Tomlin On Mitchell Low Hit On Smith: ‘He Got Tripped’

As expected, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his weekly Tuesday press conference to comment on the low hit by safety Mike Mitchell on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith late in the third quarter of Sunday’s Week 6 game at Arrowhead Stadium.

“My view is what you guys saw. He got tripped by [Anthony] Chickillo and it was unfortunate, but it’s part of ball,” Tomlin said of Mitchell’s low hit on Smith. “It should have been penalized. There’s strict liability there and rightfully so. Player safety is big, but if you saw the play then you know there’s no malcontent or maliciousness there on his part. He got tripped, but Alex doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head and in-game he doesn’t know that. So, its reasonable for him the response that he had.”

Mitchell was indeed penalized for his hit on the play in question and immediately tried to explain to Smith that he was not trying to hurt the quarterback after the two players got up off the ground. Smith, however, wasn’t buying it after the game was over.

“I mean, when you get hit in the back of your knee like that, I didn’t understand how that happened,” Smith said during his post game press conference. “Certainly guys falling, rushing the quarterback, I get it when it’s happening from the front and guys are trying hard. That one to me just seemed so weird to get hit that low coming from behind.”

While it’s hard to tell in the television replay if Mitchell was pushed or tripped by outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo,ย the end zone view from the all-22 tape clearly shows that the safety was indeed tripped up by his teammate.

Should Mitchell have been flagged for his hit on Smith? Yes, I think so. Should he be fined? No, not in my opinion, at least not for that play. We’ll see if he is fined for either that low hit on Smith or his first half helmet-to-helmet hit on Chiefs running back Charcandrick West by Thursday or Friday at the latest.

  • I’m sure there are some that will disregard the tape and still pin it on Mitchell, just because.

  • Edjhjr

    Not to say it , but I said it first on another article

    He got ,tripped , pushed, and was not even going towards Smith. Smith was moving backwards into his path.

    Also , Mitch leads with the crow often anyway. But this one was not his fault at all. Never looked like it either.

    Watch that film on the site again.

    Great film work on that one

  • Edjhjr

    Why flag him. For what. Smith actually ran into him

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Much better angle – thanks for that

  • nutty32

    Yes, he got “tripped” and “pushed” but the dive into the legs was his own volition & not a mandatory, natural physics flow. 23 deserves the penalty and fine. He could have avoided what happened if he wanted to.

  • tarquin

    When he dived three paces behind where the QB was? Or should he have dived more to the right and and totally up-ended him? I’m not sure you understand how physics work when you’re running full speed, someone sticks their leg in front of yours, and then pushes you.

  • nutty32

    He shouldn’t have dove at all is the point. The ball was already thrown. He could have easily just have fallen to the floor without bursting himself forward. Unfortunately, the provided clip cuts off before the moment of truth….it just shows he got tripped at some point AWAY from Smith.

  • tarquin

    I’d be willing to demonstrate on you some aikido moves and you can tell me how you’re going to try to change the direction of which you’re being thrown. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  • tarquin

    Done feeding the troll who has no understanding of physics.

  • nutty32

    Watch the full clip. He was in no way “tripped” or “pushed” so hard as to be under momentum’s death grip.

  • 6 ring circus

    True, as I read on…

  • thegoodzz

    Are you saying that if u trip up while running that you’re not going to fall forward but straight down? what an idiot

  • nutty32

    No, what I’m saying is that he wasn’t tripped that hard. Are you really going to fall over and dive on your face if a little baby pushes you in the back? Watch the whole play. Why pretend that all trips and pushes are exactly the same? I’ll grant that false equivalence is the favor of the country at the moment.

  • nutty32

    2 people can disagree without neither being a “troll.” I reserve my troll name calling for those who write stuff that they themselves don’t actually believe for argument sake.

  • thegoodzz

    so a nfl player whos strong as hell is a “little baby” now huh lol, little trips are the ones that make you go father because of the stumbling

  • nutty32

    Watch the play. If you think 23 was thrown against his will, we’ll just agree to disagree.

  • thegoodzz

    He was pushed a bit in the back and was tripped a little, are u trying to say he shouldnt have fell down?

  • Geoffrey Johnson

    He was running, trying to build speed quickly in a small area, I’m usually not even a defender of Mitchell but you sound ridiculous.. People walking usually trip under less control than what you’re describing, and he’s literally striding wider and wider you can see most of his body are not over his legs in real time so yes being tripped would most definitely cause you to fall straight forward.. I can’t believe this is even still a conversation

  • nutty32

    I play a lot of sports, too. I don’t think I’m being “ridiculous.” We’ll just agree to disagree.

  • Stairway7

    I’m ok with the flag and fine….rules are rules. Call me a homer but I don’t see the same concern for Ben from the officials. Case in point is Burfect slamming his knee into Bens throwing shoulder while Ben is already on the ground and an official 5 yards away watching it happen.

  • paltel

    Dancing isn’t a sport.

  • nutty32

    Lol. You have a lot of nerve looking at your avi… Lol.

  • FATCAT716

    There’s a nutty in every bunch

  • Generic Steelers Fan

    Tomlin knows a thing or two about trying to trip a player…

    Fire him!

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    I’ve watched the play about a dozen times in real time and slow motion and it’s what I DON’T see that makes me believe the hit was intentional: Mitchell never reaches out to break his fall. His arms don’t extend out in front of him like they would for virtually any human being in that situation. I know it happened suddenly, but this guy is a pro football player. His reflexes are top notch. If it were truly unintentional he would have instinctively extended his arms out in front of him and either pushed Smith out of his way or attempted to catch himself or both. He would not have fallen shoulder first.

  • Ken Krampert

    Maybe just make the sack and avoid all the drama. But our boy Mitchell only makes tackles 15 yards downfield ( then celebrates)……

  • Brenton deed

    Funny I wrote a post to say exactly the opposite! His first reaction was to extend his arms!!!!
    This whole issue has come up in soccer where players regularly fake trips to win penalties and it is that initial reaction (of the arms) that people look at.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Mitchell has been a loose canon for a very long time. He has injured not only his opponents but his teammates as well. It is time to stop this type of behavior in the NFL. The Mitchells of the world are boring and bad for the sport, look what Anthony Barr did to Aaron Rodgers, sincerely I prefer a million times watch Rodgers the genius QB than Barr the old school LB, old school players are boring.

  • Steve Johnson

    Mitchell is a dirty player, a knucklehead and often does some stupid things that ends up costing the Defense. He may not have intentionally hit him on that play, but could he have avoided his legs?

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Definitely looks like he got tripped to me. I just found the “he was pushed” excuse laughable before we had this tape because Chick barely even touches him. Like people want me to buy Mitchell suddenly turned into Dri Archer on Sunday.

    But I digress, looks like he was tripped so I am thinking no fine if the league sees that.

  • WB Tarleton

    Yes, because when you are falling forward and get tripped from behind it is easy to overcome momentum and fall backwards instead of forwards. Physical laws Have no application on an NFL football field.

  • Mike Honcho

    I think your username if fitting. It’s very clear while he was trying to accelerate he gets tripped up by Chick a little, then trips over his other ankle. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that would cause anyone to fall forward and down. It looked like he did everything he could to miss the QB, but you know… physics and gravity and all.