Mitchell: 'I can't lie, I'm extremely excited'

They have gotten a taste for it during training camp and the preseason, a feel for what it's like to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But, that little tease, that hint of what it's like to step onto the field on game day, it's nothing like they will experience on Sunday when the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Cleveland Browns.

There are 17 players on the Steelers' roster that didn't play in a regular season game last season, 15 of them either offseason free agent signings or rookies, and two players who were on the practice squad last year and now on the active roster.

Some of them weighed in on what they look forward to this week, their first regular season game in a Steelers' uniform.

Safety Mike Mitchell signed with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent on March 12, after spending last season with the Carolina Panthers and the previous four with the Oakland Raiders. When he first signed with the team he talked about his excitement to play for the black and gold, and now he is really feeling it.

"I can't lie, I'm extremely excited," said Mitchell. "Just to see a packed crowd, to play in my first official game for the Steelers, and get my first official start on the greatest football franchise on the planet. I can't wait."

Linebacker Arthur Moats, an unrestricted free agent signee in March, spent the last four seasons with the Buffalo Bills but can't wait to play in front of passionate Steelers fans.  

Check out photos of the Steelers' current 53 man roster.

"I am ecstatic about it," said Moats. "Before I signed here I knew about the Steelers, playing in their stadium, Heinz Field is crazy. To be playing for the Steelers in a regular season game, I am definitely excited about it. I am going to have family in town and it's going to be a great experience."

Moats has heard stories from some of his new teammates about what the atmosphere is like, and there is a little something else he is especially looking forward to during the game.

"The stadium definitely gets loud," said Moats. "When you are the visiting team it gets tough to hear out there. The fact that these fans are on our side, have our back, it's going to be great.

"I am also excited to hear 'Renegade' played when the defense is on the field and see the video. I have been hearing the hype about it, so I'm ready to get it."

Rookie Dri Archer, who is expected to see playing time as a kick and punt returner on Sunday, is pumped not just for his first game at Heinz Field, but his first NFL regular season game.

"This is something I have been dreaming about since I was six years old and started playing football. I am making my dream come true," said Archer. "I am real excited. This is when it really starts, week one, division game, we have the Cleveland Browns at home. It's a big one.

"I know it's going to be crazy. I have to keep my composure because at the end of the day I have to play football."

Other newcomers also shared their excitement in anticipation of playing their first game at Heinz Field:

--Defensive end Cam Thomas: "I am ready. It's tradition here. The fans are like no other fans, the number one fans in the country. I am expecting that, nothing less, lots of support and ready to go."

--Rookie receiver Martavis Bryant: "I watched football on television as a kid, but I never thought I would be here. I am blessed and happy to be one of the few to make it. This is a dream come true. I am blessed to be in this situation, blessed to be a part of the organization. We want to go out and make the whole city proud, our families proud, and just go out and play for each other."


--Running back LeGarrette Blount:** "It's going to be fun. I have been waiting for it for a while. The first game of the season, home, against a conference opponent, you can't beat it. I can't wait for it. I feel like it's going to be a lot more electric than most places are. And the Terrible Towels will be waving in my favor now. I need to get one of those."

--Wide receiver Lance Moore:"I can't wait. I played in the same place for a long time, and to be able to come here, some place so historic, a stadium where this team has won a lot of games and built up a wonderful resume of championships, I look forward to it."

--Cornerback Brice McCain: "I'm very pumped for the first game, especially at Heinz Field. It's my first experience there; I never played there my whole career. I can't wait. It's going to be hyped; it's going to be loud. They are going to be just as excited as we are. WE are going to give them one heck of a game."

--Rookie defensive end Stephon Tuitt: "I am super excited. I am going to be excited Sunday, I am excited every day. I am excited now. It's a blessing."

--Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey: "To have a chance to go out there with my teammates and start this journey of having the chance to win a championship, I am really excited about it. I know the fans are going to be in full force. We need the Terrible Towels going crazy, anything to help us win. I know our defense, offense and special teams are going to come ready to play." 

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