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PRO FOOTBALL '94 / SEASON PREVIEWS : Handle With Care : Miller's History of Injuries Looms Over the Rams' Season

September 03, 1994|MIKE REILLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"I feel good about our (offensive) line," Miller said. "There was a little skepticism at first about how they were going to come together.

"But to their credit, a lot of them haven't worked together before, and continuity is a key at that position. The longer they work together out here, the better I'll feel with them."

Miller has a tendency to hold onto the ball until the last second before throwing it, often leaving himself vulnerable to pass rushers.

A hit from a Washington defensive end in college left Miller unconscious, with a five-inch gash on the side of his helmet.

A few years ago, the Bills' Bruce Smith hit him on a touchdown pass, and Miller had to call a timeout to clear his dizziness before holding on the extra-point kick.

"As far as being a tough man (goes), there's not too many quarterbacks who can stand there and stand there and wait until the last second and not get happy feet," the Rams' Newman said. "A lot of quarterbacks will get jittery and take off here or there, but Chris will stand there forever, throw the football and take a shot.

"Every time we played against Chris (when he was a Falcon), it was like, 'God, I hit him, I hit him right when he threw the ball.' But he threw it and he completed it for a touchdown. That happened how many times when we went against Chris? I don't know.

"That's a sign of toughness right there. I've been his teammate and I've played against him, and I'll tell you, he's the real deal."

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