Fourth-year cornerback Justin Miller has found a new home in Oakland, and this Jets fan couldn’t be any more upset about it. Earlier this summer, I believed that Miller was ready to shine with the New York Jets.
Now he’ll have an opportunity to brighten up the black hole, and give the poor Raider Nation something to cheer about.
When the news broke that Miller would no longer be a member of the New York Jets in favor of veteran Ty Law, most fans took the news in stride.
He had been bitten by the injury bug and was inactive for the last few weeks. How much would he really be missed, right?
The 2005 second-round draft pick out of Clemson struggled to hit a stride as a starting cornerback.
Many people have realized that the potential is there—it was just taking a while to materialize. He’s fast and he’s aggressive. His coverage abilities leave something to be desired, but Jets’ fans believed it was something that could’ve been developed and cultivated.
That was until he was released.
In typical “fan” fashion, people were quick to dismiss and denounce him. Since he struggled to become what they envisioned a second-round pick should be, he became expendable.
What kind of flip-flopping arrogance is this?
He’s the last man to have represented the New York Jets in Hawaii, and now he’s not worth the cheers and praise we showered upon him?
So it is true—NFL fans are of the “What have you done for me lately” variety.
When Miller was lost for the 2007 season, Leon Washington emerged in his place and matched Miller’s touchdown total in kick returns. Some would believe that defines expendable—but they’d be wrong.
Leon Washington is the exact reason Justin Miller was still needed in New York.
Yes, he’s fantastic at returning kicks. But he’s also the second—and last—running back on the depth chart.
When the St. Louis Rams game came to a close and Washington was receiving primary clock-killing duties, Thomas Jones had to return to the game to give Washington a rest. If Washington were to go down, he would be lost in two crucial positions—one of them being in a spot where there’s no alternative.
Sure, Miller may not have been the cornerback fans wanted, but his fast and powerful running style was needed on kick returns while Washington spelled Jones.
Going into the home-stretch of a season where playoffs are a legitimate possibility, it’s unwise to release a man that can provide Pro Bowl-caliber production.
Now Miller finds himself in the black hole, and hopefully in a situation where he can be utilized and appreciated. In fact, playing time in the secondary could be up for grabs as everyone on that team should be auditioning for jobs in 2009.
It’s a unique situation for Miller to prove himself somewhere, and I wish him all the luck in the world.
Good luck, J. Millz.