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Big hitter Mike Mitchell doesn’t want to be known as big hitter

Mike Mitchell AP

The fact he made highlight-reel hits for a quality defense earned Mike Mitchell plenty of attention last year.

Enough for the Steelers to step out of form and give him a five-year, $25 million contract. And enough to get multiple fines from the league, to the extent that he felt personally targeted by commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I’m not just a hitter — I hate when people say that,” Mitchell said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I will come up and hit you if I have to, but I’m all about the football and making the big play that changes the game.”

Mitchell emerged last year as a player for the Panthers after four indifferent years with the Raiders. Now, the Steelers need him to replace the steady Ryan Clark, and be able to make plays away from the line of scrimmage (since Troy Polamalu isn’t going to be playing center field).

“I’m a playmaker on defense. I want to take the ball away. I can create sacks, fumbles,” Mitchell said. “If they’re aggressive with me, which I think they will be in this scheme, I’ll be in position to make plays. Any time I’m in a deep zone, I feel like I’m a threat to the quarterback.”

If he’s doing that with interceptions rather than threatening them with borderline hits, the Steelers’ defense should be better for the change.

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26 Responses to “Big hitter Mike Mitchell doesn’t want to be known as big hitter”
  1. hanspard says: May 30, 2014 10:31 AM

    Behind an average pass rush this guy was a below average safety. Behind a great pass rush he was pretty good. I’m thinking the front 7 has more to do with his success than he does. Stiff hips, not a cover guy.

  2. citizenstrange says: May 30, 2014 10:31 AM

    (since Troy Polamalu isn’t going to be playing center field)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    After becoming such a blatant liability in pass defense — and he was never that great to begin with — and being reduced to playing more or less a linebacker support role last year Polamalu’s duties will now be the equivalent of a catcher in a t-ball league. Because of the hair he will get voted to the Pro Bowl though.

  3. tinytoolalldrool says: May 30, 2014 10:35 AM

    Super Bowl lol

  4. thestrategyexpert says: May 30, 2014 10:39 AM

    Yeah I don’t blame him, that sounds like a fine label.

  5. quizguy66 says: May 30, 2014 11:11 AM

    So I can Steelers fans can cancel orders for their custom Hitchell jerseys

  6. originalsteelcurtain says: May 30, 2014 11:25 AM

    Ryan Clarke has played FS for 8 years (the “Centerfielder” in a very good Steeler D). Check your facts citizenstrange: Troy is an in-the-box SS, who roams in Labeau’s schemes.

    Clark lost a gear and became very slow last year (can’t believe the Skins signed him), and Mitchell is a huge upgrade…in speed and playmaking ability.

    With Mitchell, Shazier, Shamarko, Jarvis, and Tuitt, the Steeler D is becoming younger and much faster. Expect a return to the playoffs in 2014.

  7. melikefootball says: May 30, 2014 11:33 AM

    Does ring a bell when players continue to point a finger at God-del and who he goes after. Still waiting on Rice, Smith and Ersay and yet nothing out of NFL office. This kid is trying to protect self by not wanting to be known as a hard hit player. This is what God-del has done to the game.

  8. crownofthehelmet says: May 30, 2014 11:51 AM

    After a few games against Flacco and Dalton, Mitchell will be known as the big interceptor. That’s assuming Shazier doesn’t steamroll them before throwing up their lobs.

  9. kremis says: May 30, 2014 12:02 PM

    Wait for it………….the Steelers have not had a winning record since being tebowed out of the playoffs, and you can see the desperation with each of their signings and who they continue to pay even though they are well past their prime. If you look at their history from 1933 -1972, you can see that history is beginning to repeat itself

  10. qdog112 says: May 30, 2014 12:42 PM

    This is the one guy I didn’t mind Gettleman letting walk from Charlotte. If he was 1/2 as good as he thinks he is, he’d already be in Canton.

    He will keep drives going for the opposition with stupid and untimely penalties. I’m interested to see how Mike Tomlin and this clown co-exist.

  11. bblocker68 says: May 30, 2014 12:51 PM

    Joe Greene will hunt you down, kremis. Sleep with one eye open.

  12. clashpoint says: May 30, 2014 12:52 PM

    I think he just wants to stop getting fined. He was fined 5 times last season, I think? Big hitters tend to get big fines. I think he’d like to go back to being an anonymous hitter as far as all thats concerned. He and James Harrison should probably get together and go bowling.

  13. sandy102270 says: May 30, 2014 12:53 PM

    “Mitchell emerged last year as a player for the Panthers after four indifferent years with the Raiders”

    $25 million to underperform and then whine that the league is targeting him with fines.

