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Steelers S Mike Mitchell headed in the right direction

As the Steelers top free agent signed this offseason, Mitchell has already started to live up to his status

Jared Wickerham

Safety Mike Mitchell was given early approval in his time as a Pittsburgh Steeler in his second week of OTA's.

Signed to a five-year contract on the first day of free-agency, Mitchell was on the receiving end of an uncharacteristic move by the Steelers. Normally waiting for free agency to settle down, the Steelers went in on the first day and got their guy.

Despite the visible sweat running down his face after practice, if what Mitchell said to Teresa Varley of  is true, it appears the Steelers will get their money's worth come week 1 against the Browns.

"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."

Mitchell, a 6-foot, 210-pound free safety was brought in to take over for long time Steeler safety Ryan Clark. Despite the Redskins signing Clark this offseason, the popular belief is that the Steelers didn't re-sign Clark because his best years were behind him. Clark who lost a lot of speed this past season is the exact opposite of his successor because Mitchell is known for his speed.

Mitchell was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of the University because of his speed. Former owner Al Davis was known for taking players for their speed and nothing else, but Mitchell was still a big question mark.

After four seasons in which he sat behind Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff, Mitchell got a chance with the Panthers in 2013, which he took in stride. And due to his performance in Carolina, Mitchell wound up signing the deal with the Steelers.

While Mitchell has impressed Dick Lebeau and the Steelers in "football in shorts," it remains to be seen whether or not Mitchell can bring back speed and bone-crunching hits to the back-end of the Steelers defense in the 2014 season.