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Mike Mitchell mum about controversial leap over line of scrimmage

11/12/2014

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell declined to comment on New York Jets coach Rex Ryan calling his late-game dive over the line of scrimmage last Sunday “bush league.”

The sixth-year veteran angered Ryan and the Jets when he hurtled himself at quarterback Michael Vick with just over a minute to play in New York’s 20-13 win. Vick took a knee with the Steelers out of timeouts and Mitchell landed awkwardly, leaving him with a sore hip.

His leap touched off pushing and shoving between the two teams and Ryan later condemned the play.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin largely agreed with Ryan calling it “unprofessional” on Tuesday. Tomlin also said there may have been some miscommunication between the two and that Mitchell may have mistakenly thought the eighth-year coach gave the green light for Mitchell’s leap.

When asked if he and Tomlin have worked through any communication issues that may have occurred at the end of the Jets game, Mitchell said, “We’re always on the same page.”

Mitchell otherwise declined to answer questions that weren’t related to the Steelers’ upcoming game against the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans are just 2-7 but they have beaten the Steelers in each of the past two seasons. The Steelers, meanwhile, are just 1-2 against teams that are currently five games under .500 or worse.

They are the only team in the NFL with more than one loss against a team that falls into that category.

“I feel like if you have a losing record I’m real nervous when we play you,” Mitchell said. “We’ve never overlooked an opponent before but for whatever reason it’s been tough for us this year, so we’ve got to find a way to beat the teams we’re supposed to beat. This is going to be a tough game. It’s on the road, hostile environment on 'Monday Night Football,' so it’s going to be a good test for us.”