    Sounds like Clark never left.

  14. steelcurtainn says: May 30, 2014 12:56 PM

    Can’t wait to see this guy pancake the Bungles and Raven Receivers. The free safety position has been upgraded.

  15. Smash-Mouth.com says: May 30, 2014 1:17 PM

    I think I speak for the majority of Steelers fans when I say we want to see you lay some lumber on people, Mike.

  16. bengalguy says: May 30, 2014 2:22 PM

    Uh Squealer fans, before you get oh-so-excited about this Clown, remember, he toiled 4 years in Chokeland before he played with Carolina last year ( albeit as a reserve until injury put him in a starters roll) and the ONLY thing he can do is lay ILLEGAL lumber…..he’ll be serving suspensions & be relegated back to a back-up once he learns he has to stop being cheap or the league will sit his ass down & fine him…….which puts the Steelers back to the same crappy Defense they’ve had every since Tebow picked on Troy & company in the playoffs 4 years ago!

  17. Nofoolnodrool says: May 30, 2014 2:56 PM

    Uh Squealer fans, before you get oh-so-excited about this Clown, remember, he toiled 4 years in Chokeland before he played with Carolina last year ( albeit as a reserve until injury put him in a starters roll) and the ONLY thing he can do is lay ILLEGAL lumber…..he’ll be serving suspensions & be relegated back to a back-up once he learns he has to stop being cheap or the league will sit his ass down & fine him…….which puts the Steelers back to the same crappy Defense they’ve had every since Tebow picked on Troy & company in the playoffs 4 years ago!

    I didn’t know he played for the Bungals for four years. I mean you have choked every time you get to the playoffs. Time for you to go polish your …wait can you polish ant-shirt.

  18. Nofoolnodrool says: May 30, 2014 3:04 PM

    I didn’t realize Mitchell played four years in Cinci before playing for the Panthers. Funny it seems that defense shut down the choking Bungals last year. Relax Dalton will break you heart again this year.

  19. clashpoint says: May 30, 2014 4:04 PM

    I thought the Raiders fans had the best opinion of his time there, he was trapped behind Lance Huff at Oakland. Huff wasn’t all that great but he was a Davis guy so they had to play him. I’ve seen the film on him from Carolina and he’s going to be fine as a Steeler. Probably not an all-star, but he’s a better free safety than a strong safety, and if he stays healthy he’ll play well enough above the line. So all you trolls can go climb back down under your bridges, we’ve got this one covered.

  20. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2014 5:00 PM

    Best laugh I’ve had is learning that Polamalu’s hair is responsible for his 8 selections in 11 seasons to the Pro Bowl, his selection as DPY in 2010 and his numerous (too many to count) Lynn Swann-like acrobatic catches for game-changing interceptions.
    Too funny.

  21. nomoreseasontix says: May 30, 2014 8:35 PM

    When did he become a hitter?
    I saw about every game he played for the Raiders and all I remember is bad angles and whiffs…
    Good for him….

  22. dontstabmeray says: May 30, 2014 8:40 PM

    kremis says:
    May 30, 2014 12:02 PM
    Wait for it………….the Steelers have not had a winning record since being tebowed out of the playoffs, and you can see the desperation with each of their signings and who they continue to pay even though they are well past their prime. If you look at their history from 1933 -1972, you can see that history is beginning to repeat itself

    Wait for it………the Steelers have not had a losing season since 2003. It’s 2014 buddy. So let’s hear about your team’s history…or lack of it. Boom.

  23. corvetteman6 says: May 30, 2014 8:58 PM

    If Mitchell can do anything—anything—to make us forget Ike Taylor is back there, then we can call him whatever he likes. Until 24 is sent packing, the Steelers secondary is suspect. It was nice to see Woodley, Foote and Clark sent packing, but why they brought this clown back is anyone’s guess.
    I love what the team did during free agency and in the draft, but secondary is still one glaring problem.

  24. steelerdynasty2010 says: May 30, 2014 10:25 PM

    interceptions?…..are those like turnovers? i remember when we used to force those…..

  25. avbanig33 says: May 31, 2014 11:02 AM

    I think Mitchell can be the steelers Ryan Clark of last decade.

    It’s true he didn’t do much in Oakland – but who does?

    He’s got the talent and athleticism to be used in all kinds of ways for the steelers D.

    I can’t wait!

  26. troy43mvp says: Jun 2, 2014 10:37 AM

    Hey do guys remember back when the Bengals won that playoff game? Ya I know. Me neither. lol

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