Heath Miller retired last February. And ... that was it. There was no press conference, there was no media tour, there was no elaborate social media activity. He posted one Facebook picture with the phrase, "Thank you, Steeler Nation." The Steelers announced his departure on the team website.
This is how Miller wanted it to be. The two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler got what he needed out of his sport, and the time to leave was right.
"It was totally my decision," Miller says. "I always knew coming into this, I wanted to have a long career, but I also wanted to walk away with my health as much as I could. I feel like I'm doing that."
In an offseason featuring stars like Calvin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch retiring at an elite level at 30, Miller's retirement at 33 generated fewer headlines. Miller's 60 receptions and 535 yards in 2015 were near his career averages. He could have played more, but physically, he believed this was the right time to go out.
Miller has kept mum on his thoughts on NFL safety. On a personal level, he is out of the game and on to other things. "I have no plans right now," he says. I'm going to step away and enjoy some family time and let it sit. Maybe I'll figure something out in the next few years that feels right and I'll be off."
Miller says his teammates responded with the "normal stuff" congratulating him on retirement. Come fall, Miller will be watching them from his house, and his health risk, in such areas as concussions, will drastically shrink.
"It's interesting, and I'm glad it's getting more news and more publicity because there's certainly ways I feel can make the game safer," Miller says on the topic of CTE. "With knowledge of these symptoms and what guys are dealing with post-football, I think that's only going to be better to learn more about it and hopefully make changes for the better."
Miller has three sons, all 6 and younger. He will also be a fixture in the stands of whatever athletic endeavors his children pursue, football or no football.
"They don't play right now," he says. "They're young. I'll expose them to a number of sports and I feel like when they're at the appropriate age, and they want to play, we'll have the discussion then."
Miller admits even when he was a 22-year-old rookie, concussions were "not at all" on his mind. After 11 NFL seasons, the vibe changes.
"You just have to be responsible with the way you do things in football," he says. "It's a contact sport. I think the more educated you can be as a player and also, as coaches with little guys, is good. The coaches need to be educated and need to responsible and know the risks that come with the sport."
Miller spoke to ThePostGame from the American Express Hospitality tent at Oakmont Country Club, where he took in the final day of U.S. Open practice rounds in suburban Pittsburgh. The Steel City has been popping in June with the Penguins winning a Stanley Cup and the best golfers in the world descending upon Oakmont. Miller notes that although Ben Roethlisberger may be his best former teammate at golf -- Miller says he is not much of a golfer -- Miller is among the best at minigolf. Miller has recently had his own annual minigolf classic for charity in Pittsburgh.
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Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.