Mitchell: 'I am loving the scheme'


In mid-March, as he stood in front of the gathered media for his introductory press conference, new Steelers' safety Mike Mitchell talked about why he signed with the Steelers and how he fits in with the physical style of football the team plays.

"The brand of football that the Steelers are about and they play is very hard-nosed, physical and smash-mouthed," said Mitchell in March. "I think my personality and the way that I play just meshes perfectly with what we are trying to do here."

Fast forward to today. With OTA sessions now under his belt, and a chance to get a true introduction to the defense, he likes it more and more every day.

"I love it," said Mitchell. "I can already see (defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau) is using me the way I want to be used. I am getting to play in space a lot and I have also been coming in on some blitzes and timing them up pretty well. I am loving the scheme. I think it fits me great."

Mitchell is the first to admit that LeBeau's defense isn't an easy one, that it's complex. But he is a veteran who doesn't just bring physical skills to the game, but also the mental tools necessary to adjust to a new defense.

"I have actually had to do a little bit of homework a couple of nights," said Mitchell. "This is what I love to do. Football is a game I love. This defense has some intricacies but I am picking it up just fine.

"I haven't made any mental errors yet. I pride myself on being a prepared, smart football player so I think I'm just along with everyone else. We're putting in a good amount of plays and to be able to play them and play them at a high speed I think I am doing a pretty good job. Coach LeBeau came up and told me I was doing a pretty good job. So I think I am doing a pretty good job."

Not bad praise for a newcomer just getting his feet wet in the defense.

"It definitely makes you feel good, but he has always been positive, positive reinforcement and positive motivation" said Mitchell. "It makes you want to play even harder for him. I want to come out and have an even better day tomorrow."

Mitchell knows OTAs are just the beginning, that there still is minicamp and training camp before the season kicks off. But this is step one, step one on what he hopes is a road to a Super Bowl title.

"We are all out here sweating, trying to get better, trying to win that seventh championship," said Mitchell. "That is what we are all out here to do and it's exciting to have the guys out here working for the same goal."

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