Steelers safety Mike Mitchell: 'This is a man's game'

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Mitchell - who himself has been fined four times for risky hits and taunting - was referring to the Monday Night Football fiasco in which Pittsburgh's JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati's George Iloka were handed one-game suspensions for separate hits on opposing players. The first was on a brutal hit by Juju Smith-Shuster on Vontaze Burfict followed by a shot from George Iloka on Antonio Brown's late-touchdown.

In an interview with ESPN, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said that changing targeting rules "is something we have to consider".

Finally, Mitchell ends his speech with what I think is the most important point of the entire rant. I feel like I've got to ask a guy, 'Hey, are you ready for me to hit you right now before I hit you? How about a one-year subscription to the ultimate sports streaming service in Canada, with access to every NFL game, as well as soccer, tennis, hockey and now, Canada's men's and women's national FIBA team.

Like Iloka, Mitchell plays free safety. If you don't want to get injured, don't come out here. I'll leave that one for you to decide, Nation. I donate more money to Cincinnati underprivileged kids than probably people on the Bengals. Don't judge me on what you see on football, because football's my competitive side.

It's an issue that wasn't much of an issue, at least in conversation, until revelations over the physical toll football takes on players' bodies, especially their brains, has come to light in recent years.

"We gotta do better as players when we sign the next CBA. You know what I'm saying?" Many have ripped the NFL for giving Smith-Schuster the same penalty it gave Gronkowski, whose hit was among the most indefensible the league has ever seen. You suspend a kid for playing hard.

"At the end of the day, this is football", he said. "We can't have a guy where you just hand out discipline how you see fit". Except the Hasselbeck thing anyway - he was mad that Hasselbeck said his hit on Alex Smith was dirty, but the league did fine Mitchell nearly $50,000 for the hit and Smith was pretty mad about it.

"If you want to see flag football, let us take our pads off and make it easier for me". So it really isn't surprising that he'd push back against the critics who bemoaned the barbaric nature of that particular game. Before I was drafted, I had $368 in my bank account. "There needs to be a set of guidelines".



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