Sometimes storylines and narratives almost mute a victory (or defeat) for an NFL team. This would certainly be the case with Martavis Bryant reportedly requesting a trade recently—and the same could be said about Mike Mitchell’s low hit on Alex Smith in the Week-6 game.
The hit was a hot topic between the teams’ two fan bases, and the video has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb. Alex Smith gave his take on the play: “I thought (the hit) was pretty late, I mean when you get hit in the back of your knee like that I didn’t understand how that happened. Certainly guys falling, rushing the quarterback I get it when it’s happening from the front and guys trying hard. That one to me just seemed so weird to get hit that low coming from behind.”
When asked if he thought it was on purpose? “No I mean I have no idea I haven’t seen the play so I couldn’t tell you but just fired up at the time.”
When you watch the play (which you can see HERE) it’s hard to not side with Smith on the potential injury which might have occurred on the play. But this had all taken place without hearing from Mitchell.
Here’s what he had to say about the hit:
“At the end of the day, I sleep very well,” Mitchell said Monday afternoon per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “My teammates know who I am. I know what type of person I am. You look at the play, the play speaks for itself.”
Mitchell said he's “fresh out of cares of what people that don't know me think about me.” He defended the play and expressed respect for Smith.
“I felt myself tripping. I felt myself being pushed. I felt myself losing balance,” Mitchell said. “I was aware of the rule. If you watch the tape, I'm even trying to turn my body while I am falling. Alex is backpedaling into me. I wasn't even going in the direction of Alex. He actually is throwing and fading away. It's a lot of things that go into the play that make it an accident that you don't want to see — but that's exactly what it is.”
There’s a very good chance Mitchell will receive a fine for the hit on Smith, but don’t let anyone tell Mitchell he is a dirty player.
“I'm not a dirty player,” Mitchell said. “I'm not out here trying to take his legs out. It's just one of those things you don't want to see in a football game. It's unfortunate that it happened because it ended up kind of flipping momentum in the field in a significant way.”