Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell has had enough with the officiating job done by NFL officials this season suggesting that officials ‘Just hand us all some flags’ in an emotional rant about the league’s stringent policy on hits.
Mitchell was referencing the suspension handed down to teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster, holding nothing back in his verbal assault.
“Just hand us all some flags” Mitchell said (h/t ESPN).
“Hand us all some flags, and we’ll go out there and try to grab the flags off. Because we’re not playing football,” said Mitchell on Wednesday from his locker. “This is not damn football. When I was 6 years old watching Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson, Sean Taylor, the hitters, Jack Tatum. That’s football. This ain’t football. You have to know the risk when you sign up. No one wants to be paralyzed. No one wants to have head injuries. These are all things that are negative. But let’s not try to turn football into a dangerous, barbaric game.
“This is how I changed my family legacy. Before I got drafted, I had $368 to my bank account. That is far from the case today. I’ve changed my family legacy by this beautiful game of football forever. So let’s not try to turn this into some evil, dirty game. It’s football. It’s no different than UFC fighting. This a combat, contact sport. There’s gonna be injuries. That’s just what it is. But if you don’t want to get injured, don’t come out here. This is for real men. This is a man’s game. Ray Lewis said that a couple of years ago, and I stand by that. It’s a man’s game. If you don’t want to be a little kid and get your ass hit, don’t come out here. This is for grown men. Straight like that.”
The league doled out suspensions for Smith-Schuster for his open-field block on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, which came with a taunt, and Bengals safety George Illoka for his end-zone helmet hit delivered to Steelers’ wide out Antonio Brown.
League official Troy Vincent said that the NFL might adopt college football’s targeting rule that ejects players for egregious hits.
“We are physical safeties. Think about what you ask us to do,” Mitchell said. “We’re always the last line of defense on bang-bang plays. You never get to see us line somebody up in a hole like a linebacker. We’re playing full speed. He’s 4.4-4.3 speed. Aim that. You go do that. You can’t. It’s just the risk of playing football. If a ball is in the air and the man jumps and a man ducks his head, how do you want me to readjust my body? You cannot do it. At the end of the day this is Foot-Ball. If you want to see flag football, then let’s take our pads off. That would make it easier for me. Now, I don’t have to wear heavy s—. Give us flags for me to pull off so that way I know what we are playing. I signed up to play full-speed, contact football. We’re not doing that. I feel like I’ve got to ask a guy, ‘Hey, are you ready for me to hit you right now before I hit you? That’s crazy. I’m going to mess around and get hurt trying to protect an offensive player because he’s running an over route. Dammit, your quarterback shouldn’t have thrown the ball messed up.”
Mitchell said that happened two years ago on his hit on Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert, which resulted in a hefty fine from the league.
Mitchell also received a $48,000 fine for a Week 6 hit on Chiefs running back Charcandrick West, though he appealed, and made headlines for what many perceived as a dirty hit on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.
“That’s 50 grand out of my pocket because Andy [Dalton] throws a bad ball. Make that make sense,” said Mitchell of the 2015 play. “And at first you’re taking our money but now I’ve got a-holes like Matt Hasselbeck calling me a dirty player and trying my character and we’ve never met before. I donate more money to Cincinnati to underprivileged kids than probably the people on the Bengals. So don’t give me that name. My nephew goes to school there and I take all that personally. If you don’t know me and you’ve never had a conversation with me, don’t judge us on what you see in football, because football’s my competitive side. You know what I’m saying? There’s just so much going on in the game right now.
Mitchell slowed down his rant, then pointed out he was obviously “a little flustered” and asked for commissioner Roger Goodell to do better.
“Fans, owners, players are all disappointed in Roger Goodell. We’ve just got to do better,” Mitchell said. “We can’t have a guy where you just hand out discipline how you see fit. There needs to be a set guideline on how we do what we do. There’s no way I see two people get post-play infractions that don’t have to do with football and you get the same suspension as the guy who’s making a football play in a football game. It’s absolutely absurd. But like I said, it’s Steelers vs the world.”
Jaguars’ Ereck Flowers Feels He’s In Better Situation than with Giants
Jacksonville Jaguars newly acquired tackle Ereck Flowers, who infamously flopped for his former team the New York Giants, believes that the Jags will present a “better fit” for him than the Giants presented.
“Great opportunities, great team and I’m happy to be here,” Flowers said,according to the Florida Times-Union. “Definitely a fresh start for me. I like it here, man. I think this will be a better fit. They have a great locker room, great guys. I’m grateful to be here.”
While the Giants gave up on Flowers, despite his high draft status, the Jags are hopeful Flowers can contribute.
“Make no mistake about it, if we feel someone can help us or making a change is better for us, then we will do that,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said. “That is everywhere. It is hard when the whole team is not playing well.”
Texans’ Bill O’Brien Calls for Jadeveon Clowney to Limit Penalties
Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is calling on Jadeveon Clowney to clean up the penalties he is getting flagged for this season, and balance the aggressiveness that he brings to the field out with a bit more control.
Clowney has been flagged 8 times during 6 games and has notched 13 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery thus far this season.
“Guys that play like he does – he plays the game in a really attacking way, and so people are going to use their cadence against him and he’s just got to be really focused on that” O’Brien said, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“Then, the taunting call, like somebody asked me if I’m going to – yeah, I’ll talk to him about it, but I’m not going to go down the road of what. I think he just was just kind of messing around with the guy, but you can’t do that. You can’t do that, and that’s what they called and we’ll make sure that he knows not to do that anymore.”
Texans’ Deshaun Watson Downplays Injuries
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is downplaying battling through a broken rib and partially collapsed lung, despite teammates noticing that the signal caller was in a lot of significant pain.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, Watson has stated that everything “was fine” and said that he wasn’t in any pain.
Watson was asked about playing with a broken rib and partially collapsed lung in victory over Bills and said everything “was fine” and he wasn’t in pain. Teammates knew he was in a lot of pain.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) October 17, 2018
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- Texans’ Bill O’Brien Calls for Jadeveon Clowney to Limit Penalties
- Panthers’ Cam Newton Not Concerned About Down-Field Passing
- Texans’ Deshaun Watson Downplays Injuries
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