AllBengals Spotlight: Wayne Box Miller on State of the Bengals, Joe Burrow and the Future

Miller talks Bengals, a potential Ring of Honor and more
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Wayne Box Miller has worked for the Bengals Radio Network for ten years. He’s hosted the pre, halftime, and post-game broadcast for the past three seasons.

Miller has been around the Cincinnati sports scene for nearly 30 years, including stints with multiple radio, television and media outlets, along with heading his own companies Miller Communications Sports Marketing and Wayne Box Miller Media.

In his experiences, Miller has collaborated with many Bengals’ greats including David Fulcher, Solomon Wilcots and Eric Thomas. He also represented Jeff Blake.

He has firsthand accounts of some of the biggest moments in team history.

“This franchise doesn’t get the credit it deserves in terms of its history,” Miller told AllBengals. “This team has that history of being in two Super Bowls. This team has the history of one of the pioneers of pro football, Paul Brown. The greatest offensive tackle to ever play the game, Anthony Muñoz.”

Miller believes a Ring of Honor would capture and evangelize the legends and best moments in Bengals history.

He would love to see Ken Riley honored by the franchise as part of the inaugural class. Riley had 65 interceptions, which is fifth in NFL history. He continues to be overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, even though the numbers say he should be in Canton.

Anthony Muñoz, Ken Anderson, Riley, and all of the legends have paved the way for the next group of franchise greats to come through Cincinnati.

Miller believes star quarterback Joe Burrow has the potential to end up in the same class as those franchise greats.

“This kid (Burrow) is different. He’s different in a good way. He was able to not only command the offense, but he commanded respect, ” Miller said. “The ceiling is lifted. This young man has the ability to be a really good, a potentially great quarterback in this league.”

Burrow was on pace to shatter the rookie passing yards record set by Andrew Luck in 2012 (4,374) and compiled an 89.8 quarterback rating in 10 games before going down with a season ending left knee injury.

The former top pick has also been a leader off the field. He created the ‘Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund’ before he ever took an NFL snap. He’s also been outspoken about social injustice in America.

Burrow supported Zac Taylor from the beginning. He believes in the foundation the third-year head coach is building in Cincinnati.

“I think it’s a culture shift,” Miller expressed. “Zac [Taylor] represents new school. It’s an evolution. As it [the team] evolves you’re seeing players that have a [new school] personality along the lines of Zac Taylor. Joe Burrow is that. As you look at coaches across the pantheon of the NFL, they all have a culture they want to impart on their players, because they believe that that culture is a value add.”

Miller feels Taylor and company will infuse that youthful energy as they approach the NFL Draft and free agency looking at both personality and talent fits in Taylor’s culture.

He believes the Bengals will try to keep both Carl Lawson and William Jackson III in free agency, not only because of their talent, but also because they’ve been in Taylor’s system for the past two seasons.

Miller knows the offensive line is Cincinnati’s biggest need. He thinks the addition of multiple proven veterans in free agency could do wonders for Burrow.

As far as considerations for the draft, Miller wants the best available player. Needs are a priority, but he believes taking the top player on the board is a better strategy.

Adding depth in key areas is also an offseason requirement due to the number of injuries that NFL teams deal with throughout the season.

The Bengals faced this predicament in 2020 when multiple starters ended their season on injured reserve including Trae Waynes, DJ Reader, CJ Uzomah and Burrow.

Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle are two players high on Miller’s list of candidates for the fifth pick. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II also caught his eye.

It has been a wild ride for the Cincinnati Bengals, including Miller and the team’s broadcast team this past year working around COVID-19 protocols, drafting Burrow, and the ups and downs of the regular season.

It’s time to gear up as Miller expects an eventful offseason for the team with the unveiling of the new uniforms, a potential Ring of Honor announcement, and a busy front office on the hunt for future Bengals legends. 

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