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Miller Promoted To Offensive Coordinator

Posted Feb 16, 2011

Passing game coordinator elevated in final staff restructuring

Mike Miller (center), who was promoted to offensive coordinator Wednesday, talks to assistant head coach Russ Grimm (left) and team president Michael Bidwill before a game in 2010.


Scribbling down notes on a pad – the offseason clock for coaches has been significantly sped up with the knowledge a work stoppage will stop them from talking with their players – Mike Miller didn’t really have time to reflect on his new promotion to offensive coordinator.

“Probably about for half a second,” Miller said.

But the news Wednesday that Miller officially had the new job title is meaningful, just as was his slowly increasing duties as a playcaller last season. It is Miller’s third job title in five seasons with the Cardinals, going from wide receivers coach to passing game coordinator to OC.

“I am excited about where we are going as an offense,” Miller said. “I foresee things still working very similarly to what they have been, working closely with (offensive line coach) Russ (Grimm) and the staff. There will be a lot of input and we will work hard to turn this around.”

Grimm should still have considerable say in the running game. Coach Ken Whisenhunt had said after the season he expected to consider handing playcalling duties to Miller full-time, and the promotion seemingly would be a precursor.

"(Promoting Miller) was always something I intended to do," Whisenhunt said, although for now playcalling duties are yet to be determined, the coach added.

It is the only change to the Cards’ offensive staff, since quarterbacks coach Chris Miller – who had been a finalist for the head coaching job at Southern Oregon University – is remaining in Arizona. The Cardinals, who added defensive coordinator Ray Horton, defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi and assistant defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend to the staff over the past week, are done retooling the staff.

Mike Miller got into coaching from the bottom, starting as an operations and public relations intern with both the Colts and Steelers in the mid-1990s. He got a graduate assistants job coaching running backs at Robert Morris University for two years before spending five as an offensive quality control coach with the Steelers.

He had stints with the Bills, Robert Morris again and the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe before Whisenhunt brought him to Arizona.

“We all have our career mapped out, but I have always been a guy who focuses on the job I am doing, to be the best I can at that job,” Miller said.  “At the same time, I am trying to learn along the way, see how guys do things, self-evaluate – like when I was a quality control coach, thinking ‘If I was calling plays, what would I have done in that situation?’ Or talk to coaches, ‘Why did you do this or that?’ You’re always making notes.”

Miller’s entry as the main coordinator is much different than the last man to hold the title – Todd Haley. Haley had Kurt Warner at quarterback and had Anquan Boldin at receiver. Miller still isn’t sure who his quarterback will be, something that will remain in limbo if there is a work stoppage.Second-year QB John Skelton is expected to be in the mix, but beyond that, it is vague at this point.

Not that Miller was focused on that while he compiled his notes. The job doesn’t change even if the players do.

“When you start in this business and you scratch and claw to get here … I give credit to God for the people he has brought into my life and the people that care about your career,” Miller said, crediting former Robert Morris coaches Dan Radakovich and Joe Walton, along with Grimm, Whisenhunt and Bill Cowher, among others.

“You need opportunities and someone to believe in you," Miller added. "Hopefully you get a chance to work with good people and find some success in this league.”
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