LAKE FOREST – The second of the Chicago Bears' two 2018 second-round draft choices, Anthony Miller, is listed as being 5-foot-11, 190 pounds on the rookie minicamp roster, but one of your first reactions upon meeting him is that he probably isn’t.
In fact, Miller describes himself as a “little guy.”
Asked Saturday before his second practice when he became so dedicated to blocking, he smiled and replied, “Really, my freshman year in college. I had coach (Justin) Fuente back at Memphis, and, ah, he stressed if you don't block, you don't play.
“It was little guys like me ... we were going against linebackers every day, guys that were 250, 260 (pounds). We were freshmen, and we were thrown in there every day doing perimeter drills, blocking drills, you know, every other day, so I'm pretty much used to blocking.”
Miller isn’t a Tarik Cohen “little guy.” Miller may barely reach 5-11 on the tape measure, but he’s a really narrow-cut guy, and I’d bet it takes an extra big toe on the scale to get him close to 190.
Size, however, is not the most noticeable thing about him.
What jumped out at me in my first extended visit with Miller is there was at least a hint of a smile that accompanied every question he answered, and most responses came with a full set of teeth grin.
He does seem hyper-focused on pursuing a “tough little guy” persona, and asked why he takes so much pride in the physical part of the game, he explained to the media assembled at Halas Hall with all those pearly whites showing, “I mean, it's football. You know, it's an element that a player should want to their game.
“If they don't have that physical element, then you know that's a chunk, a chunk of the game that they don't have. You know what I mean?
“I feel like the game's not all finesse. You've got to stick your nose in there sometimes. You know what I mean?
“So you can't be a pretty boy.”
Miller’s actually a good-looking kid but no pretty boy to be sure. And he doesn’t lack for confidence.
“It’s not really about proving myself. I believe in myself – I know what I can do. At the end of the day, it’s not what other people say about me. It’s what I believe about me.”
What had struck me most about Miller before meeting him was the number of other teams I heard from in the past few weeks before the draft that were sky high on him as a prospect.
I asked him if he was aware of all the buzz surrounding him in the weeks before he became a Bear, how he was flying up draft boards and if he was aware of it at the time.
“I think it was because of my foot (injured his last year at Memphis). Actually, at the combine, I was cleared for everything, but I had only been training two weeks prior.”
When I suggested I was hoping he’d say it was his shining personality, the big smile came again.
“Oh, no," he said. "I had great interviews.
“Teams put me on the board. I wrote everything up there that they wanted me to. I showed confidence that I think players should have.
“I believe I did my part.”
Miller loves the idea of being a Bear and is doubly pleased they made such an aggressive move to get him.
“It makes me feel great," he said. "It showed me that they really believed in my abilities and what I can do, and I’m just exited to be in a city like Chicago and part of a team that loves to play football like I do.”
He didn’t participate in team drills over the weekend, as the Bears are being extra careful with that foot, but he does appear NFL-ready off the field.
If Miller catches like he interviews, the Bears have got themselves a winner.
• Hub Arkush is executive editor of Pro Football Weekly. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @Hub_Arkush.