New Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell has already talked to his new secondary counterpart, safety Troy Polamalu, since being signed during the offseason, but he’s yet to work with him on the practice field. That figures to change next week, however, when the Steelers mandatory minicamp gets underway and Mitchell looks forward to that happening.
“I keep hearing so many things about him,” Mitchell said, according to a Wednesday report by Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “It’s really hard to get to know a guy from phone conversations and text messages, so I look forward to seeing him in person and seeing how he works. I’m in my playbook every night studying my butt off so when he gets here we’ll both know the defense.”
Mitchell, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Tuesday, is no stranger to having to pick up new defenses quickly as Dick LeBeau will be his fifth different defensive coordinator in as many years. Even so, the former third-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders knows that he has to pace himself when it comes to what he can learn between now and the start of the 2014 season.
“If you do a little bit every night eventually you have it mastered,” Mitchell told Brown. “It’s kind of like back in college or in high school when you know you have an exam coming up. My exam doesn’t start until August when we start playing preseason games.”
Polamalu is finishing up his training back home in California and is expected to be in town next week. 2014 will mark the first time since 2006 that he has played opposite somebody else other than Ryan Clark.
Like Clark, Mitchell is sure of himself and cerebral. He knows, however, that he’s just one player that has to fit in quickly on defense.
“I’m not here to work any miracles or anything like that,” Mitchell said. “We already have a bunch of good players, guys that have been doing it a long time and guys that are ready to do it so I don’t have to try and come in here and save the world by myself.”
No, he won’t have to work any miracles now that he’s in Pittsburgh. That’s Polamalu’s job.