HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — For all the pleasant surprises this season for the Houston Texans, wide receiver Braxton Miller has been something of a disappointment.
But wide receivers coach Wes Welker likes what he’s seen from the former third round pick, and is hopeful about his future.
“He’s coming along,” Welker said. “It’s always difficult whenever you’re coming from a quarterback to a receiver position, and he’s been trying to work on that.”
Welker, arguably the greatest slot wide receiver in NFL history, joined head coach Bill O’Brien’s staff this offseason.
DeAndre Hopkins continues to thrive, as he leads the league in receiving touchdowns (6) and ranks fifth in catches (37).
Former first round pick Will Fuller, a member of the same draft class as Miller, has also emerged as a reliable play maker, coming up with five touchdowns on only eight receptions.
Even Bruce Ellington, who was signed in training camp, has carved out a role for himself in the offense, coming up with key catches against the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots.
Miller, meanwhile, has yet to make a real impact.
What are some of the challenges for a young slot wide receiver?
“I think really understanding coverages is one of the biggest things,” Welker said. “Really understanding how that guy is playing you, how the defense is playing around, and really kind of understanding man, zone, and really seeing it with the same set of eyes as the quarterback. There can be a lot of trash in the middle of the field, (so you’ve got to) make sure you see it the same way (as the quarterback).”
Miller, now in his third year at wide receiver after transitioning from quarterback at Ohio State, scored his second career touchdown in their win over the Cleveland Browns this week, a one yard shovel pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Miller has five catches for 20 yards and a touchdown this season.
O’Brien has demonstrated a willingness to walk away from an underperforming top pick, releasing former third rounders Jaelen Strong (this season) and Louis Nix (back in 2014).
Welker said he’s confident in Miller’s future.
“I think he’s coming along, he’s just got to be more consistent with it,” Welker said. “But he does a lot of good things out there. We’ve just got to find that consistency.”