Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller has spoken for the first time about why he was traded to the Houston Texans in July. The Bears moved up in the 2018 draft to select him in the second round out of Memphis in 2018, but things never quite worked out, and he was traded before training camp began this year. Now, he’ll get a new beginning in a new city during a contract year.
“That’s exactly what it is, a fresh start, a new opportunity to show what I can do,” Miller told reporters August 6. “The coaches here, they believe in what I can do 100%. That’s all I wanted. An opportunity.”
If Miller is suggesting he didn’t get a fair opportunity to showcase his skills in Chicago, that’s simply not true. Out of a possible 48 games in his three seasons, he played in 47, starting 17. He had 134 catches for 1,564 yards and 11 touchdowns in that span, but he never quite broke out. Perhaps because it was because he never quite meshed well with the staff, which is something he hinted at in his most recent interview.
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Miller Reveals Tensions With Bears Brass, Coaches
When asked what led to his being traded, Miller said this about his time with the Bears:
“On both ends, we just felt it was best for the team,” he told reporters in Houston on Friday. “I’ve had some tension with the coaches, tensions with upstairs, (the front office). But they want me to succeed at the end of the day. I hope they have a great season as well. We broke it off with no bad blood. It was very professional.”
Presumably, some of those tensions were with current Bears’ wide receivers coach Mike Furrey, who essentially called Miller out as replaceable this past spring. Furrey also called Miller out in 2019 for having an ego that may have been just a tad too big when he entered the league, so their relationship seems to have been up and down at best.
The tension with Chicago’s front office likely stemmed from something else.
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Miller Says He Regrets Wild Card Incident
Miller was ejected in the Bears’ Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints last season after he punched defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, which was a noteworthy occurrence largely because Miller and his fellow wideouts were told not to touch Gardner-Johnson heading into the game. Bears chairman George McCaskey went on ESPN 1000’s “Waddle & Silvy” days after Miller was ejected in the team’s playoff loss and noted he had a “problem” with Miller’s ejection, which likely didn’t do much to build relations between the wideout and his now former team.
For his part, Miller says he absolutely regrets losing his temper and punching Gardner-Johnson.
“Oh, yeah, of course I regret that,” Miller said about the incident in the Wild Card game. “I let that guy get under my skin to the point where I put hands on him. But it’s a new Anthony Miller this year. I’m approaching everything very professional. It’s an important year for me as well — contract year, but I love football too, so anything that’ll take me off the field, I’m not gonna do anymore.”