Rookies suffer through it. Free agents require a learning curve. Veterans are the only players that can truly blossom.
All of this is regular verbiage that surrounds a Dick LeBeau defense that the media has portrayed to be one of the most dynamic systems to ever be created in the history of the NFL.
LeBeau's 3-4 zone blitz has become as famous and duplicated as any defense that has preceeded it, and every step of the way the amount of complexities that surround the defense are touted as gospel, but what if that weren't true?
"I don't think it [the new defense] has been hard at all," "Coach LeBeau and Coach (Carnell) Lake are both great teachers with what they are asking us to do here. I don't want to say easy, but they have made it easier on me to pick up the playbook. They are asking things that you just have to know and remember that is different from other defenses that I played in."
Mitchell is a hard worker. He has been vocal about the amount of time working in the playbook since being signed to be sure the transition from Ryan Clark would be a seamless one for an organization that was extremely active in pursuing his services via free agency.
However, it has to make someone think about how the Steelers' defense is viewed from a schematic standpoint. Often times thought of as the cream of the crop in terms of defenses, sometimes all it takes is a good study habit and some quality teachers.
After all, Mike Mitchell might have put it best, "It's not like this defense is rocket science."