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Bucs’ Scotty Miller feels ‘really good now,’ finds himself in a receiver competition

Tampa Bay Times logo Tampa Bay Times 8/10/2022 Andrew Crane, Tampa Bay Times
Scotty Miller caught just 10 passes for 84 yards last season, where he missed time with a turf toe injury. © Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/TNS Scotty Miller caught just 10 passes for 84 yards last season, where he missed time with a turf toe injury.

TAMPA — By the end of last season, Bucs wide receiver Scotty Miller finally felt “pretty good.”

The effects of his turf toe injury had started to subside. After missing seven games and being inactive for an eighth, he gradually returned to a role in a division-round playoff game that resulted in four catches for 38 yards. Those two numbers — accumulated across 54 snaps — represented 40% and nearly 45.2% of Miller’s 2021 totals, respectively.

Miller trained throughout the offseason and organized team activities until a hamstring tweak prevented him from participating in minicamp. But through 10 sessions of training camp, the fourth-year receiver said he feels “really good now” as he navigates a crowded competition for his position’s final spots.

“I’m just trying to show that I can be very versatile and do a lot of different things to help the team out,” Miller said Sunday.

Coaches have given him an opportunity to “do a lot of different things” in camp, Miller said. At Bowling Green, he primarily ran slot and option routes — something he hasn’t showcased in the NFL. He also has worked with the returners, including some kickoff work Sunday.

He’ll need that versatility to stand out in a receiver room that looks quite different from last season, with the additions of Julio Jones and Russell Gage. But with quarterback Tom Brady returning after a brief retirement, they have started to rekindle the chemistry that helped Miller catch 33 passes for 501 yards in 2020 — evident on an Aug. 1 deep ball where Miller beat a pair of defensive backs downfield and Brady hit him in stride.

“People might think I’m just a deep threat guy,” Miller said, “but that’s just because they don’t know what else I can do.”

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