The Jacksonville Jaguars picked up defensive tackle Roy Miller during the 2013 free agency period on a two-year "prove it" type contract. The team let Terrance Knighton walk in free agency and needed a nose tackle type player for Gus Bradley's defensive scheme. Both Bradley and defensive line coach Todd Wash knew Miller from their time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Miller had a disappointing debut season with the Jaguars however, as it was riddled with injuries as he was bothered with knee tendonitis and a shoulder injury later in the year.
"I can do things I couldn't do last year," Miller told John Oehser of Jaguars.com. "It's definitely getting better. It's improving. My strength is already better. I feel so much better than I did last year."
Miller was supposed to be a rock in the middle of the Jaguars defense against the run, but with a bad knee and injured shoulder he struggled to hold the point and the Jaguars were often gashed against the run last season. Miller finished the season with an -11.9 rating overall on Pro Football Focus.
Miller says he hurt his shoulder in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, hearing something pop in his right shoulder but he played through the pain and changing how he played rather than going on injured reserve.
"It took some time to learn to play like that," Miller told Oehser. "It really affected the way I could get off a block, or when it came to pass rushing, once I got my hands on the blocker, it was hard to shed. I just tried to do anything I could to disrupt my gap and fight through everything else."
Playing one-armed since Week 3 of the season actually explains quite a bit with Miller's disappointing play.
"If you don't have an arm, it's crazy. You've got double teams with guards banging on your shoulder. I was doing things like throwing my back into it instead of a shoulder. It was crazy."
With Miller fully healthy for 2014, he could be a big factor in the Jaguars defense going forward. A healthy, two-armed nose tackle is certainly better than a one-armed nose tackle on a hurt knee.