NEWARK, N.J. – John Miller thought he was coming off his best game of the season.
Sure, the Buffalo Bills guard knew his false start in the red zone during a Week Four win against the Atlanta Falcons was a bad penalty, but other than that he thought he played well.
So when the Bills made a change in Week Five, starting veteran Vlad Ducasse at right guard, Miller said he was "shocked."
"We're all human, we all make mistakes," Miller told The Buffalo News. "I'm hard on myself. It was a tough deal. It was a situation, I could have handled it better.
"Looking back on it, there was no need for me to have a false start. But again, I thought I was coming off one of my better games, so when I got the news, it was more shocking than anything."
The Bills' bye weekend followed that Week Five game in Cincinnati, allowing Miller time to go home to Miami and, as he puts it, "refresh."
"Hang out with my pops, go see a couple of my family members. It was refreshing to get out of Buffalo for a little bit and just reset my mind," he said. "Sitting on the sideline, taking those mental reps, just wishing I was out there. Just watching the film, 'OK, what could I have done better, what could I have done there?' That was tough."
Not playing is foreign to Miller. He made 47 career starts in college at Louisville, then started all 28 games in which he appeared in his first two professional seasons.
"Initially, I didn't look at it as a learning experience," he said. "Sitting back and seeing another guy do my job, it pushed me more to prove myself – not only on the field, but off the field as well. I've had a lot of time to do a lot of self reflecting and kind of re-create myself in a sense. I'm always trying to evolve and continue to grow as a player and as a person.
"I think I've handled myself very professionally. It's definitely a humbling experience, because going to college I started as a true freshman, played all four years, and coming here to the Bills, I started as a rookie. It's a new situation, a humbling situation, and all I can do is put my best foot forward in practice and give the team all I've got. I'm focusing on the things I can control, and that's my attitude and my mindset."