Talking to his teammates and coaches, you get the impression that University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Adam Miller, a four-year starter at right tackle and a co-captain, doesn't say too much.
That's not unusual for offensive linemen, who often let the "skill position" players take care of the "rah-rah" talk. When Miller does decide to speak up, however, the preseason second-team All-Southern Conference pick means business.
"He's kind of quiet [on the field]," Mocs quarterback Jacob Huesman said. "As far as leadership goes, he's more of a lead-by-example kind of guy. ... He's not really a 'rah-rah, let's go' kind of guy."
Does that add gravity or weight to his words?
"Absolutely," Huesman said.
Miller, a former Northwest Whitfield (Ga.) High School standout, didn't argue with any of that. He said he speaks out when it's he feels he needs to but otherwise leads by example.
"I've always looked at it as you don't always have to say something," said Miller, who has started 38 games in his UTC career. "Yeah, you have certain guys, that's what they do, and every team has to have [the vocal leaders]. But that's just never been me.
"Other than what I have to say, like up on the line when we're communicating, it's not like I'm a big 'rah-rah' guy."
Mocs right guard Kevin Revis said he and Miller will occasionally throw out a "Right Side Pride!" cheer, but that's mainly to tease the rest of the guys on the offensive line.
Miller and the Mocs (3-3, 2-1 SoCon) host Samford (5-2, 3-2) at 6 p.m., Saturday at Finley Stadium. UTC has won two in a row -- at The Citadel and at Furman -- and is looking for its third three-game win streak since coach Russ Huesman's first season in 2009; there was one (2005) in the previous 11 seasons.
The Friday night before UTC played at The Citadel, Miller surprised even himself by standing up and speaking. It was a players-only meeting and Miller spoke from the heart about where the program was -- UTC was 1-3 and coming off the 34-17 loss to Appalachian State -- and what needed to change.
"We had our team meeting and Coach Huesman said, 'All right, I'm going to leave. It's your team. Captains, seniors, anyone, come up and talk,'" Miller recalled. "When I said that, I still hadn't planned on talking."
A few other players spoke up, and then Miller stood and said his piece.
"I looked around and was like, I guess this is my time when I need to say something," he said.
What he said in the players-only meeting will remain among the players, but whatever he and the other speakers said must have had some impact since the Mocs' best two games were their last two games.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...