BEREA, Ohio – Braxton Miller said he had a couple NFL choices when he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles last week, and then a chance to join the Browns fell in his lap.
On Wednesday, the former Ohio State quarterback/wide receiver practically glowed as he spoke about his return to the Buckeye State.
A Springfield, Ohio, native, he said the Browns are his father’s favorite team. His 7-year-old son, Landon, lives in Columbus. His family is within driving distance.
“Being able to play for my home state, that’s one of the accomplishments I always wanted. We always said maybe it would manifest down the road in my life,” Miller said in reference to his father. “I put that in my path. I’m going to take full advantage of it. You want to win games, and that’s the type of player I am.”
Thin at receiver with injuries to Ishmael Hyman and Antonio Callaway and with Odell Beckham Jr. sitting out team drills, the Browns signed Miller and waived tight end Mik’Quan Deane with a non-football illness designation. But earning the sixth receiver spot may be a longshot for Miller, who will have to make his mark on special teams.
“Whatever they come up with I’m fine with, special teams … ” Miller said.
Miller said former Houston Texans teammate Jaelen Strong, his locker mate, is helping him cram to learn the playbook. As for his chance to play Friday at Tampa Bay in the third preseason game, Miller said, “I hope so. Just give me a couple plays, give me like a little package, I’ll get it done.”
Drafted in the third round by the Texans in 2016, Miller caught 34 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns in 21 games before being released. He spent last season on the Eagles practice squad, but was never activated.
Kitchens liked what he saw from the former two-time Big Ten player of the year, even though the Browns did not practice in pads.
“He moved around well. He can stick his feet in the ground and change directions. He caught the ball well,” Kitchens said. “It looks like he has some juice.”
Miller, 26, said he believes the Browns are a “a really good fit” and has all the motivation he needs.
“Just being back, the air that you’ve been breathing since you’ve been young, you get that sense of this is where you started,” he said. “It was a warm welcome … so it was kind of different. I feel like I’ve been here already.
“When I first got here it was like, ‘What’s up, Buckeye?’ It just felt great.”
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