Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell is continuing to voice his displeasure about the way that the NFL issues punishments for illegal hits.
Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was suspended one game for a crackback block on Cincinnati Bengals. On Tuesday Mitchell went on a Twitter rant about the NFL giving Schuster the same punishment as New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for his cheap shot on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White.
On Wednesday, Mitchell was angry about the way that the NFL is officiated as a whole.
“Just hand us all some flags. Hand us all some flags and we’ll go out there and try to grab the flags off,” Mitchell said, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “Because we’re not playing football. This is not damn football.”
Mike Mitchell, unfiltered, on league policing hits: ‘This is not damn football.’ pic.twitter.com/qUPSdOPRQy
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 6, 2017
Mitchell is a hard-hitting safety and it has cost him some money. Most recently, he was fined twice for illegal hits during the Steelers’ Week 6 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs. The two fines totaled nearly $60,000.
He is in the NFL because of his willingness to launch himself into an opponent. It reasonable that Mitchell would be upset about having to adjust the skill-set that got him into the NFL.
However, it is a new day in the NFL. Contact is only going to become more legislated, and the players who don’t adjust will have a hard time staying in the league.