JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell's scheme is a hybrid three-four. In his first season as a defensive coordinator, he moved guys all over the formation, but one thing was certain: This is a linebacker intensive scheme, which meant they needed more talented linebackers. Enter Ventrell Miller, a fourth-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2023 NFL Draft from the University of Florida who was a human highlight reel in his four years with the Gators. Senior Correspondent Brian Sexton caught up with Miller off the practice field recently during 2023 Training Camp at the Miller Electric Center.
Q: How's the transition from Gainesville to Jacksonville?
A: The transition has been really smooth so far. I know this place pretty well from the Florida-Georgia game, so it feels like a second home to me. I've just been trying to adjust to the schedule, which means making the time to get into the playbook, focus on nutrition and getting my body every day. I'm in the pros now and I have to think and act like a professional.
Q: What does it mean to be a pro. Why is that important?
A: You are the business and working on the business every day, and the business is football. I've been trying to build a routine and think ahead, so I can plan and not have too many surprises. It's easier to run the business when you know what you need to do. It's all the things we just talked about plus getting enough sleep and finding time to deal with off-the-field stuff. Being a pro means doing all those things without anyone having to tell you to do it. The pros up here are serious, and you aren't staying here if you aren't at least as serious as they are.
Q: You may have an advantage being a Floridian, playing at Florida and then coming out here. A lot of guys struggle with the heat. How do you deal with it personally? How do you tell other young guys how to deal with it?
A: You pretty much nailed it. I'm born and raised here and haven't ever played anywhere else so I'm pretty much used to it. It's actually all I know. The heat is no joke, though. I have to do all the things guys who aren't from here have to do: Hydrate, eat right, get off my feet. This new building has a lot of extras that we can use to be ready for the next day and I'm going to get used to it all.
Q: How as your family reacted to your NFL career. How excited are they to be close enough to see you play?
A: Oh man.