Steelers safety Mike Mitchell drew a flag for roughing the passer during Sunday’s victory over the Chiefs when he hit Alex Smith in the back of the knees after Smith had delivered a pass to Kareem Hunt on the final play of the third quarter.
Smith was upset about the hit, which came after a blitzing Mitchell initially missed Smith and then circled back for another shot. Linebacker Anthony Chickillo‘s hand pushes Mitchell in the back during that pursuit, which Mitchell says caused him to lose balance and fall into Smith as he’s “throwing and fading away.”
“I’m not a dirty player,” Mitchell said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m not out here trying to take his legs out. It’s just one of those things you don’t want to see in a football game. It’s unfortunate that it happened because it ended up kind of flipping momentum in the field in a significant way.”
Mitchell will find out if the league views the hit the same way he does when they issue fines this week, but says he’ll sleep “very well” knowing that he didn’t intend to hurt Smith.