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Miller finding consistency in second season


Like his fellow receiver Allen Robinson II, Anthony Miller had his most productive game of the season Sunday against the New York Giants.

After catching six passes for 78 yards, Miller said that the key was having his timing synced with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

"We were right all day," said Miller.

Coach Matt Nagy praised Miller's performance the day after the game, and highlighted some of the steps forward the second-year receiver has taken in recent weeks. Nagy agreed with Miller that his chemistry with Trubisky is improving.

"I thought he grew yesterday," said Nagy. "He's already a good route runner, but he became a good route runner at the right time. They played some man coverage, and I thought he used his leverage really well. He made the catch, he finished. And I thought yesterday that--and I don't know this for sure, but I would guess that yesterday--the trust level with him and Mitch grew."

Miller's season got off to a slow start as he battled injuries in training camp and the preseason. In the first four games this year, he caught a total of four passes for 28 yards.

In the past two games, Miller has played a more prominent role in the offense with 12 catches for 131 yards. Over that stretch, Trubisky has targeted him 20 times. Miller saw 30 targets in the first nine games combined.

Nagy believes that increased usage has been good for Miller's psyche.

"He likes that," said Nagy. "It's like everybody. You feel good because whether it's a play that's being called for you or whether you're a part of a play that is successful, you get into a little bit of a rhythm. And you felt that yesterday with him."

Miller thrived in the two-minute offense, recording four catches for 42 yards as the Bears drove down the field to get a field goal at the end of the first half. The receiver feels like Trubisky's faith in throwing to him multiple plays in a row pushes his game to another level.

"I get in my zone," said Miller. "It's hard for a defender to really stop any of us--I'm speaking for all the receivers--when we get the ball in our hands, we know how to make plays. Mitch knows that. Coach (Nagy) knows that."

Miller said that keeping a cool head on the field is a priority for him. At times this season, he has acknowledged costly mistakes in the form of penalties, turnovers or sloppy routes. On Sunday, however, he played a clean game.

"I like that I didn't have any missed assignments," said Miller. "I didn't mess up any plays. I felt like I was really focused and comfortable out there, and I was playing my style of football."

Nagy said that Miller has been quick to correct himself. In a recent conversation, the two discussed the learning curve for the 2018 second-round pick. Nagy mentioned an incorrect route run by Miller last week against the Rams that led to an interception.

"He told me this," said Nagy. "He said, 'Give me a chance to not make the same mistake twice.' And he hasn't been doing that. And I think that's where somebody grows. There might be a route that you run -- just for instance last week, he went a little deep on a route, and I guarantee the next time that we call that route he'll run it at 14 (yards) instead of 16. I just appreciate that about him. He has a lot of confidence. You want to corral that the right way and use it."

Miller believes that his newfound status as a reliable second receiver next to Robinson should continue as he works to sand the rough edges off his game.

"I just told [Nagy] that I'm the type of player that if I mess up, I won't mess it up again," said Miller. "Just keep relying on me, and I'll make the play for you each and every time."