^ "1997 Dallas Cowboys Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 17, 2024.