Zach Miller has officially retired. But everybody already knows that. What they don’t know is what it took for Zach Miller to even be on that field.
This is his story.
Zach Miller spent his entire life in Nebraska. He was born in Weston, Nebraska he went to high school in Wahoo, Nebraska and he ended up playing at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. But what he did in that state was phenomenal. Miller was a standout in basketball and football earning honorable mention All-State in basketball and earning All-State in football. He did that as a quarterback.
When it came time to go to college Miller stayed at quarterback. At the University of Nebraska-Omaha. In 2006 he was named the NCC offensive MVP. He finished his career with 3,122 yards and 50 touchdowns which was a school record. In The Division II All-Star Game in 2009 Zach played tight end.
Miller had to wait until the 6th round to hear his name called. He was pick number 180 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2009 draft. With the Jaguars he had 45 catches for 460 yards and four touchdowns as a third-string tight end. In his last season with the Jags, he ended up on the injured reserve and was later released. He signed with Tampa Bay but never managed to actually play a game with them. Then the Bears took a chance on him.
In Zach Miller’s first action with the Bears, it was immediate how much he needed a change of scenery. Six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns is what he provided in his first game against the Eagles in the preseason. However, in the next game coincidentally against his first team Zach injured his foot.
That foot injury ended up ending his season. However, in 2015 Zach Miller showed what he was capable of. He caught 34 catches for 439 yards and five touchdowns. That 439 yards were more than his first two seasons combined. And the five touchdowns were more than his entire career combined. And most importantly he appeared in almost all of the games. Miller signed with the Bears on a two-year deal and had another great season until he injured his foot again.
Then October 29th, 2017 happened. Zach Miller went up for a catch in the end zone in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and one of the most gruesome injuries I’ve ever seen occurred. Miller dislocated his left knee and also tore his popliteal artery which could have ended in amputation. Miller had eight surgeries on it from that time to December 2017.
The Bears were free to move on from Zach after the end of the 2017 season but they didn’t. Instead, they gave him a one-year deal that guaranteed him $458,000 and more importantly access top trainers and excellent medical staff. Nearly eighteen months ago Zach thought he was going to lose his leg. After the successful surgeries Zach planned on coming back to the NFL but that wasn’t able to happen.
There were so many roadblocks for him to even get into the league and then there were plenty of obstacles for him to overcome to even get to where he was. Zach was loved by his teammates and he should be remembered as a player for that. I do hope that he becomes involved in the organization some way or another. Because the spectacular story should have a happy ending.