Yes Miller was HC when ET was left.
When the Riders struggled in 2009 he, as HC, went the Berry and basically ran his old playbook for 3 games. 3 games in which the Riders excelled. Same thing happened with Lapo. Miller was the one stabilizing force over a 4 year span. His ability to lead brought the team to the GC 2 of 3 years. Miller has a great offensive mind, it is a pity he could not stay on as OC to train someone.
IMO Millers greatest downfall was his inability to bring in a few of the right assistants, and the inability to let glaring issues go. Daley was a prime example. He should have been fired mid season.
His second big problem was his inability to let go and allow Marshall to run his team. He should have been in the bleachers at practices.
As far as the player personnel goes, as stated, hey was the yay/nay guy...not the guy making the moves.
Williams was let go because they already had solid guys in place and could not afford that salary for a guy who was only going to split duties...are you suggesting they should have sat Simpson to play Williams?
Thigpen had a really poor training camp, and was actually 2 spots out on the depth chart from making the squad. You only have 2 weeks to asses a rookie...this type of thing happens every year! Vega...I will take Shologan in his place thankyou....he is better, and Canadian. Vega is getting a lot of his stats because others are doubled up on...much like Baggs did via Chick (note Baggs had 5 sacks this season...not worth the price). don't get me wrong, both great players, but both were in the right situation.
Cates suffers primarily from an imbalanced offense that does not pay much attention to the running game. Should the Riders have let the 2nd all-time Rider RB go at 31 years old...give your head a shake. Who was his successor at the beginning of the season...nobody!
Miller had little to do with any of this. Don't get me wrong, I did not agree with having 2 roosters in the hen house, but all of this is not one man's fault...there are plenty that need to share the burden.