TAMPA — It's no coincidence former University of Texas standout Roy Miller has the same kind of confidence and swagger that spews from his new coach, Raheem Morris.
"I feel like I'm the best D-tackle in this draft," the Buccaneers' third-round pick said shortly after his selection Sunday.
"I knew a couple guys were going to go (earlier) because of some of the hype that swayed their way. Those kinds of things push me, and I feed off them."
Asked about his limitations pointed out by draft analysts — everything from shorter-than-ideal arms to lack of impact as a pass rusher — Miller said, "It definitely (ticks) me off because these days, everybody has an opinion. I'm definitely honored to be a Buc, but I feel like there are a lot of guys that went ahead of me that shouldn't have. A lot of people got me confused."
Like Morris, Miller's self-assurance won't guarantee him anything. But Miller certainly seems able to contribute immediately regardless of where he believes he should have been picked.
Listed at 6 feet 1, 310 pounds, Miller said he has increased his weight to 315 pounds after playing his final season with the Longhorns at 290.
In order to dispel concerns he might be too light to play nose tackle in the NFL, he embarked on a mission to add weight after the season, using a 4,800-calorie-per-day diet to pack on 25 pounds.
His optimum weight with the Bucs is being debated, but Miller doesn't anticipate problems in reaching it.
Whatever his weight, he fits the profile of the run-stuffing defensive tackle the Bucs seek. He figures to find a home in the rotation, if not the starting lineup. Chris Hovan, Ryan Sims, Greg Peterson and Dre Moore also are in the mix.
But there are certain qualities, Morris said, that distinguish Miller.
"Any time you get a chance to get a guy like Roy Miller," Morris said, "a guy who was the captain of his team, a big-time run-stopper, hard-nosed, lunch pail guy and comes to work with a chip on his shoulder every day that can plug up the middle, it's always a positive thing."
And there's another thing the Bucs love about Miller. Though players' weight room feats don't always translate to the field, Miller is among the strongest men you'll ever meet. He has bench-pressed 500 pounds and squatted 625. At the scouting combine in February, he benched 225 pounds 36 times.
His weight can fluctuate, but not his might.
"His bench press doesn't change," Morris said. "I believe he's one of the strongest guys in the draft. Thirty-six times off his chest. It's going to help out those interior guys."
As for Miller's assessment of himself, well, that's music to Morris' ears.
"I want every single pick that I pick to feel like they should have been picked (Saturday)," he said. "We love that mentality. We want these guys coming in being excited.
"We want these guys to come in ready to compete."
Stephen F. Holder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.