Alex Smith Calls Out Mike Mitchell: “Extremely Late” Hit Was “About As Flagrant As It Gets”

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Though not the most infamous hit of Week 6 in the NFL, Mike Mitchell’s late hit on Alex Smith looked much worse than the one that ended a certain two-time MVP’s season.

Near the end of the third quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback evaded pressure to find Kareem Hunt for a 37-yard gain. But well after Smith released the pass, the Pittsburgh Steelers safety dove into his legs.

Smith was fine but visibly pissed about the tackle, which earned Mitchell a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty.

After the Chiefs’ 19-13 loss, Smith got a chance to see the replay, and his opinion on the play didn’t soften.

“I felt like it was extremely late,” he said. “I felt there was nothing done there to avoid contact. It was really low from the backside. I thought it was about as flagrant as it gets when it comes to a low hit on the quarterback.”

Smith then took aim at Mitchell’s reputation.

“I don’t think this is a first offense, either,” Smith said of Mitchell. “I think when you start looking at … repeat offenders, I think when they get shots at quarterbacks, they’re going to take them.”

Mitchell has a deep catalog of hits and plays ranging from questionable to outright dirty.

Mitchell has been fined twice in his career, once for unnecessary roughness and once for taunting.

He claimed he’d been tripped and pushed into Smith by a teammate.

“The video shows what it shows. I wasn’t trying to take Alex Smith’s knees out,” Mitchell said. “I went up to him and told him that. … It’s just one of those things you don’t want to see in the football game.”

He added: “I’m not a dirty player.”