Games between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are usually very physical and include quite a bit a smack talking and this Sunday’s meeting between the two teams figures to stay the course. Additionally, it could feature Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and Steelers safety Mike Mitchell mixing it up a little between the white lines.
If you remember back to the second meeting between the two teams last season in Pittsburgh, Smith indicated after the game that Mitchell is now a marked-man in his eyes after initially thinking the safety speared in the back following a third quarter reception along the sidelines.
“The best thing I can do without threatening him and saying that I will assault him when I see him is I will say, ‘I look forward to playing him again,’” Smith said. “He’s on my lifetime hit list.”
What Smith didn’t know at the time he made those comments is that it was actually Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons who knocked him out of the game. However, once he found that out, he still failed to back off his original comments two weeks later.
“Timmons hit me, which I didn’t know,” Smith said. “But Mike Mitchell, my former teammate, gets up and he’s talking, he’s kind of celebrating. He was in my face after I got up, when I was giving the ball to the ref, as if he hit me. Like a moron, I assumed that he actually did something.
“Then, when I went down because my back was hurting, he was yelling, ‘Yeah, how do you like that!’ and he said a few words.”
Even this past January Smith still let it be known that Mitchell is still on his “hit list” during an interview on an ESPN radio show.
“So honestly, I know I’m not playing in the playoffs, but he is one of the people I will hunt up when I come back for my final season,” Smith said of Mitchell, who he played one season with when the two were with the Carolina Panthers. “I make enough money so I’m willing to take whatever fine I can get because I still have some change left over.”
As things stand right now, it’s unclear as to whether Smith will get a chance to hunt down Mitchell on Sunday as the Ravens wide receiver is still dealing with an ankle injury that has prevented him from playing in Baltimore’s last two games. In other words, Smith might have to delay his hunting of Mitchell until Christmas night.
While Mitchell will likely be asked to talk about Smith in the coming days, he pretty much shrugged off the wide receiver’s initial comments last October.
“It is something that he tries to use to fuel himself,” Mitchell said. “It isn’t even something I concern myself with. I didn’t think of anything when I heard about it, and I don’t think anything about it now. I am going to continue on and play football.”
If Smith does ultimately play this coming Sunday, I’m willing to bet we see some sort of scuffle between him and Mitchell during the game even though the two players will likely to be warned by the officiating crew prior to kickoff that they’re being watched closely.